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Anthony v. Brown

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

May 20, 2019

KENNITH WADE ANTHONY
v.
ISAAC BROWN, ET AL.

         SECTION P

          TERRY A. DOUGHTY JUDGE.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Karen L. Hayes United States Magistrate Judge.

         Plaintiff Kennith Wade Anthony, a prisoner at Winn Correctional Center proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed the instant proceeding on March 25, 2019, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He names Warden Isaac Brown and Kathy Harrell as Defendants.[1" name="FN1" id= "FN1">1] For the following reasons, the Court should dismiss Plaintiff's claims.

         Background

         Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Kathy Harrell only deposited $20.00 of the $40.00 that he received via a money order on either September 12, 2018, or September 20, 2018. [doc. #s 1, p. 3; 7');">7, 1');">p. 1]. After speaking with Warden Brown about the missing $20.00, Brown instructed Plaintiff to contact Harrell. [doc. # 1, p. 3]. Plaintiff wrote Harrell a request, but he never received a response. Id.

         Plaintiff spoke with Brown about the missing funds again, but Brown "made no effort to investigate Plaintiff's complaint." [doc. #s 1, p. 3; 7');">7, 1');">p. 1]. Thereafter, Plaintiff was placed “in lockdown for filing a grievance about this and other matters[, ]” and he remained there for two weeks before he was transferred to another facility. [doc. # 1, p. 3]. Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages "for the abuse of discretion on the [sic] behalf of the administration." [doc. # 7');">7, p. 2].

         Law and Analysis

         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. § 1915A.[3] See Martin v. Scott, 156 F.3d 57');">78, 57');">79-80 (5th Cir. 1998) (per curiam). Because he is proceeding in forma pauperis, his 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 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, 19');">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');">7. 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, 57');">70 (2007');">7); accord Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 67');">78 (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 67');">78 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 57');">70). Plausibility does not equate to possibility or probability; it lies somewhere in between. Id. Plausibility simply calls for enough factual allegations to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence to support the elements of the claim. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556.

         Assessing whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief is a “context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.” Iqbal, supra. A well-pled complaint may proceed even if it strikes the court that actual proof of the asserted facts is improbable and that recovery is unlikely. Twombly, supra.

         Likewise, a complaint fails to state a claim on which relief can be granted if it appears that no relief could be granted under any set of facts that could be proven consistent with the allegations of the complaint. In making this determination, the court must assume that all of the plaintiff's factual allegations are true. Bradley v. Puckett, 157');">7 F.3d 1022, 1025 (5th Cir. 1998). However, the same presumption does not extend to legal conclusions. Iqbal, supra. A pleading comprised of “labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action” does not satisfy Rule 8. Id. “[P]laintiffs must allege facts that support the elements of the cause of action in order to make out a valid claim.” City of Clinton, Ark. v. Pilgrim's Pride Corp, 148');">632 F.3d 148, 152-53 (5th Cir. 2010). Courts are “not ...


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