United States District Court, W.D. Texas, San Antonio Division
ROBERT M. CASILLAS, SID # 764027, Plaintiff,
SHERIFF JAVIER SALAZAR, ET AL., Defendants.
SHOW CAUSE ORDER
ELIZABETH S. ("BETSY") CHESTNEY UNITED STATES
the Court is the Civil Rights Complaint [#1] filed by the
plaintiff, Robert M. Casillas (“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.
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).
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).
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
Deficiencies in Plaintiff's Complaint
§ 1983 Complaint, Plaintiff alleges he is held in BCADC
“against [his] free will . . . without being duly
convicted of a crime, ” subject to excessive bond, and
without due process, resulting in “slave[ry]” and
“involuntary servitude” in violation of his
Fifth, Sixth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
Plaintiff purports to sue Sheriff Javier Salazar, BCADC, and
the State of Texas seeking damages and his immediate release.
Plaintiff attaches to his Complaint a list of thirty
detainees who he alleges wish to join in this lawsuit.
public record shows Plaintiff is in the custody of the BCADC,
and was indicted August 10, 2017 for possession with intent
to deliver controlled substances in Nos. 2017CR8849 and
2017CR8850 in the Texas 399th Judicial District
Court. In that case, Plaintiff is represented by Karl Anthony
explained above, an IFP plaintiff's complaint is
considered frivolous and is subject to dismissal if it fails
to state a claim on which relief can be granted. In this
case, Plaintiff's claims currently have the following
Plaintiff's claims regarding involuntary servitude are
vague and conclusory.
allegations fail to allege any facts (who, what, where, when)
that would support his claim he is being unlawfully held or
prosecuted, or subject to “slavery” or
“involuntary servitude, ” or subject to excessive
bond. A recitation of legal conclusions is not sufficient to
state a claim. See Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.
Plaintiff fails to allege facts that would support a claim
for illegal arrest or false imprisonment.
‘a grand jury indictment . . . itself establishes
probable cause'” for arrest and prosecution.
Basarge v. Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, 796 F.3d
435, 442 (5th Cir. 2015). The public record shows
Plaintiff was indicted in Nos. 2017CR8849 and 2017CR8850, and
his indictment establishes there was probable cause for his
arrest and prosecution, and thus there is no basis for a
wrongful prosecution claim. See Smith v. Gonzalez,
670 F.2d 522, 525-27 (5th Cir.) (plaintiff's
indictment was inconsistent with and precluded
plaintiff's false arrest claim warranting dismissal),