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Joseph v. City of Faith Half Way House

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

November 1, 2018

ROMAIN JOSEPH
v.
CITY OF FAITH HALF WAY HOUSE, ET AL.

          TERRY A. DOUGHTY JUDGE

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          KAREN L. HAYES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff Romain Joseph, a prisoner at River Bend Detention Center, proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed the instant proceeding on September 25, 2018');">8, under 42 U.S.C. § 198');">83. He names the following Defendants: City of Faith Half Way House, Director Cathy Biedenharn, Co-Director Mr. Oneal, Co-Director Mr. Banks, and Mr. Michael.[1" name="FN1" id="FN1">1] For reasons that follow, it is recommended that Plaintiff's claims be dismissed with prejudice.

         Background

         Plaintiff alleges that, on April 23, 2018');">8, while he was being transported from Elayn Hunt Correctional Center (“EHCC”), the City of Faith transport vehicle in which he was a passenger collided with another vehicle, injuring his head, right knee, and left leg. [doc. # 1, p. 3]. Plaintiff claims that the vehicle's seatbelts were damaged and inoperable prior to the collision. Id. He faults Defendant Michael for “unsafe operation.” [doc. # 8');">8, p. 5].

         After the collision, Plaintiff was transported back to EHCC, where he did not receive any medical attention. He was transported to University Health Conway the following day, but he claims that, because he had no insurance, he “was not examined” or “given a complete checkup.” [doc. #s 1, p. 3; 8');">8, p. 4]. He seeks medical treatment and $8');">85, 000.00.

         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');">8 U.S.C. § 1915A.[2] See Martin v. Scott, 156 F.3d 578');">8, 579-8');">80 (5th Cir.1998');">8) (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, 19');">490 U.S. 319, 325 (198');">89). 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');">8 (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');">157 F.3d 1022, 1025 (5th Cir. 1998');">8).

         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, 7 F.3d 1427');">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, 8');">80');">926 F.2d 48');">80, 48');">83 n.4 (5th Cir. 1991). A district court may dismiss a prisoner's civil rights complaint as frivolous based upon the complaint and exhibits alone. Green v. McKaskle, 78');">88');">8 F.2d 1116, 1120 (5th Cir. 198');">86).

         2. ...


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