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Hawkins v. Smart

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

April 22, 2019

LARRY CARDELL HAWKINS
v.
PAMELA G. SMART, ET AL.

         SECTION P

          S. MAURICE HICKS, JR., JUDGE.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          KAREN L. HAYES, UNITED STATES MAGISTATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Larry Cardell Hawkins, a prisoner at Catahoula Correctional Center proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed the instant proceeding on January 1');">18, 201');">19, under 42 U.S.C. § 1');">1983. He names the following Defendants: Pamela G. Smart, Mary L. Harried, Michael Enright, Mekisha Smith Creal, and “Office of the District Public Defender.”[1');">1" name="FN1');">1" id= "FN1');">1">1');">1] For reasons that follow, Plaintiff9;s claims should be dismissed.

         Background

         Plaintiff alleges, in his initial pleading, that, on September 1');">14, 201');">18, his public defender, Mary L. Harried, sexually harassed and sexually assaulted him at Caddo Correctional Center during a “visit.” [doc. # 1');">1, p. 3]. Plaintiff reported the incident to a correctional official, who in turn reported the incident to Defendant Pamela G. Smart, a supervisor with the Caddo Parish Public Defender9;s Office. Id.

         In his amended pleading, Plaintiff claims that Mary L. Harried sexually harassed and sexually assaulted him for over two years. [doc. # 9, p. 1');">1]. She touched his hand “in a sexual[] way, ” “talk[ed] very bad [sic] to” him, asked about his body, and “always” told him that he would move to New Orleans with her when she finished his case. Id. at 1');">1-2.

         According to Plaintiff, Defendants Harried and Enright represented him at trial on December 3, 201');">18. [doc. # 1');">1, p. 6]. He suggests that, because of Harried9;s harassment and assault, both Harried and Enright were “ineffective to represent” him. Id. He claims that Smart, “knowing of the incident, ” should have prevented Harried and Enright from representing him. Id. He alleges that Defendant Creal, an assistant district attorney, “still went with the issue” despite “knowing of the issue.” Id. Plaintiff ultimately pled guilty to first degree robbery, and no charges are pending against him. [doc. # 9, pp. 1');">1, 5].

         Plaintiff seeks $3, 600, 000.00 for his pain, suffering, post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”), and “A-D-D.” [doc. #s 1');">1, 9].

         Law and Analysis

         1');">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 U.S.C. § 1');">191');">15A.[2] See Martin v. Scott, 1');">156 F.3d 578, 579-80 (5th Cir. 1');">1998) (per curiam). Because he is proceeding in forma pauperis, his Complaint is also subject to screening under § 1');">191');">15(e)(2). Both § 1');">191');">15(e)(2)(B) and § 1');">191');">15A(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 on 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, 90 U.S. 31');">19');">490 U.S. 31');">19, 325 (1');">1989). 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 on 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 (2009). A claim is facially plausible when it contains sufficient factual content for the court “to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). Plausibility does not equate to possibility or probability; it lies somewhere in between. Id. Plausibility simply ...


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