United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Corpus Christi Division
MEMORANDUM AND RECOMMENDATION TO DENY DIRECTOR
DAVIS'S MOTION TO DISMISS
B. Libby, United States Magistrate Judge.
William Darrell Edwards is an inmate appearing pro
se and in forma pauperis. In this
prisoner civil rights action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, Plaintiff claims that his due process and equal
protections rights were violated when his custody
classification level was lowered to a more restrictive level.
Pending before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss filed by
Defendant Lorie Davis. (D.E. 12). For the reasons stated
herein, it is respectfully recommended that the Court
DENY this motion.
Court has federal question jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1331. This case has been referred to the undersigned
magistrate judge for case management and making
recommendations on dispositive motions pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
is a prisoner at the McConnell Unit of the TDCJ. He is
currently serving several life sentences on four convictions
for aggravated sexual assault of a child and two twenty-year
sentences on convictions for indecency with a child by sexual
contact. These convictions were entered on December 19, 2001,
in Potter County, Texas.
sues the following defendants: (1) TDCJ Director Lorie Davis;
and (2) Joni White, the TDCJ Assistant
Director-Classifications and Records. Plaintiff claims that
his due process and equal protection rights were violated
when the TDCJ applied a new policy to reclassify Plaintiff
from his G2 custody classification level to the more
restrictive G3 classification level. Plaintiff seeks
declaratory and injunctive relief.
Spears hearing was held on August 8, 2018. On
August 21, 2018, the undersigned issued a Memorandum and
Recommendation (M&R), recommending that the Court: (1)
retain Plaintiff's equal protection claim against TDCJ
Director Davis in her official capacity for injunctive and
declaratory relief; and (2) dismiss all remaining claims and
Defendant White for failure to state a claim and/or as
frivolous. (D.E. 8). The undersigned ordered service of
Plaintiff's complaint on Director Davis. (D.E. 10). On
October 5, 2018, Director Davis filed a Motion to Dismiss.
(D.E. 12). Plaintiff subsequently filed his response to
Director Davis's motion. (D.E. 15).
following representations relevant to Plaintiff's equal
protection claim against Director Davis were made either in
Plaintiff's original complaint (D.E. 1) or at the
Spears hearing: In January 2002, Plaintiff entered
into the TDCJ prison system and was subsequently classified
at the G3 custody level in late March 2002.
the G3 custody level, inmates are only allowed to have
certain jobs such as working in the kitchen. In contrast,
inmates with a G2 custody level have more favorable options
with regard to jobs assignments within the prison. G2
prisoners also have the ability to learn a trade. With regard
to housing, G3 inmates are assigned to the main building in a
two-man cell where the cell door is locked during the day.
Inmates classified at the G2 custody level live in
dormitories where the door is not locked, and inmates can
come and go from their cells.
2010, Plaintiff was classified at the G2 custody level and
was subsequently moved into the prison dorms. As a G2 inmate,
Plaintiff was assigned to work in the garment factory. On
September 13, 2016, the Unit Classification Committee (UCC)
applied a new policy, effective September 1, 2016, to
reclassify Plaintiff back to the more restrictive G3 custody
level. The new policy applied to any inmate who has
consecutive sentences where the total amount of time needed
to become parole eligible on the consecutive sentences
exceeds 60 years. The UCC explained to Plaintiff that he was
reclassified due to having received consecutive life
sentences and twenty-year sentences out of Potter County.
testified that other inmates with multiple consecutive life
sentences have remained classified at the G2 custody level.
Plaintiff specifically cited one inmate with multiple
consecutive life sentences who still lives in the dorms.
Plaintiff has filed both informal and formal grievances
challenging his reclassification to the G3 custody level.
attached a set of Step 1 and Step 2 grievances to his
complaint, in which he identified other inmates with similar
consecutive sentences as receiving more favorable treatment
in being returned to G2 status, remaining in the dorms, and
getting their former jobs back. (D.E. 1, pp. 7, 9).
Nevertheless, all of Plaintiff's ...