Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Aguero v. Transportation Officers

United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division

May 8, 2018

ANTHONY AGUERO, Plaintiff,
v.
TRANSPORTATION OFFICERS, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          KEITH P. ELLISON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Anthony Aguero, federal inmate #46232-177, filed an amended pro se complaint under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). (Docket Entry No. 7.) He names as defendant Gary Blankinship in his capacity as U.S. Marshall for the Southern District of Texas.

         Having considered the complaint, matters of record, and the applicable law, the Court DISMISSES this lawsuit for the reasons that follow.

         I. Background and Claims

         Plaintiff states that on February 13, 2017, he was transferred from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice ("TDCJ") in Huntsville, Texas, to the GEO detention center in Conroe, Texas, in order to commence serving his federal sentence.[1] The transfer was effectuated by four GEO officers. Plaintiff alleges that the transfer was ordered by the U.S. Marshal's Service in Houston, Texas ("USMS"), which is headed by defendant Gary Blankinship. According to plaintiff, this meant that the GEO officers were acting under color of federal law.

         Plaintiff complains that, during the transfer, the GEO officers shackled and cuffed him and walked with him down a ramp. He argues that the GEO officers failed to comply with TDCJ regulations requiring restrained inmates to be escorted by two officers holding the inmate's arms. Plaintiffs arms were not held and he fell on the ramp. He was placed on the GEO transport bus and transferred to the federal GEO facility in Conroe, where he was examined by medical staff. Later that day, he was restrained and escorted to a mental health evaluation by two officers who held his arms. At the end of the evaluation, he rose from his chair but his leg chain became tangled on the chair and he fell, hitting his head on the cinder block wall. At an undisclosed later date, plaintiff was transported to his current facility, USP McCreary in Kentucky. Plaintiff states that at all times after his first fall, officers escorted him by holding his arms.

         Plaintiff sues Gary Blankinship for monetary damages in his official capacity as "head" of the USMS in Houston. He claims that the GEO officers were acting under Blankinship's orders and under color of federal law.

         II. Analysis

         A. U.S. Marshal's Service

         Plaintiff sues Gary Blankinship in his official capacity as head of the USMS in Houston.[2] Suits against government officers in their official capacities are considered to be suits against the government itself. Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. 159 (1985). Consequently, plaintiff has sued the USMS. The USMS, however, is immune from suit.

         "Absent a waiver, sovereign immunity shields the Federal Government and its agencies from suit." FDIC v. Meyer, 510 U.S. 471 (1994). Sovereign immunity is jurisdictional in nature, id., and waiver of traditional sovereign immunity cannot be implied but must be unequivocally expressed. United States v. Testan, 424 U.S. 392 (1976). Plaintiff has not alleged, and the Court is not aware, that the USMS has waived its sovereign immunity via any statute or through any other means. Consequently, plaintiffs claims against the USMS for monetary compensation are barred by sovereign immunity.

         Alternatively, even if the USMS were not protected by sovereign immunity, a Bivens action may not be brought against a federal agency. Meyer, 510 U.S. at 486; see also Correctional Servs. Corp. v. Malesko, 534 U.S. 61, 66 (2001).

         Plaintiffs claims against the USMS are barred by sovereign immunity and ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.