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Morris v. Concordia Parish Correctional Facility

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

February 27, 2019

REGINALD T. MORRIS, Plaintiff
v.
CONCORDIA PARISH CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, ET AL., Defendants

          DEE D. DRELL, JUDGE

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Joseph H.L. Perez-Montes, United States Magistrate Judge

         Before the Court is the civil rights Complaint (42 U.S.C. § 1983) of pro se Plaintiff Reginald T. Morris (“Morris”). (Docs. 1, 10, 11). Morris is a pretrial detainee currently incarcerated at the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center. At the time of filing suit, Morris was housed at the Concordia Parish Correctional Facility (“CPCF”) in Ferriday, Louisiana. Morris complains that CPCF is not providing his vegetarian diet as ordered by the chaplain and medical department. Morris seeks compensatory and punitive damages, as well as injunctive relief.

         Because Morris is not entitled to compensatory or punitive damages, and the request for injunctive relief is moot, his Complaint (Docs. 1, 10, 11) should be DENIED and DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.

         I. Background

         Morris alleges that he does not eat meat for religious and health reasons. He was prescribed a vegetarian diet, with eggs or peanut butter as a substitute for meat. (Doc. 1, p. 3). According to Morris, he did not regularly receive the vegetarian diet or meat substitutes. Specifically, Morris was not provided a vegetarian meal on the following dates: July 28 (breakfast), August 12 (lunch), August 14 (breakfast), September 1 (breakfast), September 3 (lunch), September 9 (dinner), and October 3 (breakfast), 2018, as well as January 14, 2019 (no meat substitute). (Doc. 1, pp. 6-8). Morris complains that he receives biscuits, grits, beans, and peanut butter sandwiches rather than meat substitutes of eggs and cheese. (Doc. 11, p. 2).

         Morris alleges that Defendant Angie asked two inmates to attack Morris for complaining about his meals. (Doc. 1 p. 6).

         Finally, Morris alleges that he was placed in lockdown for three days for refusing a tray. (Doc. 11, p. 1).

         Morris seeks an award of $5 million dollars in compensatory and punitive damages and a “restraining order against Concordia Parish Correctional Facility” and all Defendants. (Doc. 1, p. 9).

         II. Law and Analysis

         A. Morris's complaint is subject to screening under §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A.

         Morris is a prisoner who has been allowed to proceed in forma pauperis. (Doc. 5). As a prisoner seeking redress from an officer or employee of a governmental entity, Morris's complaint is subject to preliminary screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. 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 prison management corporations and their employees are state actors under § 1983). Because he is proceeding in forma pauperis, Morris'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 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. 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).

         B. Morris's claim for compensatory damages should be dismissed for failure ...


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