United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
H. Miller, Senior United States District Judge.
County pretrial detainee Kareem Roschard Jefferson, a/k/a
Kareem Roshard Jefferson, a/k/a Richard Jefferson, a/k/a
Benjamin Brown, filed this pro se section 1983
lawsuit complaining of violations of his constitutional
rights. He proceeds in forma pauperis and names as
defendants the State of Texas and Harris County.
considered the complaint, matters of public record, and the
applicable law, the Court DISMISSES this lawsuit for the
reasons that follow.
is in pretrial custody of the Harris County Sheriff's
Office awaiting trial on felony charges for the assault of
Alexander Ramos, a public servant. He claims that he was not
brought before a magistrate or given his Miranda warnings. He
further claims he was unaware he had been formally charged or
that bail had been set, and that he was appointed counsel
without his consent. Plaintiff further contends that Harris
County is guilty of negligence in its training and
supervision, and that it encourages a custom of physical,
verbal, and emotional abuse. He does not allege that he
incurred any injury as a result of the negligence or custom.
Plaintiff seeks monetary damages and "wide spread
changes in policy."
prisoner proceeds in forma pauperis in a civil
action, the Court shall evaluate the complaint and dismiss it
without service of process if the Court finds that the
complaint is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief
from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915A, 1915(e)(2)(B).
is frivolous if it has no arguable basis in law or fact.
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319 (1989). A claim
has no arguable basis in law if it is based on an
indisputably meritless legal theory, "such as if the
complaint alleges the violation of a legal interest which
clearly does not exist." Davis v. Scott, 157
F.3d 1003, 1005 (5th Cir. 1998). A claim has no arguable
basis in fact if "after providing the plaintiff the
opportunity to present additional facts when necessary, the
facts alleged are clearly baseless." Talib v.
Gilley, 138 F.3d 211, 213 (5th Cir. 1998).
Barred by Sovereign Immunity
claims for monetary damages against the State of Texas are
barred by sovereign immunity and are DISMISSED WITH
PREJUDICE. See Pennhurst State Sch. & Hosp. v.
Halderman, 465 U.S. 89, 100-01 (1984). Moreover, because
the State of Texas is not liable for any customs promulgated
or practiced by Harris County as to the Harris County Jail,
plaintiff alleges no viable claim under section 1983 against
the State of Texas.
Barred by Heck
claims that he was not "Mirandized." The Court
construes this allegation as raising a claim for violation of
Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 475 (1966). Any
failure of law enforcement authorities to read plaintiff his
Miranda warnings does not raise a viable section
1983 claim at this time. Because plaintiff seeks monetary
damages for alleged wrongful pretrial detention premised on a
Miranda violation, his claim is barred by Heck
v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 486-87 (1994). See, e.g.,
Bickman v. Blair, 2000 WL 1056096, at *1 (5 th Cir.
2000). Plaintiffs claim is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE to being
asserted again until the Heck conditions are met.
Johnson v. McElveen, 101 F.3d 423, 424 (5th Cir.
alleges that he was not brought before a magistrate, was
unaware he had been formally charged or that bail had been
set, and was appointed counsel without his consent. These
allegations of procedural due process violations are refuted
by state ...