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Salazar v. Johnson

United States District Court, W.D. Texas, San Antonio Division

May 14, 2019

CARLOS SALAZAR, JR., SID # 812832, Plaintiff,
v.
MR. JOHNSON, ET AL., Defendants.

          SHOW CAUSE ORDER

          ELIZABETH S. ("BETSY") CHESTNEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Before the Court is the Civil Rights Complaint [#1] filed by the plaintiff, Carlos Salazar, Jr. (“Plaintiff”), pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff is ordered to file an amended complaint clarifying his allegations and, to the extent possible, curing the Complaint's legal deficiencies, which are described below.

         I. Legal Standard

         According to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), this Court is required to screen any civil complaint in which a prisoner seeks relief against a government entity, officer, or employee and dismiss the complaint if the court determines it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted. See also 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) (directing court to dismiss case filed in forma pauperis at any time if it is determined that the action is (i) frivolous or malicious or (ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted).

         An action is frivolous where there is no arguable legal or factual basis for the claim. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). “A complaint lacks an arguable basis in law if it is based on an indisputably meritless legal theory, such as if the complaint alleges violation of a legal interest which clearly does not exist.” Harper v. Showers, 174 F.3d 716, 718 (5th Cir. 1999) (internal quotation and citation omitted). A complaint is factually frivolous when “the facts alleged are ‘fantastic or delusional scenarios' or the legal theory upon which a complaint relies is ‘indisputably meritless.'” Eason v. Thaler, 14 F.3d 8, n.5 (5th Cir. 1994) (quoting Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327-28).

         In evaluating whether a complaint states a claim under § 1915A(b)(1) and § 1915(e)(2)(B), this Court applies the same standards governing dismissals pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6). See DeMoss v. Crain, 636 F.3d 145, 152 (5th Cir. 2011). To avoid dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6), “a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, ‘to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56, 570 (2007)). These factual allegations need not be detailed but “must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. A conclusory complaint-one that fails to state material facts or merely recites the elements of a cause of action-may be dismissed for failure to state a claim. See Id. at 555-56.

         II. Deficiencies in Plaintiff's Complaint

         Plaintiff's § 1983 Complaint alleges:

• During the 2000-01 school year, Plaintiff was assaulted by an art teacher while Plaintiff was a student at the San Antonio Independent School District Harris Middle School.
• In 2004, when Plaintiff was 16 years old, he was arrested in San Antonio for domestic violence, and while in custody he was sexually assaulted.
• In September 2015 through May 2016 he was in custody at the Shelby County Jail in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was sexually assaulted by Mr. Johnson, a corrections officer.

         Plaintiff purports to sue Mr. Johnson, the City of San Antonio, Bexar County Jail, and the San Antonio Police Department seeking damages.

         As explained above, § 1915(e)(2)(B) mandates sua sponte dismissal of an in forma pauperis complaint if the Court finds that the complaint “is frivolous” or that it “fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted.” 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(i), (ii). As currently plead, Plaintiff's Complaint is subject to sua sponte dismissal for at least two reasons:

         A. Plaintiff's claims are time-barred by the two-year statute of limitations ...


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