United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division
ENRIQUEZ RICARDO SANCHEZ, a/k/a RICARDO ENRIQUEZ SANCHEZ, a/k/a RICARDO SANCHEZ ENRIQUEZ, TDCJ #01745089, Plaintiff,
LORIE DAVIS, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
WERLEIN, JR. UNITED TATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
inmate Enriquez Ricardo Sanchez (TDCJ #01745089) has filed a
complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 regarding the
conditions of his confinement in the Texas Department of
Criminal Justice ("TDCJ") . See Docket
Entry No. 1. In this action, he sues the following employees
or officials at TDCJ: (1) Lorie Davis, Director of the TDCJ
Correctional Institutions Division; (2) Mr. Pittman,
Supervisor at the Huntsville Unit; (3) Ms. James, Law
Librarian; (4) Officer Mayer; (5) Captain Watkens; and (6)
Warden Jones. Id.
proceeds pro se and has filed an application to
proceed in forma pauperis. The Court has conducted
the required screening under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and
concludes that this case must be dismissed as frivolous and
malicious for the reasons that follow.
Prison Litigation Reform Act
complaint in this case is governed by the Prison Litigation
Reform Act ("PLRA") . The PLRA requires that the
district court review a complaint in a civil action in which
a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or
officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). On review, a court must identify cognizable
claims or dismiss the complaint or any portion thereof, if
the court determines that the complaint is frivolous,
malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b); see
also 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). In conducting that
analysis, a prisoner's pro se pleading is
reviewed under a less stringent standard that those drafted
by an attorney and is entitled to a liberal construction that
includes all reasonable inferences which can be drawn from
it. Haines v. Kerner, 92 S.Ct. 594, 596 (1972);
Alexander v. Ware, 714 F.2d 416, 419 (5th Cir.
complaint may be dismissed as frivolous if it lacks any
arguable basis in law or fact. Neitzke v. Williams,
109 S.Ct. 1827, 1831-32 (1989); Talib v. Gillev, 138
F.3d 211, 213 (5th Cir. 1998). "A complaint lacks an
arguable basis in law if it is based on an indisputably
meritless legal theory, such as if the complaint alleges
violation of a legal interest which clearly does not
exist." Harris v. Hegmann, 198 F.3d 153, 156
(5th Cir. 1999) (citing Harper v. Showers, 174 F.3d
716, 718 (5th Cir. 1999) (quoting Davis v. Scott,
157 F.3d 1003, 1005 (5th Cir. 1998)).
review for failure to state a claim is governed by the same
standard used to review a dismissal pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6)
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See Newsome v.
EEOC, 301 F.3d 227, 231 (5th Cir. 2002). Under that
standard, courts must assume that plaintiff's factual
allegations are true, and a dismissal is proper only if it
appears that no relief could be granted under any set of
facts that could be proven consistent with the allegations.
Id. (citations omitted).
Davis, Pittman, and Jones
the third attempt that Plaintiff has made to sue Davis,
Pittman, and Jones for an April 1, 2016 accident where
Plaintiff claims that he fell off a ladder because he has an
injured heel. See Sanchez v. Davis, et al.. Civ. A.
No. 4:16-cv-2688 (S.D. Tex. Sept. 14, 2017) (dismissed with
prejudice on the merits); see also Sanchez v. Davis, et
al., Civ. A. No. 4:16-cv-2356 (S.D. Tex. Sept. 23, 2016)
(dismissed without prejudice for failure to exhaust
administrative remedies). Plaintiff has asserted claims
against Pittman, Davis, and Jones that were brought, or could
have been brought, in Sanchez, Civ. A. No.
H-16-2688, which, as noted, concluded with a final judgment
on the merits. See id. Plaintiff's claims
against Pittman, Davis, and Jones regarding the April 1, 2016
accident are, therefore, barred by claim preclusion, or
res judicata. See Southmark Corp. v. Coopers &
Lybrand (In re Southmark Corp.), 163 F.3d 925, 934 (5th
Cir. 1999) (stating that claim preclusion applies in a second
suit where final judgment on the merits was rendered in a
court of competent jurisdiction in an earlier lawsuit
involving the same parties and same claims).
addition, because Sanchez's allegations duplicate those
made in another action filed in this district, the claims are
subject to dismissal as "malicious" for purposes of
the PLRA. See Pittman v. Moore, 980 F.2d 994, 994
(5th Cir. 1993) (per curiam); see also Wilson v.
Lynaugh, 878 F.2d 846 (5th Cir. 1989) (duplicative
claims may be dismissed sua sponte). Accordingly,
the claims against Pittman, Davis, and Jones will be
dismissed under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) as legally
frivolous and malicious.
Ms. James and Officer Mayer
alleges that Ms. James, the law librarian, and Officer Mayer
interfered with his access to courts. Plaintiff alleges that
Ms. James limited his indigent supplies and postage stamps
and confiscated his legal materials. See Docket
Entry No. 1 at 9-10. Plaintiff also states that, at the time
the materials were confiscated, he explained that he needed
them for another lawsuit, and they allowed him to return to
his dorm with all of his legal material. Id. at 10.
alleges that Mayer told him he did not need all of his legal
papers and told him that he did not need to go to a hearing,
but that if the court needed him that they would contact the
prison and let them know. Id. at 11. Plaintiff
complains that he was allowed to take only one yellow bag of
materials when he went on medical chain. I ...