United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
PARTIAL REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
M. DOUGLAS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Kenneth Lee, a state prisoner incarcerated at the Rayburn
Correctional Center (“RCC”), filed this pro se
and in forma pauperis civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. He sued Warden Robert Tanner, Deputy Wardens
Keith Bickham and Beverly Kelly, Dr. Robert Cleveland,
Emergency Medical Technician Laura Buckley, and other
unidentified “Medical Nursing Officials.” In this
lawsuit, plaintiff claims that the defendants have been
deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs.
order to conduct the screening mandated by federal law, the
Court ordered production of plaintiff's medical records
and administrative grievance records from RCC. In addition, the
Court held a Spears hearing on July 9, 2019. See Spears
v. McCotter, 766 F.2d 179 (5th Cir. 1985). “[T]he
Spears procedure affords the plaintiff an opportunity to
verbalize his complaints, in a manner of communication more
comfortable to many prisoners.” Davis v.
Scott, 157 F.3d 1003, 1005-06 (5th Cir. 1998). The
United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has observed
that a Spears hearing is in the nature of a Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(e) motion for more definite statement. Eason v.
Holt, 73 F.3d 600, 602 (5th Cir. 1996). Spears hearing
testimony becomes a part of the total filing by the pro se
Spears hearing, plaintiff testified that he is required to
use a catheter. Although he was originally inserting the
catheter himself, the doctor ordered that medical personnel
begin performing that task. However, plaintiff complains that
the medical personnel refuse to follow that order. In
addition, they change the catheter only when then want,
rather than every thirty days as the doctor ordered. As a
result, plaintiff has had to use the same catheter for up to
two months. Medical personnel also refuse to change his
bandages as needed or supply him with a razor to shave the
also testified was “born crippled, ” and, as a
result, he is required to use knee braces. When he reported
that his knee braces were “ripping apart, ” Dr.
Robert Cleveland and Emergency Medical Technician Laura
Buckley told plaintiff simply to have someone stitch them
back together. Although plaintiff did as instructed, the
braces are unusable because the thread cuts into his knees.
He contends that he should be provided with new braces. He
further complains that he has been denied ankle braces.
explained that Warden Robert Tanner and Deputy Warden Keith
Bickham were not personally involved in these incidents, but
they have been named as defendants because they hold
supervisory positions at RCC.
law mandates that federal courts “review, before
docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as
practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in
which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or
officer or employee of a governmental entity.” 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Regarding such lawsuits, federal law
On review, the court shall identify cognizable claims or
dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if
the complaint -
(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted; or (2) seeks monetary relief
from a defendant who is immune from such relief.
28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
with respect to actions filed in forma pauperis, such as the
instant lawsuit, federal law similarly provides:
Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that
may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any
time if the court ...