United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Corpus Christi Division
S. MORALES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Jarvis Dugas is a Texas inmate appearing pro se and
in forma pauperis. He filed this prisoner civil
rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiffs
case is subject to screening pursuant to the Prison
Litigation Reform Act. See 42 U.S.C. §
1997e(c); 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2), 1915A.
purposes of screening and the reasons set forth below, the
Court dismisses Plaintiffs complaint with prejudice as
frivolous and/or for failure to state a claim for relief
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and
1915A(b)(1). The dismissal of this case shall count as a
"strike" for purposes of 28 U.S.C. §
Court has federal question jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
who is currently housed at the Jester IV Unit in Richmond,
Texas, sues the following defendants in his complaint: (1)
the United States of America; (2) the State of Texas; (3) The
Judicial System for Texas; (4) the Southern District of Texas
Court House; (5) Ken Paxton, Attorney General of the State of
Texas; (5) Magistrate Judge B. Janice Ellington; (6) Erick
Echavarry; (7) Donna Pfannstiel; and (8) David J. Bradley,
Clerk of Court for the Southern District of Texas. Plaintiffs
allegations arise in connection with his dissatisfaction over
Magistrate Judge Ellington's rulings and recommendations
issued in two prior civil rights cases filed by him,
Dugas v. Quintero, 2:17-CV-48 and Dugas v.
alleges that Judge Ellington's decisions in No.
2:17-CV-48 were erroneous and deprived him of a fair trial.
He specifically challenges the decision to grant summary
judgment in favor of Pfannstiel and Echavarry, two defendants
sued in No. 2:17-CV-48. With regard to No. 2:19-CV-16,
Plaintiff disagrees with Judge Ellington's rejection of
his claims at the screening stage. Plaintiff seeks injunctive
and monetary relief.
prisoner seeks to proceed in forma pauperis the
Court shall evaluate the complaint and dismiss it without
service of process if the Court finds the complaint
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. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) (providing
that a court shall review an in forma pauperis
complaint as soon as practicable and dismiss it if it is
frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from an
immune defendant). 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) (citation omitted). 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)
analyzing the complaint, [the Court] will accept all
well-pleaded facts as true, viewing them in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff." Jones v.
Greninger, 188 F.3d 322, 324 (5th Cir. 1999) (citation
omitted). "The issue is not whether the plaintiff will
ultimately prevail, but whether he is entitled to offer
evidence to support his claim. Thus, the Court should not
dismiss the claim unless the plaintiff would not be entitled
to relief under any set of facts or any possible theory that
he could prove consistent with the allegations in the
complaint." Id. (citations omitted).
"Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009). (citation omitted). A plaintiff must allege
sufficient facts in support of its legal conclusions that
give rise to a reasonable inference that the defendant is
liable. Id. (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556 (2007)). The factual
allegations must raise the plaintiffs claim for relief above
the level of mere speculation. Twombly, 550 U.S. at
555 (citation omitted). As long as the complaint, taken as a
whole, gives rise to a plausible inference of actionable
conduct, the plaintiffs claim should not be dismissed.
Id. at 555-56.
1983 provides a vehicle for redressing the violation of
federal law by those acting under color of state law.
Nelson v. Campbell, 541 U.S. 637, 643 (2004). To
prevail on a § 1983 claim, the plaintiff must prove that
a person acting under the color of state law deprived him of
a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United
States. 42 U.S.C. § 1983; West v. Atkins, 487
U.S. 42, 48 (1988) (citation omitted). A defendant acts under
color of state law if he misuses or abuses official power and
if there is a nexus between the victim, the improper conduct,
and the defendant's performance of official duties.
Townsendv. Moya, 291 F.3d 859, 861 (5th Cir. 2002)