United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Galveston Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
JEFFREY VINCENT BROWN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Kenneth Clay, an inmate in the Texas Department of Criminal
Justice- Correctional Institutions Division
(“TDCJ”), filed a civil-rights complaint (Dkt. 1)
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Because this case is governed by
the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), the
Court is required to scrutinize the pleadings and dismiss the
complaint in whole or in part if it is frivolous, malicious,
or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
28 U.S.C. § 1915A. After reviewing all of the pleadings
as required, the Court concludes that this case must be
DISMISSED for reasons that follow.
alleges in this lawsuit that he has served his sentences and
should be released from TDCJ. According to TDCJ's online
records, Clay was convicted of fraud in 2018 in Travis
County, Case Number D-1-DC-18-202378, and sentenced to two
years. See Offender Information, available at
(last visited Nov. 19, 2019). He also was convicted of
possession of a controlled substance in 2019 in Bastrop
County, Case No. 16686, and sentenced to three years. See
complaint does not make allegations about the conditions of
his confinement or raise a claim that is traditionally
presented in a civil-rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. §
1983. Rather, Clay alleges that Defendants have
“refused to acknowledge” that his
“[three-]year sentence ran concurrent with a two[-]year
sentence” and that he “should have been released
on May 23, 2019” (Dkt. 1, at 5). He claims that
Defendants have violated the Fourteenth Amendment's
due-process guarantee. He seeks injunctive relief and
compensatory damages. See id. (“I would like
this situation to be rectified and I would like to be
online records list Clay's projected release date as
January 2, 2021. They also reflect that the parole board
denied him release to discretionary mandatory supervision on
February 5, 2019, and that his next parole review date is in
February 2020. See Parole Review Information for
Kenneth Clay (available at https://offender.
Name=CLAY%2CKENNETH) (last visited Nov. 19, 2019).
available court records reflect that Clay filed an
application for state habeas relief (WR-54, 591-02) with the
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on October 2, 2019,
challenging his Bastrop County conviction. See Case
Information, Texas Judicial Branch, available at
visited Nov. 19, 2019). The court denied relief without
written order on October 16, 2019
THE PLRA AND PRO SE PLEADINGS
the plaintiff is an inmate bringing a civil-rights case under
42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Court is required by the Prison
Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”) to scrutinize the
claims and dismiss the complaint at any time, in whole or in
part, if it determines that the complaint is frivolous,
malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b);
see 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c)(1).
reviewing the pleadings and litigation history, the Court is
mindful of the fact that Plaintiff proceeds pro se.
Complaints filed by pro se litigants are entitled to
a liberal construction and, “however inartfully
pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (internal quotation marks
and citation omitted). Even under this lenient standard a
pro se plaintiff must allege more than
“‘labels and conclusions' or a
‘formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). “Threadbare recitals of the
elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory
statements, do not suffice.” Id. (citation
omitted). Regardless of how well-pleaded the factual
allegations may be, they must demonstrate that the plaintiff
is entitled to relief under a valid legal theory. See
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989);
McCormick v. Stalder, 105 F.3d 1059, 1061 (5th Cir.
is frivolous if it lacks any arguable basis in law or fact.
Samford v. Dretke, 562 F.3d 674, 678 (5th Cir.
2009). It lacks an arguable basis in law “if it is
based on an indisputably meritless legal theory.”
Rogers v. Boatright, 709 F.3d 403, 407 (5th Cir.
2013) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). It
lacks an arguable basis in fact “if, after providing
the plaintiff the opportunity to present additional facts
when necessary, the facts alleged are clearly
baseless.” Id. (internal quotation marks and
dismissal under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) for
failure to state a claim is governed by the same standard
under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
See Rogers, 709 F.3d at 407. When considering
whether the plaintiff has adequately stated a claim upon
which relief can be granted, the court examines whether the
complaint contains “sufficient factual matter, accepted
as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Id. Under this standard, the Court
“construes the complaint liberally in favor of the
plaintiff, ” “takes all facts pleaded in the
complaint as true, ” and considers whether “with
every doubt resolved on [the plaintiff's] behalf, the
complaint states any valid claim for relief.”
Harrington v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 563
F.3d 141, 147 (5th Cir. 2009) (internal citations and
quotation marks omitted).
filed this civil-rights lawsuit challenging his continued
incarceration after May 23, 2019, when he claims his
sentences were ...