United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER OF PARTIAL
STARRETT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court sua sponte. Pro
se Plaintiff James Farrell Gaitanis is a pretrial
detainee at the Forrest County Jail, and he challenges the
conditions of his confinement. The Court has considered and
liberally construed the pleadings. As set forth below,
Defendant Forrest County Jail Medical Department is
is housed at the Forrest County Jail. Defendant Southern
Health Partners is the jail's medical provider, which
employs Defendant Nurses Adam and Grace. Defendant Pine Belt
Mental Health is a mental health provider. Defendant Billy
Bob McGee is the Forrest County Sheriff, and Defendants
Correctional Officers # 71, 60, 66, 38, 56, and 76 and
Sergeant Jones are employed at the jail. Gaitanis also sues
the Forrest County Jail Medical Department. He complains of
alleged denials of medical care and mental health treatment,
racial discrimination, a failure to protect, and retaliation.
February 19, 2019, Gaitanis alleges that he broke his left
ankle at the jail and it took twelve days before the medical
staff would see him. He claims Nurses Adam and Grace would
only give him a few days' worth of Ibuprofen at a time
and would not schedule him to see a doctor. He contends his
ankle is swollen, purple, and his foot is now crooked.
Gaitanis claims that Defendant Pine Belt Mental Health would
not see him or refill his prescribed psychiatric drugs for
100 days. He asserts that he suffered from severe depression,
anxiety and sleeplessness.
the health care providers, Gaitanis complains that the
Sheriff and his employees are also mistreating him. Gaitanis
first claims “this administration is keeping . . . and
throwing away [his] mail” and no one is allowed to
shave. (1st Am. Compl.  at 1). Next, he alleges that
Correctional Officers # 71 and 60 keep his cell light turned
off because of his race. This has also allegedly kept
Gaitanis from reading and following along in his Bible when
the preacher visits him. Gaitanis appears to claim that
Correctional Officer # 66 has denied him food because of his
Gaitanis alleges that since he filed the instant lawsuit,
officers at the jail “have been doing everything in
their power to make things hard” for him. (5th Am.
Compl.  at 1). Gaitanis claims that on May 16, 2019,
while he was locked in his cell, two inmates threw urine and
feces on him for two hours and, even though Correctional
Officers # 38, 66, 56, 76, and Sergeant Jones witnessed this,
they did not intervene. Afterwards, these officers allegedly
refused to allow Gaitanis to shower or to give him cleaning
supplies for his cell.
filed this Complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for denial
of medical and mental health treatment and of the right to
practice his religion, mail censorship, racial
discrimination, retaliation, and failure to protect. He also
sues for “medical negligence” and brings a claim
against Southern Health for vicarious liability. (Compl. at
Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996, applies to prisoners
proceeding in forma pauperis in this Court. The
statute provides in 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 Gaitanis to proceed
in forma pauperis in this action. His Complaint is
subject to sua sponte dismissal under § 1915.
others, Gaitanis sues the Forrest County Jail Medical
Department. This refers to Southern Health, which is already
named separately as a Defendant. Forest County Jail Medical
Department thus is a duplicate reference to the same
Defendant and should be dismissed.
IS THEREFORE ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that, for the
reasons stated above, the Defendant Forrest County Jail
Medical Department should be, and is hereby,
DISMISSED as duplicative. The remainder of
this case shall proceed.