United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Abilene Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
SCOTT FROST UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
sues Jones County Jail ("the Jail") and various
staff members for events that occurred between May and June
2015. Plaintiff has filed a Consent to Proceed Before a
United States Magistrate Judge. See Doc. 8. After
reviewing the law and complaint, as amended by Plaintiffs
Answers to Magistrate Judge's Questionnaire
("MJQ"),  the Court finds that Plaintiff has stated
no claim that survives summary dismissal.
February 2016, Plaintiff filed a one page complaint suing
Jones County Jail for unspecified civil rights violations and
unconstitutional conditions based upon the Jail placing him
in a top bunk, a fall from the bunk resulting in an arm
injury, and a failure to provide medical attention.
See Compl. (doc. 1). At the request of the
undersigned, Plaintiff answered questions intended to flesh
out the factual and legal bases for his claims. See
Answers to MJQ (doc. 9). Because the Jail appears to be a
non-jural entity that is not subject to suit, Plaintiff
listed the following new defendants: Deputy Jailer Eric
Lozano, Sheriff Moor, Deputy Stewart, and unidentified
nursing staff. See Answer to Question 1 of MJQ.
Although the question asked Plaintiff to provide an address
for each listed new defendant and to provide all facts
supporting a claim against any listed defendant, Plaintiff
simply listed the new defendants without further elaboration.
Jail housed Plaintiff between August 2014 through June 2015,
when he was released after serving out his
tickets. See Answer to Question 4 of MJQ.
The events leading to this litigation occurred between May 1
and June 16, 2015. See Answer to Question 3 of MJQ.
When asked what medical treatment he received related to the
events of his complaint, Plaintiff said that (1) he "was
taken to the nurse's office" after his fall; (2)
deputies documented the fall and told him that the nurse
would see him in the morning; and (3) the nurse did not see
him "until the next week" and, even then, she said
he "was fine." See Answer to Question 5 of
alleges that his fall caused "lots of back, leg, arm
pain that has made [his] already bad condition worse."
See Answer to Question 6 of MJQ. He
"believe[s]" that medical care "would have
helped" so that he could have explained to a doctor that
he was disabled and should not be put on a top bunk.
See Answer to Question 7 of MJQ. Despite his fall,
the Jail still assigned him a top bunk, but "luckily an
inmate gave [him] his bottom bunk." See Id. He
also states that he "could have been diagnosed by the
proper medical help." Id.
his answers to the MJQ, Plaintiff provides nine pages of
medical records, a DVD-R, and five CDs from the Radiology
Department of Hendrick Medical Center (an undated one and
others dated July 14, 2015; July 15, 2015; August 11, 2016;
September 22, 2016). Although Plaintiff does not refer to the
medical records in his MJQ answers, the Court has reviewed
them to see whether they facially support his claims. From
the submissions, the Court reasonably infers that Plaintiff
began seeking medical care about a month after his release in
mid-June 2015. The covers of the CDs indicate radiology
visits in July 2015, August 2016, and September 2016. The
attached medical records show that Plaintiff had a prior
"crush injury to the right arm that he suffered in
2008" which has required multiple surgeries and a July
2012 x-ray of a fractured arm. Records of Daniel L. Munton,
M.D., show that Plaintiff was a new patient on September 17,
2015. In July 2016, Plaintiff received treatment from the
West Texas Back Clinic.
from Steven W. Brown, M.D. reflect treatment in August and
October 2016. More specifically, they show that Plaintiff
received treatment in 2016 for thoracic spine pain resulting
from a May 2015 fall from a bunk bed, including (a) an x-ray
of thoracic spine on July 20, 2016, showing possible
compression deformity with loss of disc height; (b) an August
10, 2016 MRI of the thoracic spine that shows no fracture,
stenosis, or neural foraminal narrowing, but shows
"relatively healthy" discs with "what appears
to be a syrinx in multiple locations." Dr. Brown noted
that Plaintiffs thoracic spine looks very healthy
structurally and he doubted that Plaintiff would benefit from
any neurosurgical intervention. He recommended further
evaluation of the syrinx. A September 2016 MRI of the
thoracic spine shows some degenerative changes but no
abnormal enhancement or need for surgical intervention. Dr.
Brown recom- mended that Plaintiff return to Dr. Munton
"for further nonoperative treatment of his spine
pain." Per his answers to the Court's questionnaire,
Plaintiff asserts three claims: (1) a violation of the
Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") for the
assignment to the top bunk, (2) a civil rights violation
based upon denial of proper medical treatment, and (3)
negligence for putting him on the top bunk. See
Answers to Questions 8 and 9 of MJQ. He seeks monetary
damages for his claims. See Compl. at 1.
Court has permitted Plaintiff to proceed in forma
pauperis in this action. His complaint is therefore
subject to screening under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
That statute provides for sua sponte dismissal of
the 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.
complaint is frivolous when it "lacks an arguable basis
either in law or in fact." Neitzke v. Williams,
490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). A claim lacks an arguable basis in
law when it is "based on an indisputably meritless legal
theory." Id. at 327. A claim "lacks an
arguable basis in fact if, after providing the plaintiff the
opportunity to present additional facts when necessary, the
facts alleged are clearly baseless." Rogers v.
Boatright, 709 F.3d 403, 407(5thCir. 2013) (quoting
Berry v. Brady, 192 F.3d 504, 507 (5th Cir. 1999)).
complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted when it fails to plead "enough facts to state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face."
BellAtl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).
A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged. The plausibility standard is not akin to a
"probability requirement, " but it asks for more
than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted
unlawfully. Where a complaint pleads facts that are
"merely consistent with" a defendant's
liability, it "stops short of the line between
possibility and plausibility of 'entitlement to
Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)
(citations omitted). To avoid dismissal for failure to state
a claim, plaintiffs must allege facts sufficient to
"raise the right to relief above the speculative
level." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Mere
"labels and conclusions" nor "a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action" suffice