Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Jefferson v. State

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

October 28, 2019

Kareem Roschard Jefferson, Plaintiff,
v.
State of Texas, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Gray H. Miller, Senior United States District Judge.

         Harris 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.

         Having considered the complaint, matters of public record, and the applicable law, the Court DISMISSES this lawsuit for the reasons that follow.

         Background and Claims

         Plaintiff 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."

         Analysis

         When a 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).

         A claim 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).

         Claims Barred by Sovereign Immunity

         Plaintiff's 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.

         Claims Barred by Heck

         Plaintiff 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. 1996).

         Procedural Due Process

         Plaintiff 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 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.