United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
H. MILLER SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
an inmate in custody of Harris County, Texas, filed this
pro se section 1983 lawsuit. He impliedly seeks
leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
screened the lawsuit as required by sections 1915 and 1915A,
the Court DISMISSES this lawsuit without prejudice for
failure to state a viable claim for relief under section
states that he is a resident at a Harris County Dual
Diagnosis Residential Program (DDRP) in Atascocita, Texas.
DDRP is a residential substance abuse treatment facility for
state inmates. He complains that on June 9, 2019, while at
the DDRP facility, a female officer he identifies as
defendant Officer T.J. purportedly told a group of black
facility residents that he had called her “the
n-word.” One of the black residents, defendant Eddie
Ball, spit on plaintiff and attempted to incite a fight.
Other facility officers, however, interceded and prevented a
fight. As injuries from the incident, plaintiff complains
that Ball spit on him and that plaintiff now “walks
around in fear for his life.”
names as defendants Officer T.J., Eddie Ball, and the Dual
Diagnosis Residential Program. He seeks $2.5 million in
damages from Officer T.J. for her failure to protect him from
Ball's assault and from Eddie Ball for the actual
assault. He pleads no facts giving rise to a claim against
1915 and 1915A
plaintiff is a prisoner seeking redress from an officer or
employee of a governmental entity, his complaint is subject
to preliminary screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
See Martin v. Scott, 156 F.3d 578, 579-80 (5th Cir.
1998) (per curiam). Because he is impliedly proceeding in
forma pauperis, plaintiff's complaint is also
subject to screening under section 1915(e)(2). Both sections
1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A(b) provide for sua sponte
dismissal of the complaint, or any portion thereof, if the
Court finds that it is frivolous or malicious, if it fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or if it
seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from
section 1915(e)(2)(B)(i), the Court may dismiss an in
forma pauperis complaint as frivolous when it lacks an
arguable basis in law or fact. Hutchins v.
McDaniels, 512 F.3d 193, 195 (5th Cir. 2007). A
complaint lacks an arguable basis in law if it is based on an
indisputably meritless legal theory. Davis v. Scott,
157 F.3d 1003, 1005 (5th Cir. 1998).
Dual Diagnosis Residential Program is a residential substance
abuse and rehabilitation program providing treatment services
for qualifying individuals referred to the program. In
plaintiff's case, Harris County public online court
records show that he was referred to the program as a
condition of his current community supervision through the
Harris County Community Supervision and Corrections
Department. State v. Steinocher, case number 1562465
in the 184th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas.
DDRP is a rehabilitation program operated by county, state,
or private agencies and is not a separate legal entity that
can be sued. Plaintiff's claims against the DDRP must be
complains that Officer T.J. caused and failed to protect him
from the assault by fellow resident Eddie Ball. Plaintiff
states that Ball assaulted him by spitting on him, using
profanity, and threatening him. Ball attempted to start a
physical altercation, but other officers stepped in and
prevented any further disruption. Plaintiff states that he