United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division
COCA L. EDWARDS, JR., Plaintiff
STATE OF LOUISIANA, ET AL., Defendants
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
H.L. PEREZ-MONTES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the Court is a civil rights Complaint and Amended Complaint
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 filed by pro se
Plaintiff Coca L. Edwards (“Edwards”). (Docs. 1,
6). At the time of filing, Edwards was a pretrial detainee at
the Jackson Parish Correctional Center (“JPCC”)
in Jonesboro, Louisiana. Edwards complains that he was
wrongfully arrested in Winn Parish and subjected to excessive
force after being transferred to JPCC. (Doc. 1, p. 4).
Edwards's excessive force claim is without merit, and his
claim regarding his arrest and detention is barred by
Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994), Edwards's
Complaint and Amended Complaint (Docs. 1, 6) should be DENIED
and DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.
alleges that he was wrongfully stopped by a law enforcement
officer who informed Edwards that he would be cited for an
expired registration and license plate. (Doc. 1, p. 3).
Several other law enforcement officers arrived, and the state
trooper on the scene asked for consent to search
Edwards's vehicle. (Doc. 1, p. 3). Although Edwards
initially agreed, he subsequently changed his mind and
declined to give consent. (Doc. 1, p. 3). Nonetheless,
Edwards alleges that he heard an officer state that the K-9
had made a “responsive alert.” (Doc. 1, p. 7).
Officers then entered Edwards's vehicle and confiscated
Edwards's property. (Doc. 1, p. 8).
alleges that he was arrested and transported to the Winn
Parish Sheriff's Office. (Doc. 1, p. 8). The following
day, Edwards was informed he was having a bond hearing by
telephone. (Doc. 10). Edwards alleges that he could not hear
the judge over the speakerphone. (Doc. 1, p. 10).
was called to meet with someone from the Indigent Defender
Board, who asked Edwards to sign paperwork if he wanted a
bond reduction. (Doc. 1, p. 11). Edwards refused to sign.
(Doc. 1, p. 11).
to his exhibits, Edwards was charged with several drug
offenses as well as possession of a firearm by a convicted
felon. (Doc. 18-1, p. 25). Edwards alleges that he filed
numerous pro se motions in the Eighth Judicial
District Court, which were denied. (Doc. 1, p. 13). Edwards
alleges he was eventually convicted of the crimes charged.
his arrest, Edwards was transported to JPCC. (Doc. 1, p. 11).
Edwards alleges that Captain Kelly entered his dorm and
shouted to the men that they would receive haircuts in the
front of the dorm. (Doc. 1, p. 15). Edwards refused to leave
his bunk area, explaining to Captain Kelly that he did not
want a haircut. (Doc. 1, p. 15). Captain Kelly ordered
Edwards to the “interlock.” Once inside the
“interlock, ” Captain Kelly ordered Edwards to
turn around. (Doc. 1, p. 15). Edwards states that he did not
comply with the first or second order. (Doc. 1, p. 5).
Edwards alleges that, after Captain Kelly gave the order a
third time, he sprayed Edwards with Mace as Edwards was
beginning to turn in compliance with the order. (Doc. 1, p.
15). After being sprayed, Edwards turned away again. (Doc. 1,
p. 15). Edwards alleges that, as he turned back toward
Captain Kelly, he was sprayed a second time. (Doc. 1, p. 15).
Edwards further claims that he was led to a barber's
chair but stood up saying he did not want his hair cut.
Captain Kelly and several other officers forced him to sit.
(Doc. 1, p. 15). Captain Kelly then put Edwards “in a
choke hold and took [Edwards] to the floor, ” giving
someone instructions to cut Edwards's hair. (Doc. 1, p.
Law and Analysis
Edwards's Complaint is subject to screening under
§§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A.
is a prisoner who has been allowed to proceed in forma
pauperis. Title 28 U.S.C. § 1915A provides for the
preliminary screening of lawsuits filed by prisoners seeking
redress from an officer or employee of a governmental entity.
See Martin v. Scott, 156 F.3d 578, 579-80
(5th Cir. 1998) (per curiam); Rosborough v. Mgmt. and
Training Corp., 350 F.3d 459, 461 (5th Cir. 2003).
Because Edwards 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 a complaint, or
any portion thereof, if the Court finds it is frivolous or
malicious, if it fails to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted, or if it seeks monetary relief against a
defendant who is immune from such relief.
Edwards's claims regarding wrongful arrest and