United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
H.L. PEREZ-MONTES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the Court is the civil rights Complaint (42 U.S.C. §
1983) of pro se Plaintiff Henry Bean Posey
(“Posey”) (#97166). Posey is an inmate in the
custody of the Louisiana Department of Corrections, housed at
the Richwood Correctional Center in Monroe, Louisiana. Posey
alleges that inmates at Lasalle Correctional Center stole
money from him by using his identification card to make
Defendants are not liable under § 1983 for the loss or
theft of Posey's money, Posey's Complaint (Docs. 1,
9) should be DISMISSED.
alleges that he received a deposit of $3, 038.36 in his
inmate account on August 18, 2015 from the settlement of a
lawsuit. (Doc. 9, p. 3). Posey claims that he did not make
any commissary purchases, but when he inquired about his
balance, Posey learned that there was only $2.41 in the
account. (Doc. 9, p. 3). According to Posey, two inmates were
caught using Posey's prison identification card to make
purchases. (Doc. 9, p. 3). An “Inmate Account
Transactions History” form from Lasalle Correctional
Center shows that $3, 040.50 was spent between November 9,
2015 and September 22, 2016. (Doc. 9-1, p. 18).
Law and Analysis A. Posey's
complaint is subject to screening under 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e)(2)(b) and 1915A.
is a prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis. (Doc. 12). As a
prisoner seeking redress from an officer or employee of a
governmental entity, Posey's complaint is subject to
preliminary screening pursuant to § 1915A. See
Martin v. Scott, 156 F.3d 578, 579-80 (5th Cir. 1998)
(per curiam). Because he is proceeding in forma pauperis,
Posey's complaint is also subject to screening under
§ 1915(e)(2). Both § 1915(e)(2)(B) and §
1915A(b) provide for sua sponte dismissal of a 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.
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. 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); Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009).
Posey cannot state a constitutional claim for the
allegedly stolen funds.
Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment provides
“nor shall any State deprive any person of life,
liberty, or property, without due process of law.” U.S.
amend XIV. However, jurisprudence makes it clear that a
prisoner's claim for the random deprivation of personal
property is not cognizable under § 1983.
inmate alleges the negligent or intentional loss of property
and the state provides an adequate remedy, an inmate may not
bring a claim under § 1983 to recover damages for his
loss. See Parratt v. Taylor, 451 U.S. 527, 544
(1981); Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S. 517, 543 (1984).
Louisiana law provides an adequate remedy for both
intentional and negligent deprivations of property.
Copsey v. Swearingen, 36 F.3d 1336, 1342-43 (5th
Cir. 1994); Marshall v. Norwood, 741 F.2d 761, 764
(5th Cir. 1984) (citing Louisiana Civil Code Article 2315,
and observing that “Louisiana law affords an
opportunity to redress intentional torts under the same
section of the Code by which negligence is remedied”);
Fuller v. XTO Energy, Inc., 43, 454 (La.App. 2 Cir.
8/13/08), 989 So.2d 298 (recognizing the tort of conversion).
there is simply no constitutional protection afforded to
Posey for the allegedly stolen money. Louisiana law provides
Posey the opportunity to seek redress in state court, which