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Fifth Circuit Dismisses Louisiana Prisoner's § 1983

by Edward Lyon

Prisoner James Davis claimed injuries resulting from a traffic accident to an Avoyelles Parish transport van he was riding in. He sued the deputy driver, a jail captain he alleged ordered a city policeman to falsify facts in the accident report, other deputies he said interfered with his hospital stay, and a jail nurse who refused to comply with a prescription for an extra mattress and pillow. He cited due process denials at a disciplinary hearing for refusing to call witnesses, punishment with extended lockdown for leaving a hospital waiting area, and a retaliatory transfer to a parish prison for filing an administrative review procedure (ARP).

The district court held there was no deliberate indifference to Davis's medical needs for the denial of an extra mattress and pillow and no evidence supporting his version of the disciplinary proceedings and lockdown sentence. The retaliatory transfer claim was time-barred, and appointment of counsel was refused.

The Fifth Circuit affirmed all except as applied to his state tort claims, holding since Davis's ARP was never answered, the limiting statute was tolled. This was remanded so the district court could "choose to dismiss the state law claims [of negligence and gross negligence regarding the accident] to allow them to be litigated in state court."

See: Davis v. Young, 624 Fed. Appx. 203 (5th Cir. 2015)

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Related legal case

Davis v. Young