United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division
A. DOUGHTY JUDGE
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
L. HAYES, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
David Ray Johnson, a detainee at Richland Parish Detention
Center (“RPDC”) proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis, filed the instant proceeding on August 22, 2018,
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He names the following
defendants: RPDC, Warden Ricky Scott, Sheriff Gary Gilley,
and Sergeant Holcutt. For reasons that follow, the Court should
dismiss Plaintiff's claims.
alleges that, on August 8, 2018, he slipped in a puddle of
water in his dorm and fell, injuring his neck, back, head,
nerves, and muscles. [doc. # 1, pp. 3-4]. Sergeant Holcutt
transported him to the hospital four hours after the fall.
Id. Plaintiff received an x-ray, a prescription for
“Nuroproxen, ” and a “check up to make sure
there were no broken bones, ” but he claims that he was
never treated for his “damaged nerves” or his
“blackouts, ” that he “was never checked
for . . . spinal damage, nerve damage [to his] neck and back,
or soft tissue damage, ” that he did not receive
physical therapy, that he did not receive a “medical
mat” to sleep on, and that he endured pain for two to
three weeks before he received his prescribed medication.
[doc. #s 1, pp. 3-4; 16');">16');">16');">16, pp. 6-7].
alleges that Warden Scott is responsible for “the
up-keep and maintenance of” RPDC. Id. at 4. He
also alleges that other inmates have complained to Warden
Scott about water leaking from the showers, which causes
inmates to fall and enables slippery mold to grow on the
floors and walls. Id.
alleges, similarly, that Sheriff Gilley is responsible
because he houses inmates “in a dormitory that he
knows” is not safe. Id. “Defendant
Gilley is aware of the repair issues needed at the said
facility, and he has been negligent of providing the funds
needed to make the repairs. [sic].” Id.
“The water leakage has been going on for over a two
year period. [sic].” Id.
continues to suffer from sores, headaches, impaired vision,
back pain, neck pain, mental anguish, swelling, pinched
nerves, bruised muscles, blackouts, and possible internal
bleeding. [doc. #s 1, p. 4; 16');">16');">16');">16, p. 5]. He seeks punitive
damages and $300, 000.00 in compensation, and he requests
“ongoing medical and chiropractic care.”
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. See Martin v. Scott, 156 F.3d
578, 579-80 (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.
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. 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.
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 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.
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.
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 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, 632 F.3d 148, 152-53 (5th Cir. 2010). Courts
are “not free to speculate that the plaintiff
‘might' be able to state a claim if given yet
another opportunity to add more facts to the
complaint.” Macias v. Raul A. (Unknown) Badge No.
153, 23 F.3d 94, 97 (5th Cir. 1994).
hearing need not be conducted for every pro se complaint.
Wilson v. Barrientos, 926 F.2d 480, 483 n.4 (5th
Cir. 1991). A district court may dismiss a prisoner's
civil rights complaint as frivolous based upon the complaint
and exhibits alone. ...