United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
P. ELLISON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
a pretrial detainee proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis, filed this section 1983 lawsuit against Harris
County for alleged violations of his constitutional rights.
screened the complaint as required by section 1915, the Court
dismisses this lawsuit for the reasons explained below.
BACKGROUND AND CLAIMS
is in custody of the Harris County Sheriffs Office awaiting
trial on felony and misdemeanor charges for forgery, possess
ion of child pornography, super aggravated sexual assault of
a child under the age of six, making terroristic threats to
family or household, and online solicitation of a child under
the age of fourteen. At the time of his arrest, plaintiff was
on deferred adjudication supervised release pursuant to a
2017 charge for enticing a child with intent to commit a
complains that he has been denied pretrial bonds in his
felony cases and speedy trials following his arrest in July
2018i. He further complains that he was denied "problem
cause court" after his arrest. He seeks $75, 000.00 in
monetary compensation for these alleged denials of his
plaintiff is a prisoner who proceeds in forma
pauperis, the Court is required to scrutinize the claims
and dismiss his complaint, in whole or in part, if it
determines that the complaint "is frivolous, malicious,
or fail:; to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted" or "seeks monetary relief from a defendant
who is immune from such relief." 28 U.S.C. §
complaint is frivolous when it "lacks an arguable basis
either in law or in fact." Neitzke v. Williams,
490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). A claim lacks an arguable basis in
law when it is "based on an indisputably meritless legal
theory." Id. at 327. A complaint fails to state
a claim upon which relief may be granted when it fails to
plead "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face." Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007); see also Ashcroft
v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009). When reviewing a pro
se plaintiffs complaint, a court must construe the
allegations as liberally as possible. Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519(1972).
Denial of Pretrial Bond
pretrial bond was set in plaintiffs pending misdemeanor case,
but not in his four pending felony cases. Plaintiff
contends that these denials of felony pretrial bonds violated
his constitutional rights under the Eighth Amendment.
Plaintiff limits his request for judicial relief to recovery
of monetary compensation from Harris County, and does not
seek prospective or other non-monetary relief.
argument is misplaced. The Excessive Bail Clause of the
Eighth Amendment provides that "[e]xcessive bail shall
not be required." U.S. CONST., amend. VIII. But the
Eighth Amendment "says nothing about whether bail shall
be available at all." United States v. Salerno,
481 U.S. 739, 752 (1987); see also Butler v. Harris
County Jail, 2019 WL 1438291, at *2 (S.D. Tex. Mar. 29,
2019) (dismissing for failure to state a claim pretrial
detainee's Eighth Amendment claim for denial of felony
pretrial bond). Consequently, plaintiffs allegation that the
state district judges denied him felony pretrial bonds does
not, standing alone, establish an actionable Eighth Amendment
violation for purposes of section 1983. See Carlson v.
London, 342 U.S. 524, 545-46 (1952) ("[The
Excessive Bail Clause] has never been thought to accord a
right to bail in all cases, but merely to provide that bail
shall not be excessive in those cases where it is proper to
factual allegations raise no viable claim for violation of
the Eighth Amendment, and his ...