United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
JOSHUA WILLIAM JACKSON (BOP Register No. 54191-177), Plaintiff,
ALLISON M. SCHAEFER, ET AL., Defendants.
FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
L. HORAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
pro se civil rights action has been referred to the
undersigned United States magistrate judge for screening
under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and a standing order of
reference from United States District Judge Sidney A.
Fitzwater. The undersigned enters these findings of fact,
conclusions of law, and recommendation that, for the reasons
stated below, the Court should dismiss this action without
prejudice under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b).
Joshua William Jackson, a federal prisoner, filed this action
against two federal agents, three federal agencies, and the
Wichita Falls Police Department concerning the execution of a
search warrant at his home in April 2016, see Dkt.
No. 3, through which he seeks monetary relief for alleged
property damage and “unnecessary pain and suffering,
” id. The day after this action was filed, the
Court entered a Notice of Deficiency and Order (the
“NOD”) that cautioned Jackson that
[t]he complaint [he] filed ... is not signed as required by
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11(a). Accordingly, Jackson
must file an amended complaint that includes his signature by
March 12, 2018. While resubmitting a signed
version of the original complaint would remedy this
deficiency, the Court WARNS Jackson that, as currently
pleaded, his claims against several defendants are subject to
A plaintiff may not bring a civil action against a servient
political agency or department unless that agency or
department enjoys a separate and distinct legal existence.
See Darby v. Pasadena Police Dep't, 939 F.2d
311, 313-14 (5th Cir. 1991). In Darby, the Fifth
Circuit held that, “unless the true political entity
has taken explicit steps to grant the servient agency with
jural authority, the agency cannot engage in any litigation
except in concert with the government itself.”
Id. at 313. For example, as this Court has
repeatedly recognized, the police departments of Texas
municipalities are not jural entities subject to suit.
See, e.g., Hagwood v. Dallas Police Dep't, No.
3:15-cv-2622-L-BN, 2015 WL 6688721, at *3 (N.D. Tex. Sept.
11, 2015), rec. accepted, 2015 WL 6690045 (N.D. Tex.
Oct. 30, 2015).
“The United States enjoys sovereign immunity from suit,
meaning it cannot be sued without consent.”
Gonzalez v. United States, 851 F.3d 538, 543 (5th
Cir. 2017) (citations omitted). Accordingly, a “[a]
plaintiff may only sue the United States if a federal statute
explicitly provides for a waiver of sovereign
immunity.” In re FEMA Trailer Formaldehyde Prod.
Liab. Litig. (Miss. Plaintiffs), 668 F.3d 281, 287 (5th
Cir. 2012). And the sovereign immunity of the United States
extends to its agencies. See FDIC v. Meyer, 510 U.S.
471, 475 (1994) (“Absent a waiver, sovereign immunity
shields the Federal Government and its agencies from
Further, the Court will not screen Jackson's amended
complaint, should one be filed, until either (1) the full
filing fee ($400.00) is received or (2) he files a proper
motion to proceed in forma pauperis
(“IFP”) and attaches to that motion a
certificate of inmate trust account.
To remedy this deficiency, attached to this order is a form
application to proceed IFP - prisoner. And it is hereby
ORDERED that Jackson must (if he qualifies to proceed IFP)
complete and file an IFP motion no later than March
12, 2018. But if the Court receives the full filing
fee before that time, Jackson may disregard this portion of
the order, and the Court will screen his claims as presented
in a signed, amended complaint.
Failure to file a signed complaint and/or failure to either
pay the filing fee or move to proceed IFP by March
12, 2018 will result in a recommendation that the
complaint be dismissed for failure to prosecute. See
Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b).
Jackson is also CAUTIONED that, as the Prison Litigation
Reform Act (the “PLRA”) applies to this civil
action, under the PLRA, “[a] prisoner proceeding IFP in
the district court is obligated to pay the full filing fee
upon the filing of a complaint. [28 U.S.C.] §
1915(b)(1). No. relief from an order directing payment of the
filing fee should be granted for a voluntary
dismissal.” Hatchet v. Nettles, 201 F.3d 651,
654 (5th Cir. 2000) (per curiam) (citing Williams v.
Roberts, 116 F.3d 1126, 1128 (5th Cir. 1997); McGore
v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 607 (6th Cir. 1997));
see, e.g., Bays v. United States, No.
3:15-cv-1824-B-BN, 2015 WL 4930913 (N.D. Tex. Aug. 18, 2015).
Dkt. No. 4.
now more than one month past the deadline for Jackson to
respond to the NOD - and it is more than two months since he
filed this action - and Jackson has yet to comply with the
Court's order or otherwise contact the Court.