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Naquin v. Larpenter

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

July 17, 2019

ROLAND J. NAQUIN, JR.
v.
JERRY LARPENTER, ET. AL.

         SECTION “B”

          ORDER AND REASONS

         Before the Court are pro se plaintiff Roland Naquin Jr.'s complaint filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Rec. Doc. 1), the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation (“Report”) (Rec. Doc. 4), and plaintiff's objections (Rec. Doc. 5). For the following reasons, IT IS ORDERED that plaintiff's objections are OVERRULED;

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Magistrate Judge's Report is ADOPTED as the opinion of the Court;

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff's claims are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff is a state inmate currently housed in Terrebonne Parish Criminal Justice Complex (“TPCJC”). See Rec. Doc. 1 at 3. Defendants are Jerry Larpenter as Sheriff of Terrebonne Parish; Gordon Dove as Parish President of Terrebonne; and, Major Bergeron as Warden of TPCJC (collectively “defendants”).[1] See id. at 1.

         On January 4, 2019, plaintiff filed the instant complaint. See Rec. Doc. 2. He seeks compensatory damages for enduring exposure to black mold and hazardous bacteria at TPCJC. See Rec. Doc. 1 at 9. Plaintiff alleges that defendants acted with deliberate indifference to TPCJC's unsanitary conditions. See id.

         On January 10, 2019, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report recommending dismissal of this matter because plaintiff failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. See Rec. Doc. 4 at 3. Specifically, plaintiff's complaint appears unactionable because he failed to exhaust the administrative remedies available to him at TPCJC. See id. On January 17, 2019, plaintiff filed a timely objection to the Report.[2] See Rec. Doc. 5.

         LAW AND ANALYSIS

         To recover under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege deprivation of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States by a person acting under color of state law. See Calhoun v. Hargrove, 312 F.3d 730, 734 (5th Cir. 2002) (citing Wong v. Stripling, 881 F.2d 200, 202 (5th Cir. 1998)).

         The Court must dismiss a § 1983 claim if the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii); § 1915A(b)(1). A plaintiff fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted when the claim does not contain “‘enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” In re Katrina Canal Breaches Litig., 495 F.3d 191, 205 (5th Cir. 2007) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). Given a presumption of truth, the plaintiff's factual allegations must raise a right to relief above the speculative level. See In re Katrina Canal Breaches Litig., 495 F.3d at 205.

         Pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995, a prisoner filing a § 1983 action must have previously exhausted his claims through available administrative remedies. 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a); see also Gonzalez v. Seal, 702 F.3d 785, 788 (5th Cir. 2012). This exhaustion is required regardless of the forms of relief sought or offered in the administrative process. See Booth v. Churner, 532 U.S. 731, 741 n.6 (2001). While failure to exhaust is an affirmative defense, the Court may dismiss a complaint “if the complaint makes clear that the prisoner failed to exhaust [administrative remedies].” Carbe v. Lappin, 492 F.3d 325, 328 (5th Cir. 2007) (citing Jones v. Bock, 599 U.S. 199, 216 (2007)).

         Additionally, the Fifth Circuit has held that 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(e) applies to all federal civil actions in which a prisoner seeks compensatory damages for an alleged constitutional violation. See Greiger v. Jowers, 404 F.3d 371, 374 (5th Cir. 2005); Siglar v. Hightower, 112 F.3d 191, 193-94 (5th Cir. 1997). The § 1997e(e) physical injury requirement states that “[n]o federal civil action may be brought by a prisoner confined in a jail, prison, or other correctional facility, for mental or emotional injury suffered while in custody without a prior showing of physical injury.” Thus, a prisoner's § 1983 action for an Eighth Amendment violation will not prevail without a physical injury. See Greiger, 404 F.3d at 374.

         When a prisoner states an Eighth Amendment violation in his § 1983 complaint, he must satisfy two requirements. The first requirement is that the prison official's act or omission resulted in denial of “the minimal civilized measure of life's necessities.” Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834 (1994) (quoting Rhodes v. Chapman, 425 U.S. 337, 347 (1981)); Palmer v. Johnson, 193 F.3d 346, 352 (5th Cir. 1999). The second requirement is that the prison official's state of mind was “deliberate indifference to inmate health or safety.” Farmer, 511 U.S. at 834 (quoting Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S. 294, 302-03 (1991)); Palmer, 193 F.3d at 352. This Court need not analyze the ...


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