United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
GLENN W. GUILLORY, JR. TDCJ No. 791980, Petitioner,
JEFFREY T. EASTER, Sedgwick County Kansas Sheriff, ET AL., Respondents.
FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
L. HORAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Glenn W. Guillory, Jr., a Texas prisoner, moves for a writ of
mandamus under 28 U.S.C. § 1361 to compel state
officials in Kansas and Texas to comply with the Interstate
Agreement on Detainers Act. See Dkt. No. 3. This
resulting action has been referred to the undersigned United
States magistrate judge for pretrial management under 28
U.S.C. § 636(b) and a standing order of reference from
Senior United States District Judge Sam R. Cummings. The
undersigned enters these findings of fact, conclusions of
law, and recommendation that, for the reasons stated below,
the Court should summarily dismiss this action with
Standards and Analysis
district court is required to screen a civil action brought
by a prisoner - whether he is incarcerated or instead
detained prior to trial - seeking relief from a governmental
entity or employee. See 28 U.S.C. §§
1915A(a), (c). On initial screening, the Court must identify
cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of
the complaint, that:
(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
Id. § 1915A(b).
here, an action is frivolous if it lacks an arguable basis in
either law or fact. See Neitzke v. Williams, 490
U.S. 319, 325 (1989); see also Brewster v. Dretke,
587 F.3d 764, 767 (5th Cir. 2009) (“A claim may be
dismissed as frivolous if it does not have an arguable basis
in fact or law.”). And a complaint is without an
arguable basis in law if it is grounded upon an untenable,
discredited, or indisputably meritless legal theory,
including alleged violations of a legal interest that clearly
does not exist. See Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 326-27;
Berry v. Brady, 192 F.3d 504, 507 (5th Cir. 1999).
federal mandamus statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1361, provides
“district courts [with] original jurisdiction of any
action in the nature of mandamus to compel an officer or
agency of the United States or any agency thereof to perform
a duty owed to the plaintiff.” Id.
Although the federal writ of mandamus technically has been
abolished, the court has the power to compel a federal
officer to perform a duty under 28 U.S.C. § 1361.
Arnold v. Blast Intermediate Unit 17, 843 F.2d 122,
125 n.4 (3d Cir. 1988). Statutory mandamus, like its
common-law predecessor, is “intended to provide a
remedy for a plaintiff only if he has exhausted all other
avenues of relief and only if the defendant owes him a clear
nondiscretionary duty.” Heckler v. Ringer, 466
U.S. 602, 616 (1984).
Brown v. Beard, No. 4:CV-09-0136, 2009 WL 498630, at
*2 (M.D. Penn. Feb. 25, 2009).
clear, however, that this Court may not use the federal
mandamus statute in the manner that Guillory requests - to
compel state officials to act - because “[f]ederal
courts lack the general power to issue writs of mandamus to
direct state courts and their judicial officers in the
performance of their duties.” Moore v. 204th Dist.
Ct., No. 3:08-cv-2281-D, 2009 WL 3150983, at *3 (N.D.
Tex. Sept. 29, 2009) (citing Moye v. Clerk, Dekalb Cnty.
Sup. Ct., 474 F.2d 1275, 1276 (5th Cir. 1973)); see
also, e.g., George v. Harson, Civ. A. No. 07-1270, 2007
WL 4896419, at *2 (W.D. La. Oct. 17, 2007) (“[T]o the
extent that plaintiff seeks to invoke the mandamus
jurisdiction of this court, such a claim is likewise subject
to dismissal as frivolous.... Judge Duplantier, District
Attorney Harson, Assistant District Attorney Edwards and
Public Defender Thibodeaux are not officers or employees of
the United States. Plaintiff is clearly not entitled to
where a state prisoner requests that a federal court order
state officials to act in a certain manner, the federal
action is properly dismissed as frivolous. See Santee v.
Quinlan, 115 F.3d 355, 356 (5th Cir. 1997) (per curiam).