United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
VAN MEERVELD, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Garrick Jones, a federal pretrial detainee incarcerated at
the Nelson Coleman Correctional Center in Killona, Louisiana,
filed this pro se and in forma pauperis
civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He sued the
following defendants: the St. Charles Parish Sheriff's
Office; the Nelson Coleman Correctional Center; Warden
Robertson; Sheriff Greg Champagne; and the United States
Marshals Service. In this lawsuit, plaintiff claims that he
slipped and fell at the correctional center and that he has
not received adequate medical care for his resulting injury.
better understand the factual bases of plaintiff's
claims, the Court held a Spears hearing on July 3,
2018. See Spears v. McCotter, 766 F.2d 179 (5th Cir.
1985). “[T]he Spears procedure affords the
plaintiff an opportunity to verbalize his complaints, in a
manner of communication more comfortable to many
prisoners.” Davis v. Scott, 157 F.3d 1003,
1005-06 (5th Cir. 1998). The United States Fifth Circuit
Court of Appeals has observed that a Spears hearing
is in the nature of a Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(e) motion for more
definite statement. Eason v. Holt, 73 F.3d 600, 602
(5th Cir. 1996). Spears hearing testimony becomes a
part of the total filing by the pro se applicant.
on plaintiff's complaint and Spears hearing
testimony, the Court finds that he is making the following
allegations in this lawsuit: On April 9, 2018, plaintiff
slipped in a puddle caused by a leak at the correctional
center, resulting in a fall and an injury to his back. He
immediately requested medical attention, and he was given a
Motrin, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain medication. He
was also scheduled for an x-ray to be taken a few days later.
After the x-ray was taken and reviewed, he was told that the
x-ray revealed that “nothing was wrong”; however,
he disputes that conclusion because his pain persisted. When
he requested an MRI, the jail doctor denied that request and
instead prescribed an increase dosage of Neurontin, a nerve
pain medication plaintiff was already taking for a
preexisting back injury. Plaintiff testified that he is also
taking Flexeril, a muscle relaxant. Plaintiff testified that
he sued Sheriff Champagne and Warden Robertson simply because
they are in charge of the Nelson Coleman Correctional Center.
Plaintiff stated that he named the United States Marshals
Service as a defendant because he is a federal detainee.
Standards of Review
respect to actions filed in forma pauperis, federal
Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that
may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any
time if the court determines that ... the action …
(i) is frivolous or malicious;
(ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted;
(iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune
from such relief.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
law also mandates that federal courts screen cases, such as
the instant one, “in which a prisoner seeks redress
from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a
governmental entity.” 28 U.S.C. §
1915A(a). Regarding such lawsuits, federal law
On review, the court shall identify cognizable claims or
dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if
the complaint -
(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
complaint is frivolous “if it lacks an arguable basis
in law or fact.” Reeves v. Collins, 27 F.3d
174, 176 (5th Cir. 1994). In making a determination as to
whether a claim is frivolous, the Court has “not only
the authority to dismiss a claim based on an indisputably
meritless legal theory, but also the unusual power to pierce
the veil of the complaint's factual allegations and
dismiss those claims whose factual contentions are clearly
baseless.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319,
327 (1989); Macias v. Raul A. (Unknown), Badge No.
153, 23 F.3d 94, 97 (5th Cir. 1994).
complaint fails to state a claim on which relief may be
granted when the plaintiff does not “plead enough facts
to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.
Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief
above the speculative level, on the assumption that all the
allegations in the complaint are true (even if doubtful in
fact).” In re Katrina Canal BreachesLitigation, 495 F.3d 191, 205 ...