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Brady v. Ogg

United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division

July 15, 2019

Demond Terrell Brady, Plaintiff,
v.
Kim Ogg, ET AL., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Gray H. Miller Senior United States District Judge

         Plaintiff, 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 defendants. Id.

         Having screened the complaint under sections 1915 and 1915A, the Court orders this lawsuit DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE for the reasons explained below.

         Background and Claims

          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.

         Plaintiff 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.

         Plaintiff remains in pretrial detention in Harris County, Texas, pending disposition of felony charges for aggravated sexual assault, aggravated kidnapping, and robbery threats.

         Legal Standards

         Because 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).

         Because 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 such relief.

         Under 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).

         Illinois Individuals

          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.

         Because 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 or ...


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