United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Texarkana Division
W. SCHROEDER III UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Plaintiff Brian Williams, an inmate of the Texas Department
of Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutions Division
proceeding pro se, filed this civil rights lawsuit
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 complaining of alleged violations
of his constitutional rights. This Court referred the case to
the United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1) and (3) and the Amended Order for the
Adoption of Local Rules for the Assignment of Duties to
United States Magistrate Judges. The named Defendants are
TDCJ-CID Captain Bobby Bergt and Officer Amanda Jordan.
The Plaintiff's Complaint
narrative section of Plaintiff's amended complaint reads
On April 21, 2016, Officer K. Coatney stated to Plaintiff
that they give you N----s these good jobs, causing plaintiff
an [sic] manic episode as a psychiatric outpatient being
treated for PTSD. On April 22, 2016, Plaintiff alerted
counsel substitute defendant Jordan that he was being treated
for PTSD as a psychiatric outpatient.
On April 26, 2016, Plaintiff alerted hearing officer
defendant Bergt that policy states he needed input from
mental health before holding the hearing, due to plaintiff
being a psychiatric outpatient. Defendant Bergt excluded
plaintiff from the benefit of input from the psychologist,
the service for which TDCJ is responsible, for offenders with
mental illness/disabilities. These discriminating actions has
[sic] caused Plaintiff injury to his ADA rights.
these alleged violations, Plaintiff seeks compensatory
damages in the amount of $150, 000 and attorney's fees.
The Report of the Magistrate Judge
a review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A,
the Magistrate Judge entered a Report and Recommendation
(Docket No. 12). The Magistrate Judge recommended dismissing
the lawsuit because Plaintiff's disciplinary hearing was
also the subject of a federal habeas corpus petition.
Williams v. Director, TDCJ-CID, No. 5:16-cv-95, ECF
No. 1 (E.D. Tex. July 11, 2016) (petition for writ of habeas
corpus). That petition was dismissed because the punishments
imposed in the disciplinary case did not implicate any
constitutionally protected liberty interests. Id.,
ECF No. 8 (Apr. 12, 2017) (order adopting Magistrate
Judge's report and recommendation). Thus, the Magistrate
Judge determined Plaintiff's challenge to the
disciplinary case was foreclosed by Sandin v.
Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 484 (1995).
Magistrate Judge also addressed Plaintiff's complaint to
the extent it raised a claim under the Americans with
Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Citing Gutierrez
Martinez v. Ross-Taylor, 67 Fed.Appx. 243 (5th Cir.
2003), the Magistrate Judge concluded Plaintiff's claims
were a challenge to the disciplinary conviction, and thus,
these claims lacked merit absent a showing the conviction had
been overturned or otherwise declared invalid.
this conclusion, the Magistrate Judge considered
Plaintiff's ADA claims assuming these claims could be
separated from Plaintiff's challenge to his disciplinary
case. The Magistrate Judge concluded that Plaintiff's
post-traumatic stress disorder does not show he is
“disabled” within the meaning of the ADA.
Furthermore, the Magistrate Judge observed Plaintiff did not
allege or show his alleged post-traumatic stress disorder
substantially limited one or more of his major life
activities, nor did Plaintiff show that Defendants regarded
him as disabled.
Magistrate Judge also concluded that Plaintiff's
allegation-that Defendants “excluded [P]laintiff from
the benefit of input from the psychologist”-did not
allege or show he suffered discrimination because of
his disability or that any such discrimination was
intentional. Thus, the Magistrate Judge found Plaintiff's
allegations are insufficient to state a claim under the ADA.
the Magistrate Judge determined that Plaintiff's
allegation that Captain Bergt violated prison policy also
failed to state a claim. The Magistrate Judge determined that
the denial of Plaintiff's habeas petition challenging the
hearing shows he was not denied due process in connection
with this same hearing. The Magistrate Judge therefore
recommended Plaintiff's lawsuit be dismissed for failure
to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.