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Black v. Griffin

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

September 18, 2019

HAROLD JOE BLACK
v.
SUSAN GRIFFIN, ET AL.

          NOTICE

          RICHARD L. BOURGEOIS, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Please take notice that the attached Magistrate Judge's Report has been filed with the Clerk of the United States District Court.

         In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), you have fourteen (14) days after being served with the attached Report to file written objections to the proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law and recommendations therein. Failure to file written objections to the proposed findings, conclusions, and recommendations within 14 days after being served will bar you, except upon grounds of plain error, from attacking on appeal the unobjected-to proposed factual findings and legal conclusions of the Magistrate Judge which have been accepted by the District Court.

         ABSOLUTELY NO EXTENSION OF TIME SHALL BE GRANTED TO FILE WRITTEN OBJECTIONS TO THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT.

         MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

         The Court has granted Plaintiff's Motions for Leave to Proceed in Forma Pauperis. (R. Doc. 5). As Plaintiff is now proceeding in forma pauperis (“IFP”), the undersigned has performed a review, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), to determine whether the complaint should be dismissed as frivolous or malicious, or whether it fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted.

         Furthermore, Defendant Susan Griffin has filed a motion to dismiss. (R. Doc. 16). The motion is opposed. (R. Docs. 20, 21).

         I. Nature of the Plaintiff's Allegations

         On July 12, 2018, Harold Joe Black (“Plaintiff”) commenced this civil rights action, which seeks relief under 28 U.S.C. § 1983, as a pro se plaintiff. (R. Doc. 1). Plaintiff “ was previously convicted of distribution of cocaine by a Louisiana state court and was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. His conviction and sentence were affirmed on direct appeal, and his various attempts to obtain postconviction relief were denied by federal and state courts.” Black v. Griffin, 638 Fed.Appx. 371, 372 (5th Cir. 2016); see Black v. Hornsby, No. 14-0822, 2014 WL 2535168, at *1 (W.D. La. May 15, 2014) (detailing Plaintiff's conviction and collateral attacks on his conviction), subsequently aff'd sub nom. Black v. Hathaway, 616 Fed.Appx. 650 (5th Cir. 2015). Plaintiff alleges that he was released from prison on May 30, 2013. (R. Doc. 1 at 2).

         Plaintiff seeks the following relief in the instant action: “(a) Compensated for Defendants deprivation, equal protection both state's color of law La.C.Cr.P. art 881 and art 900; (b) compensated denial good time release; compensated for held under HFC penalty until May 29, 2013 illegally; (c) compensated Deprived Educational 270 days of early release; (d) compensated for being deprived, right to voter.” (R. Doc. 1 at 8).

         While Plaintiff's allegations are difficult to decipher, the claims against the defendants are limited to Plaintiff's arrest, sentence, and incarceration. The referenced Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure articles respectively concern credit for prior custody toward a sentence and the hearing procedures for an arrest for violation of probation. See La. C. Cr. P. arts 881, 900. Plaintiff also appears to be seeking relief with respect to the validity of his sentence with respect to his “habitual offender” status as well as denial of early release from prison. Finally, Plaintiff appears to seek compensation with respect to the deprivation of his right to vote at the time he was released from prison.

         II. Law and Analysis

         District courts must construe IFP complaints filed by pro se plaintiffs liberally. Nonetheless, even the most liberally construed IFP complaint can be dismissed at any time, regardless of service ...


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