United States District Court, W.D. Texas, Austin Division
ROY EDWARD ATES, JR. #58507
SHERIFF THOMAS NORSWORTHY, et al.
THE HONORABLE SAM SPARKS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE
W. AUSTIN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Magistrate Judge submits this Report and Recommendation to
the District Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and
Rule 1(f) of Appendix C of the Local Court Rules of the
United States District Court for the Western District of
Texas. Plaintiff is pro se and was granted leave to proceed
in forma pauperis. Before the Court are
Plaintiff's Complaint (Docket Entry “DE” 1)
and more definite statement (DE 7).
OF THE CASE
Edward Ates brings this section 1983 complaint based on
events occurring during his pretrial detention in the
Burleson County Jail. Named as Defendants are Burleson County
Sheriff Thomas Norsworthy; Cathy Hutchenson, Jail Nurse; Dr.
Stuart Yoffe, the medical doctor for the Burleson County
Jail; Sam Davee, Jail Administrator; and retired Burleson
County Sheriff Dale Stroud. Ates does not state whether he
sues each defendant in their official or individual capacity.
Ates alleges Defendants instructed and allowed uncertified
jail staff to distribute prescribed medication to inmates,
and that “on several occasions” he was given the
wrong medication. Ates also asserts that from January 8,
2017, through April 25, 2017, he was forced to spend his
recreation time in shackles and handcuffs. (DE 1 at
Ates seeks injunctive relief, specifically, “[a]
complete overhaul of the Burleson County Jail medical
procedures.” (DE 1 at 4). Ates also seeks $200, 000 in
relief from each Defendant. Id.
was ordered to file a more definite statement. (DE 6). In his
more definite statement he avers Defendant Stroud and
Defendant Norsworthy “allowed uncertified jail staff to
continue to pass out both prescription and non-prescription
meds” and that “on several occasions [he] refused
the meds, because they were not [his] correct meds.”
(DE 7 at 1). Ates alleges Defendant Hutchinson “being
the only nurse working for Burleson County that is licensed
to pass out meds” “would then give consent for
Jailers who were not certified to pass out medications in her
absence.” Id. Defendant Yoffe “would
write med prescriptions to me and would not follow up on how
meds were working with me, not giving me proper medical
attention never following up on me, knew that medications
were being passed by uncertified jails and did
nothing.” Defendant Davee was “ordering non
certified staff to pass prescription and non prescription
meds.” (DE 7 at 2).
contends he was denied his constitutional rights “each
and every time I was not giv[en] my correct meds. . .
.” (DE 7 at 3). Ates asserts that because uncertified
individuals were distributing medication and “on
occasion” distributed the wrong medication, he did not
get the correct medication for his severe anxiety, and would
become anxious. (DE 7 at 5). Ates further asserts that, as a
result of being shackled during his recreation time, his
exercise was restricted and he has scars on his ankles. (DE 7
at 5-6). Ates alleges he was shackled during his non-contact
visitation with his fiancee, who suffered mental anguish as a
consequence. (DE 7 at 5).
Review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A
claims must be screened pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
Under § 1915A, if a complaint is frivolous, malicious,
or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted or
seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
such relief, the Court must dismiss the complaint, or any
portion of the complaint. Martin v. Scott, 156 F.3d
578 (5th Cir. 1998). When reviewing the complaint under
§ 1915A, a court must construe the allegations
liberally. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972).
However, a plaintiff's pro se status does not offer him
“an impenetrable shield, for one acting pro se has no
license to harass others, clog the judicial machinery with
meritless litigation and abuse already overloaded court
dockets.” Farguson v. MBank Houston, N.A., 808
F.2d 358, 359 (5th Cir. 1986).
Distribution of medications
implies that allowing non-certified jail employees to
distribute prescription medication is against jail policy.
This, however, is a far cry from showing that any such
practice violates Ates' constitutional rights.
by pretrial detainees are analyzed under the Due Process
Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Alderson v. Concordia
Parrish Corr. Facility, 848 F.3d 415, 419 (5th Cir.
2017). Like a convicted person, a detainee must be provided
basic medical treatment by those who are responsible for his
custody. Brown v. Callahan, 623 F.3d 249, 253 (5th
Cir. 2010), citing Hare v. City of Corinth, Miss.,
74 F.3d 633, 650 (5th Cir. 1996). To succeed in a § 1983
action based on “episodic acts or omissions” in
violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, a pretrial detainee
must show subjective deliberate indifference by the
defendants-that the defendant knew of and disregarded a
substantial risk of serious harm. Alderson, 848 F.3d
at 420; Domino v. Texas Dep't of Criminal
Justice, 239 F.3d 752, 755 (5th Cir. 2001).