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Mendez-Matos v. United States

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division

March 13, 2019

LEURY MENDEZ-MATOS REG. # 23504-069
v.
UNITED STATES, ET AL.

         SECTION P

          DOUGHTY JUDGE.

          MEMORANDUM ORDER

          KATHLEEN KAY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Before the court is a civil rights complaint [docs. 6, 13] filed pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 91 S.Ct. 1999 (1971), by plaintiff Leury Mendez-Matos, who is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this matter. Mendez-Matos is an inmate in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons and is currently incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution at Oakdale, Louisiana (“FCIO”), where the events giving rise to his claims occurred. This matter has been referred to the undersigned for review, report, and recommendation in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636 and the standing orders of this court.

         I.

         Background

         Mendez-Matos's complaint arises from medical care he has received at FCIO. Specifically, he alleges that he has nodules on his lungs and kidney and that “[s]taff has told [him that he] has to have nodule/masses removed.” Doc. 6, p. 3. However, he asserts, FCIO physician Dr. Joel Alexandre has only provided him with an inhaler. Id. He also asserts that he was injured in June 2015 or 2017, resulting in three fractures to his hand.[1] Id. He alleges that FCIO staff only supplied a cast for that injury and then removed the cast even though the injury had not healed properly. Id. He maintains that he suffers extreme pain from this injury and can no longer use the affected hand. Id. He also asserts that he has been treated at a nearby hospital for his lung and kidney problems, but that “all they do is give me pills” even though he has been told he needs surgery. Doc. 13, p. 3. Finally, he claims that he does not speak English and has not been provided with an interpreter to help him understand his injury or treatment. Doc. 6, p. 3.

         Mendez-Matos initiated his suit through a deficient complaint filed in this court on or about October 16, 2018. Doc. 1. In his deficient complaint he named only the United States as a defendant. Through one of his subsequent complaints he also names Heather Howard, FCIO Health Services Administrator, and Dr. Joel Alexandre, physician and FCIO clinical director, as defendants. Doc. 6, pp. 2-3. As relief he seeks monetary damages. Id. at 4; Doc. 13, p. 4.

         II.

         Law & Analysis

         A. Frivolity Review

         Mendez-Matos has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this matter. Accordingly, his complaint is subject to screening under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), which provides for sua sponte dismissal of the complaint or any portion thereof if the court determines that it is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii).

         A complaint is frivolous if it lacks an arguable basis in law or fact. Gonzalez v. Wyatt, 157 F.3d 1016, 1019 (5th Cir. 1998). A complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted if it is clear the plaintiff cannot prove any set of facts in support of his claim that would entitle him to relief. Doe v. Dallas Indep. Sch. Dist., 153 F.3d 211, 215 (5th Cir. 1998). When determining whether a complaint is frivolous or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, the court must accept plaintiff's allegations as true. Horton v. Cockrell, 70 F.3d 397, 400 (5th Cir. 1995) (frivolity); Bradley v. Puckett, 157 F.3d at 1025 (failure to state a claim).

         B. ...


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