United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
H. Miller Senior United States District Judge
a pretrial detainee in custody of the Harris County
Sheriff's Office, filed this pro se section 1983
lawsuit naming as defendants Harris County District Attorney
Kim Ogg, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, Texas Governor
Greg Abbott, and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton
(collectively the “Texas Defendants”). (Docket
Entry No. 1, pp. 2-3.) Within his complaint, plaintiff also
mentions Winnebago County (Illinois) and State of Illinois
government officials and employees (collectively the
“Illinois Individuals”), and employees of
Prisoner Transportation Services of America, LLC, also known
as U.S. Corrections, LLC (“PTS”). He does not
expressly list the Illinois Individuals or PTS as named
screened the complaint under sections 1915 and 1915A, the
Court orders this lawsuit DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE for the
reasons explained below.
Plaintiff alleges that the Illinois Individuals unlawfully
“kidnapped” and detained him in Chicago,
Illinois, in October 2018 as a fugitive under a
governor's warrant. He was then transferred to Winnebago
County for six weeks, after which time he was released to PTS
for transport to Houston, Texas. PTS is a private prisoner
transportation company incorporated in the State of Tennessee
and based in Nashville, Tennessee.
alleges that, during the six-day transport to Houston, he was
denied his prescribed medications and had a seizure, and that
his restricted confinement in the transport van caused
“bumps, bruising, abrasions, and chaffing.” He
complains that he had to urinate into a portable container
while in the van, and that accommodations were uncomfortable
and caused numbness. Plaintiff states that upon his arrival
in Houston, he was unlawfully detained under invalid criminal
charges. Plaintiff does not identify any specific judicial
relief being sought in this lawsuit (Docket Entry No. 1, p.
12, section VI), although he makes a general reference to
recovery of monetary damages. Id., p. 11.
remains in pretrial detention in Harris County, Texas,
pending disposition of felony charges for aggravated sexual
assault, aggravated kidnapping, and robbery threats.
plaintiff is a pretrial detainee 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).
he proceeds in forma pauperis, his 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).
Plaintiff alleges that Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker
illegally confined him in Chicago, Illinois; that Illinois
Attorney General Kwame Raoul “kidnapped” him and
returned him to Texas under invalid charges; and that
Winnebago County (Illinois) Sheriff Gary Caruana and Chief
Deputy Mark Karner unlawfully detained him on unlawful
criminal charges. The Court takes judicial notice that
Chicago is in Cook County, and that the primary city located
in Winnebago County is Rockford, Illinois.
42 U.S.C. § 1983 contains no specific venue provision,
venue is determined pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391, the
general venue statute. Under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1391(b),
a civil action may be brought in (1) a judicial district in
which any defendant resides, if all defendants are residents
of the State in which the district is located; or (2) a
judicial district in which a substantial part of the events