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Hall v. Creigler

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division

October 9, 2018

OTIS HALL
v.
JUDGE CREIGLER, ET AL.

          TERRY A. DOUGHTY JUDGE.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          KAREN L. HAYES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Otis Hall, who proceeds pro se and in forma pauperis, filed the instant Complaint on August 24, 2018, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He names the following Defendants: Judge Creigler, Probation Officer Carolyn Guice, District Attorney Edwin Moberly, and Judge Lancaster.[1] For the following reasons, it is recommended that Plaintiff's claims be dismissed with prejudice.

         Background

         Plaintiff alleges that he has been detained since June 22, 2018, without being apprised of the crimes with which he is charged. He does, however, mention that he was “pick[ed] . . . up” for failing to appear in court. He also claims, impliedly, that he has been imprisoned beyond the usual 30-day sentence imposed for missing a court date.

         Plaintiff implies further that Probation Officer Carolyn Guice played a role in his arrest because he owes her money. He suggests that Officer Guice had no reason to be involved because he has “been off of probation for almost five years.”

         Plaintiff seeks $3, 000, 000.00 from each Defendant for his pain, suffering, and mental anguish.

         Law and Analysis

         1. Preliminary Screening

          Plaintiff is a prisoner who has been permitted to proceed in forma pauperis. As a prisoner seeking redress from an officer or employee of a governmental entity, his complaint is subject to preliminary screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.[2] See Martin v. Scott, 156 F.3d 578, 579-80 (5th Cir.1998) (per curiam). Because he is proceeding in forma pauperis, his Complaint is also subject to screening under § 1915(e)(2). Both § 1915(e)(2) (B) and § 1915A(b) provide for sua sponte dismissal of the complaint, or any portion thereof, if the Court finds it is frivolous or malicious, if it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or if it seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.

         A complaint is frivolous when it “lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). A claim lacks an arguable basis in law when it is “based on an indisputably meritless legal theory.” Id. at 327. Courts are also afforded the unusual power to pierce the veil of the factual allegations and dismiss those claims whose factual contentions are clearly baseless. Id.

         A complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted when it fails to plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007); accord Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Likewise, a complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted if it appears that no relief could be granted under any set of facts that could be proven consistent with the allegations of the complaint. Of course, in making this determination, the court must assume that all of the plaintiff's factual allegations are true. Bradley v. Puckett, 157 F.3d 1022, 1025 (5th Cir. 1998).

         A civil rights plaintiff must support his claims with specific facts demonstrating a constitutional deprivation and may not simply rely on conclusory allegations. Ashcroft, 556 U.S. at 662; Schultea v. Wood, 47 F.3d 1427, 1433 (5th Cir. 1995). Nevertheless, a district court is bound by the allegations in a plaintiff's complaint and is “not free to speculate that the plaintiff ‘might' be able to state a claim if given yet another opportunity to add more facts to the complaint.” Macias v. Raul A. (Unknown) Badge No. 153, 23 F.3d 94, 97 (5th Cir. 1994).

         A hearing need not be conducted for every pro se complaint. Wilson v. Barrientos, 926 F.2d 480, 483 n.4 (5th Cir. 1991). A district court may dismiss a prisoner's civil rights complaint as frivolous based upon the complaint and ...


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