United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division
OUNCRE D. JONES, Plaintiff
ROGER HENSON, ET AL. Defendants
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
H.L. PEREZ-MONTES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the Court is a civil rights complaint (42 U.S.C. § 1983)
filed by pro se Plaintiff Ouncre D. Jones
(“Jones”). Jones is a pretrial detainee at the
Natchitoches Parish Detention Center. Jones complains that
his constitutional rights were violated when his personal
property was lost or destroyed.
Louisiana law provides an adequate remedy for Defendants'
alleged negligent action, the Due Process Clause is not
implicated, and Jones's complaint should be dismissed.
alleges that his property was packed in anticipation of a
transfer to another facility on July 2 or 3, 2018. The
transfer did not take place. (Doc. 1-2, p. 4). On July 29,
2018, Jones filled out a lost property form. Jones was
ultimately informed that his property had been
“disposed of on July 3, 2018.” (Doc. 1-2, p. 7).
filed an administrative grievance. In response, Captain Glenn
Sers of the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office
requested documentation and proof of value of the missing
items. (Doc. 1-2, p. 2).
Law and Analysis
Jones's complaint is subject to screening under
§§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A.
is a prisoner who has been allowed to proceed in forma
pauperis. Title 28 U.S.C. § 1915A provides for the
preliminary screening of lawsuits filed by prisoners seeking
redress from an officer or employee of a governmental entity.
See Martin v. Scott, 156 F.3d 578, 579-80 (5th Cir.
1998) (per curiam); Rosborough v. Mgmt. and Training
Corp., 350 F.3d 459, 461 (5th Cir. 2003) (holding that
private prison-management corporations and their employees
are state actors under § 1983). Because Jones 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.
Jones cannot state a constitutional claim for his lost
Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment provides:
“[N]or shall any State deprive any person of . . .
property, without due process of law.” U.S. Const.
amend. XIV. However, the random and unauthorized deprivation
of a plaintiff's property does not result in a violation
of procedural due process rights if the state provides an
adequate post-deprivation remedy. See Parratt v.
Taylor, 451 U.S. 527, 544 (1981); Hudson v.
Palmer, 468 U.S. 517 (1984). Even in instances where an
intentional deprivation occurs, if an adequate state
post-deprivation remedy is available, the Due Process Clause
is not implicated. Hudson, 468 U.S. at 532.
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has
recognized that Louisiana law provides an adequate remedy for
both intentional and negligent deprivations of property.
See Hutchinson v. Prudhomme, 79 Fed.Appx. 54, 55
(5th Cir. 2003); Copsey v. Swearingen, 36 F.3d 1336,
1342-43 (5th Cir. 1994); Marshall v. Norwood, 741
F.2d 761, 764 (5th Cir. 1984). Jones's state law remedy
for the alleged negligent or intentional destruction of his
property lies in a suit for damages in state court. Because
Louisiana law provides an adequate remedy for Jones's
property deprivation, the Due Process Clause is not