United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER OF DISMISSAL
SULEYMAN OZERDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court sua sponte. Pro se Plaintiff
Sammie Henry Pettis is incarcerated with the Mississippi
Department of Corrections (“MDOC”), and he brings
this Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, challenging
the conditions of his confinement. After review of the record
and relevant legal authority, the Court finds that this case
should be dismissed.
Henry Pettis (“Pettis”) filed this case on July
1, 2019. Compl.  at 1. Pettis was previously housed at the
South Mississippi Correctional Institution
(“SMCI”) in Leakesville, Mississippi.
Id. at 2, 4. Defendants are SMCI's
Superintendent Joe Arrington and its Warden Andrew Mills, and
MDOC's Commissioner Pelicia Hall. Generally, Pettis
complains that he was wrongfully placed on lockdown while at
SMCI, id. at 4, and he challenges his living
conditions during this time, Pl.'s Resp.  at 1-2.
alleges that Defendants placed him on lockdown from April 1,
2018, to May 17, 2019, even though he had committed no
disciplinary offense. Compl.  at 4. Pettis contends that
his entire housing unit was being punished for the
infractions of a few inmates. Id. As a result of
being placed on lockdown, Pettis claims he was deprived of
privileges such as visitation and the ability to participate
in various programs and prison jobs. Pl.'s Resp.  at
2-3; Compl.  at 5. Pettis also asserts that, as a
consequence of the disciplinary action, he experienced
unconstitutional conditions of confinement. Pl.'s Resp.
 at 1-2. Pettis claims he was denied outside recreation
and adequate clothing and was exposed to black mold.
initiated this civil action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
claiming violations of his rights to due process, freedom
from cruel and unusual punishment, and his First Amendment
rights to association and speech. Id. at 1, 8;
Compl.  at 2, 5. Pettis seeks a declaratory judgment,
injunctive relief, and compensatory and punitive damages.
Compl.  at 6. Plaintiff is proceeding in forma
pauperis in this case. Order Setting Payment Schedule
 at 1.
not the first time Pettis has brought these same claims in
this Court. Pettis has previously sued Hall, Warden Mills,
and the Superintendent of SMCI for placing him on lockdown
and denying him outdoor exercise in Pettis v. Hall,
civil action number 1:19cv127 (“Pettis
I”); Pettis v. Hall, civil action number
1:19cv354 (“Pettis II”); and Pettis
v. Hall, civil action number 1:19cv355
(“Pettis III”). Pettis v. Hall,
1:19cv354 (S.D.Miss. Sept. 9, 2019); Pettis. v.
Hall, 1:19cv355 (S.D.Miss. Jul. 1, 2019); Pettis v.
Hall, 1:19cv127 (S.D.Miss. Mar. 7, 2019). The denial of
visitation claim also appears in Pettis I and
Pettis III. Pettis III, 1:19cv355
(S.D.Miss. Jul. 1, 2019); Pettis I, 1:19cv127
(S.D.Miss. Mar. 7, 2019). The denial of programs claim was
previously raised in Pettis II and Pettis
III. Pettis III, 1:19cv355 (S.D.Miss. Sept. 9,
2019); Pettis II, 1:19cv354 (S.D.Miss. Jul. 1,
2019). Pettis's claims for denial of clothing and
exposure to black mold appeared in Pettis II and
Pettis v. Hall, civil action number 1:19cv357
(“Pettis IV”). Pettis II,
1:19cv354 (S.D.Miss. Sept. 9, 2019); Pettis v. Hall,
1:19cv357 (S.D.Miss. Jul. 1, 2019).
The Prison Litigation Reform Act
Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996 (“PLRA”), 28
U.S.C. § 1915, applies to prisoners proceeding in
forma pauperis in this Court. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(h).
The PLRA provides in part that “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). This framework
“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)
action proceeding under § 1915, courts may
“evaluate the merit of the claim sua sponte.”
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. So long as the inmate “has already pleaded
his ‘best case'” and his “insufficient
factual allegations [cannot] be remedied by more specific
pleading, ” the Court may dismiss the action sua
sponte. Brewster v. Dretke, 587 F.3d 764, 767-68
(5th Cir. 2009) (quoting Eason v. Thaler, 14 F.3d 8,
9 (5th Cir. 1994)). Because the Court has permitted Pettis to
proceed in forma pauperis, this case is subject to
the provisions allowing for sua sponte dismissal under §
sues Defendants under § 1983 for alleged wrongful
discipline; denial of visitation, prison programs, outdoor
recreation, and clothing; and exposure to black mold. Pettis
presses these identical claims in Pettis I,
II, III, and IV, all of which are
still pending in this Court. A civil action may be dismissed
if it is duplicative of another action pending in the same
court. Oliney v. Gardner, 771 F.2d 856, 859 (5th
Cir. 1985). It is “‘malicious' for a pauper
to file a lawsuit that duplicates allegations of another
pending federal lawsuit by the same plaintiff.”
Pittman v. Moore, 980 F.2d 994, 995 (5th Cir. ...