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Foster v. Nelson Coleman Correctional Center

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

December 28, 2018

KEITH FOSTER
v.
NELSON COLEMAN CORRECTIONAL CENTER, et al.

         SECTION “G” (5)

          ORDER

          NANNETTE JOLIVETTE BROWN CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.

         Before the Court are Plaintiff Keith Foster's (“Plaintiff”) objections to the Report and Recommendation of the United States Magistrate Judge assigned to the case.[1] Plaintiff, a prisoner housed in the Nelson Coleman Correctional Center (“NCCC”) in Killona, Louisiana, filed a pro se, in forma pauperis complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against NCCC and the St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office (“SCPSO”) (collectively, “Defendants”).[2] The Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation, recommending that the Court dismiss Plaintiff's claims with prejudice as frivolous.[3] Plaintiff objects to the Report and Recommendation.[4] After reviewing the complaint, the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation, Plaintiff's objections, the record, and the applicable law, for the following reasons, the Court will overrule Plaintiff's objections, adopt the Report and Recommendation, and dismiss Plaintiff's claims with prejudice.

         I. Background

         A. Factual and Procedural Background[5]

         On August 31, 2018, Plaintiff filed a complaint against Defendants.[6] In the Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that on or about April 30, 2018, he requested that he be seen by a doctor due to left ear pain.[7] Plaintiff alleges that he was prescribed Tylenol and eye drops for treatment of his ear condition.[8] Plaintiff alleges that he requested to be transported to a hospital because his ear pain persisted, but his request was denied.[9] Plaintiff asserts that his ear condition is still unresolved.[10] He also alleges that he filed an emergency written grievances but did not receive a response.[11]

         B. Report and Recommendation Findings

         On September 11, 2018, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation recommending that the Court dismiss Plaintiff's claims as frivolous and for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) and (ii).[12] The Magistrate Judge stated that correctional facilities like NCCC are not “persons” capable of being sued under Section 1983.[13] The Magistrate Judge also stated that in Louisiana sheriff's offices are not legal entities capable of being sued.[14] Therefore, because Plaintiff had not named any appropriate juridical persons against whom judgment may be entered, the Magistrate Judge recommended that the Complaint be dismissed with prejudice.[15]

         C. Plaintiff's Objections

         Plaintiff objects to the Magistrate Judge's recommendation.[16] Plaintiff avers that he followed the jail's grievance procedures, but he did not receive a response from jail officials.[17] He states that “[a] mistake has been made on my behalf and ask the Court to grant my request.”[18]

         II. Standard of Review

         A. Review of the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation

         In accordance with Local Rule 73.2, this case was referred to the Magistrate Judge to provide a Report and Recommendation. A district judge “may accept, reject, or modify the recommended disposition” of a magistrate judge on a dispositive matter.[19] A district judge must “determine de novo any part of the [Report and Recommendation] that has been properly objected to.”[20] A district court's review is limited to plain error for parts of the report which are not properly objected to.[21]

         B. Standard for Frivolousness

         A district court has broad discretion in determining the frivolous nature of a prisoner's complaint.[22] A complaint is frivolous if it lacks an arguable basis in law or fact.[23] The law “‘accords judges 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.'”[24] A claim has no arguable basis in law if “it is based on indisputable meritless legal theory.”[25] It lacks a basis in fact if “the facts alleged are clearly baseless.”[26] If a court finds that a prisoner's claims are frivolous, the court must dismiss the claims sua sponte.[27] Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) and (ii), the Court may dismiss a complaint that is “frivolous or malicious” or “fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted.”

         III. ...


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