United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER OF PARTIAL
LEE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the court sua sponte. Pro
se plaintiff La'Dale Harris is incarcerated with the
Wisconsin Department of Corrections. He challenges the
conditions of his prior confinement at the Leake County Jail,
in Carthage, Mississippi. The court has considered and
liberally construed the pleadings. As set forth below,
defendants Transport Officer Duck Doe, Chief of Security Lisa
Doe, and “Sheriff Department of Leake County
Jail” are dismissed. (Compl. at 1).
claims that he was attacked by two State inmates, while he
was housed at the Leake County Jail. According to Harris,
Defendant Officer Adam Wade was supposed to be watching the
security cameras at the time, but he had abandoned his post.
Harris disavows any prior knowledge by Wade that the alleged
attack would take place, but Harris contends that Wade was
negligent and acted in retaliation for a prior lawsuit. As a
result, Harris was allegedly punched and kicked multiple
times and received a laceration above his right eye, a
compression fracture to his back, and injuries to his face,
left hip, and upper left leg.
was subsequently transported to the hospital by defendant
Transport Officer Duck Doe. Harris contends that the doctor
prescribed more inpatient treatment, but defendant Lieutenant
Michael Sistrunk ordered that plaintiff be transported back
to the jail instead. According to Harris, Sistrunk then
placed him in a holding cell with no mattress for three days,
despite the fact that his back was injured. Harris was given
ibuprofen at the jail. It is not clear if he is alleging that
he was not given the pain medicine prescribed by the doctor.
filed this Complaint, invoking 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and
state law. He alleges a denial of medical treatment against
Sistrunk and Duck and asserts a failure to protect,
negligence, and retaliation against Wade. Besides these
defendants, Harris also sues Chief of Security Lisa Doe and
the “Sheriff Department of Leake County Jail.”
Chief Lisa is sued because she allegedly violated Equal
Protection when she would not let Harris press criminal
charges against the two inmates who beat him. Harris has
subsequently moved to dismiss Duck. Harris seeks declaratory
relief and compensatory damages.
Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996, applies to prisoners
proceeding in forma pauperis in this court. The
statute provides in pertinent part, “the court shall
dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . .
. the action . . . (i) is frivolous or malicious; (ii) fails
to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or (iii)
seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from
such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). The
statute “accords judges not only the authority to
dismiss a claim based on an indisputably meritless legal
theory, but also the unusual power to pierce the veil of the
complaint's factual allegations and dismiss those claims
whose factual contentions are clearly baseless.”
Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32 (1992).
“[I]n an action proceeding under [28 U.S.C. §
1915, a federal court] may consider, sua sponte, affirmative
defenses that are apparent from the record even where they
have not been addressed or raised.” Ali v.
Higgs, 892 F.2d 438, 440 (5th Cir. 1990).
“Significantly, the court is authorized to test the
proceeding for frivolousness or maliciousness even before
service of process or before the filing of the answer.”
Id. The court has permitted Harris to proceed in
forma pauperis in this action. His Complaint is subject
to sua sponte dismissal under § 1915.
others, Harris sues Duck, Chief Lisa, and the Sheriff's
Department and Jail.
February 13, 2017, Harris clarified that he is voluntarily
dismissing Officer Duck. This defendant is therefore
dismissed without prejudice.
accuses Chief Lisa of “violat[ing] my equal protection
rights by . . . depriving me of my constitutional right to
commence charges as I[']ve constantly reported to her
that I want to pursue charges. On [sic] the two
inmates.” (Resp. at 2).
to state an equal protection claim, a plaintiff must allege
(1) he was intentionally discriminated against because of his
membership in a protected class, or (2) he was
“intentionally treated differently from others
similarly situated and that there is no rational basis for
the difference in treatment.” Gibson v. Tex.
Dep't of Ins., 700 F.3d 227, 238 (5th Cir. 2012).
Harris does not allege that he was treated differently
because of his ...