United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
RONALD L. WILLIAMS, Plaintiff,
TIMBERLAWN HEALTH SERVICES, ET AL., Defendants.
FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
REBECCA RUTHERFORD, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Ronald Williams, a state prisoner, filed a pro se
civil action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court granted
him leave to proceed in forma pauperis but has not
issued process pending judicial screening. Defendants are
Timberlawn Health Services (“Timberlawn”), Nurse
Chaka, and Dr. Cody. For the following reasons, the complaint
should be dismissed.
states that he was a patient at Timberlawn in April 2017. At
that time, he was not a prisoner. He claims Timberlawn failed
to act while its employees ignored safety violations.
Plaintiff claims Nurse Chaka refused to provide him proper
medical care, and excessively dispensed medication to him
without proper authority. He alleges Dr. Cody released him
from Timberlawn when he should have been sent to the hospital
for continued medical care. By his lawsuit, Plaintiff seeks
declaratory relief and money damages.
complaint is subject to preliminary screening under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A. That section provides in pertinent part:
The court shall review . . . as soon as practicable after
docketing, a complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner
seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or
employee of a governmental entity [and] [o]n review, the
court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the
complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint
(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted; or (2) seeks monetary relief
from a defendant who is immune from suit.
28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a) and (b).
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), a district court may also summarily
dismiss a complaint filed in forma pauperis if it
concludes the action is: (1) frivolous or malicious; (2)
fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or (3)
seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from
such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). To state a claim
upon which relief may be granted, a plaintiff must plead
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face[, ]” Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007), and must plead those
facts with enough specificity “to raise a right to
relief above the speculative level . . . .”
Id. at 555. “A claim has facial plausibility
when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the
court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is
liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
obtain relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must
prove two elements: (1) the deprivation of a right secured by
the Constitution and laws of the United States; and (2) the
deprivation of that right by a defendant acting under color
of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48
(1988); Flagg Bros., Inc. v. Brooks, 436 U.S. 149,
155 (1978). The color of law requirement “excludes from
its reach merely private conduct, no matter how
discriminatory or wrongful.” Am. Mfrs. Mut. Ins.
Co. v. Sullivan, 526 U.S. 40, 50 (1999) (internal
quotations omitted). Here, Plaintiff has not claimed that
Defendants are state actors. Instead, Timberlawn appears to
be a private entity. Plaintiff has therefore failed to allege
facts establishing a reasonable inference that Defendants
acted under color of state law. See Iqbal, 556 U.S.
Plaintiff has failed to establish a violation of his
constitutional rights. Plaintiff states he was not a prisoner
at the time he was a patient at Timberlawn. (See ECF
No. 9 at 7.) He therefore had no constitutional right to
medical care. Such a right has only been found where there is
a special custodial or other relationship between the
plaintiff and the state. See Wilson v. Dallas Cnty Hosp.
Dist., 715 Fed.Appx. 319, 323 (5th Cir. 2017) (citing
Kinzie v. Dallas Cnty. Hosp. Dist., 106 Fed.Appx.
192, 194 (5th Cir. 2003) (“[Plaintiff] was not in the
custody of the state, and thus, had no ‘special
relationship' with the state sufficient to establish a
constitutional right to medical care.”). Plaintiffs
claims should therefore be dismissed.
complaint should be summarily dismissed with prejudice
pursuant to 28 ...