United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
LAKE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
plaintiff, Bobby Ray Williams (TDCJ #1802766), has filed a
Prisoner's Civil Rights Complaint under 42 U.S.C. §
1983 ("Complaint") (Docket Entry No. 1), concerning
the conditions of his confinement in the Texas Department of
Criminal Justice -Correctional Institutions Division
("TDCJ"). Because Williams is a prisoner who
proceeds in forma pauperis, the court is required to
scrutinize the claims and dismiss the Complaint, in whole or
in part, if it determines that the 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." 28
U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B), 1915A(b). After
considering all of the pleadings, the court concludes that
the Complaint should be dismissed for the reasons explained
is currently incarcerated at the Jester III Unit in
Richmond. He sues Shirley F. Taylor, who is employed
by TDCJ as a correctional officer at the Jester III
claims that on two successive days in February of 2 017
Officer Taylor stopped him in the hall, searched him for
contraband, and patted him on his "backside" while
doing so. She also looked down his
clothing. When Williams objected, Taylor reportedly
laughed. Williams filed a grievance against Taylor,
accusing her of touching him inappropriately for purposes of
harassment and for making fun of him. An investigation determined
that there was no evidence to support his allegations, and
his grievances were denied.
pending Complaint Williams contends that Taylor violated the
Eighth Amendment by patting him down in a humiliating
manner. He seeks monetary damages under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 for the violation of his constitutional
alleges that he suffered mental anguish as a result of being
searched on two occasions by a female correctional officer.
It appears from the pleadings and attached grievances that
the intrusion on Williams' person was minimal and that
the only harm he suffered was embarrassment. Under these
circumstances his Eighth Amendment claims fail as a matter of
law because the Prison Litigation Reform Act, codified at 42
U.S.C. § 1997e(e), bars recovery of monetary damages for
mental anguish absent a showing that the plaintiff suffered a
physical injury while in custody. See Geiger v.
Jowers, 404 F.3d 371, 374 (5th Cir. 2005) (holding that
allegations of "mental anguish, emotional distress,
psychological harm, and insomnia" are barred by §
1997e(e)). Absent an allegation that Williams suffered a
physical injury in connection with the complained of
incident, his claim for compensatory damages lacks an
arguable basis in law and must be dismissed. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e) (2) (B); Geiger, 404 F.3d at 374.
Conclusion and Order
on the foregoing, the court ORDERS that the
Complaint filed by Bobby Ray Williams (Docket Entry No. 1) is
DISMISSED with prejudice as legally
Clerk is directed to provide a copy of this Memorandum
Opinion and Order to the plaintiff. The Clerk will also
provide a copy by regular mail, facsimile transmission, or
e-mail to: (1) the TDCJ - Office of the General Counsel, P.O.
Box 13084, Austin, Texas 78711, Fax Number 512-936-2159; and
(2) the Manager of the Three-Strikes List for the Southern
District of Texas.
Complaint, Docket Entry No. 1, p.