Davis v. Epps
MEMORANDUM OPINION re 3 Final Judgment Dismissing Case. Signed by Michael P. Mills on 6/10/2011. (lpm)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
MELVIN LEE DAVIS
COMMISSIONER CHRISTOPHER EPPS
This matter is before the court, sua sponte, for consideration of dismissal in accordance with
28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915(A). The Plaintiff, an inmate, files this pro se complaint pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.1 In his complaint, the Plaintiff complains that his property was confiscated
when he was transferred from the Bureau of Prisons to the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
Further, he argues that the Defendants failed to follow property policy and procedure for confiscating
property. The Plaintiff seeking monetary damages for the loss of his property. Documentation
submitted with his complaint includes a response by MDOC regarding the confiscated property. The
response states “you were asked if you wanted to send [items not allowable] home of which you
After carefully considering the contents of the pro se complaint and giving it the liberal
construction required by Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972), this court has come to the following
To the extent Plaintiff seeks redress for loss or deprivation of his property that is “random
and unauthorized,” the United States Supreme Court has held that such deprivation does not
constitute a civil rights violation as long as the state provides a meaningful post-deprivation remedy.
Parratt v. Taylor, 451 U.S. 527, 541-44, 101 S. Ct. 1908, 68 L. Ed. 2d 420 (1981). It is well
The complaint was written on a form titled “Application for a Writ of Habeas Corpus
Relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.” There is nothing in the complaint that challenges his
conviction or incarceration. Despite this prefabricated description, the matter should have been
filed as a 1983 complaint.
established that neither the negligent nor intentional deprivations of property violate due process
where there is an adequate state tort remedy available. Daniels v. Williams, 474 U.S. 327 (1986);
Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S. 517, 533 (1984). The Fifth Circuit has upheld dismissal of countless
cases involving prisoners’ suits for property deprivation because of the availability of state law
remedies. Myers v. Klevenhage, 97 F.3d 91, 94-95 (5th Cir. 1996); Murphy v. J.A. Collins, 26 F.3d
541, 543-44 (5th Cir. 1994); Marshall v. Norwood, 741 F.2d 761, 763-64 (5th Cir. 1984).
Mississippi provides post-deprivation remedies for both negligent and intentional
conversions of property. See Miss. Code Ann. §§ 11-38-1 et seq. (claim and delivery); Miss Code
Ann. §§ 11-37-101 et seq. (replevin); Masonite Corp. v. Williamson, 404 So.2d 565, 567 (Miss.
1981) (conversion). It is plaintiff’s burden to establish that the post-deprivation remedies are not
adequate. Myers, 97 F.3d at 94-95.
Here, the Plaintiff has failed to allege, much less prove, that these remedies are not adequate.
Moreover, the Fifth Circuit has held that “Mississippi’s post-deprivation remedies for civil IFP
litigants satisfy due process.” Nickens v. Melton, 38 F.3d 183, 185 (5th Cir. 1994). Thus, the
Plaintiff’s remedy is not found in a Section 1983 action, but in a tort claim under state law.
Therefore, he has failed to state a cognizable constitutional claim. Furthermore, “a prison official’s
failure to follow the prison’s own policies, procedures or regulations” does not provide a basis for
relief. Stanley v. Foster, 464 F.3d 565, 569 (5th Cir. 2006). Accordingly, the Plaintiff has failed to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted and the complaint shall be dismissed.
A final judgment in accordance with this opinion will be entered.
THIS the 10th day of June, 2011.
/s/ MICHAEL P. MILLS
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
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