Grana v. Gonzalez et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER GRANTED 2 MOTION/APPLICATION to Proceed In Forma Pauperis Email sent to Manager of Three Strikes List. 2. Officials at the Harris County Jail shall deduct the full amount of thefiling fee for indigent litigants ($350.00 ) from the inmate trust fundaccount belonging to Victor A. Grana, also known as Victor A. Giama(SPN #00996844) and forward them to the Clerk of Court in compliancewith 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2).3. The plaintiffs complaint is DISMISSED with prejudice as frivolous andmalicious and will count as a strike under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).(Signed by Judge Nancy F Atlas) Parties notified.(sashabranner, 4)
United States District Court
Southern District of Texas
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
VICTOR A. GRANA,
SHERIFF ED GONZALEZ, et al.,
September 27, 2017
David J. Bradley, Clerk
CIVIL ACTION NO. H-17-2617
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
The plaintiff, Victor A. Grana (“Grana”), also known as Victor A. Giama (SPN
#00996844), is in currently custody of the Harris County Jail. Grana has filed a
complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, concerning the conditions of his confinement.
Because he is incarcerated, the Court is required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act
(“PLRA”) to scrutinize the pleadings and dismiss this case if it if frivolous, malicious,
or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. See 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.
Grana has filed this lawsuit against Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez,
Sergeant Ward, Officer Shelton, and all employees in the “Grievance Department” at
the Harris County Jail.1 Grana claims that, due to budget cuts, Sheriff Gonzalez has
denied him adequate access to a law library or to the “law cart” that distributes
materials at the Jail.2 He claims further that Ward, Shelton, and other officials have
failed to adequately investigate the grievances he has filed about the lack of access to
a law library.3 He seeks injunctive relief and an order staying his impending criminal
trial.4 The Court concludes, however, that his complaint must be dismissed.
Access to the Law Library
Court records reflect that Grana has made nearly identical claims against Sheriff
Gonzalez in two lawsuits previously filed in this district. See Grana v. Roll, et al.,
Civil No. H-17-2453 (S.D. Tex.); Grana v. Roll, et al., Civil No. H-17-2508 (S.D.
Tex.). In both of those cases, Grana alleged that Sheriff Gonzalez had denied him
access to the law library so that he could defend himself. One of those cases (Civil
No. H-17-2453) has been dismissed for failure to articulate a viable claim.
Complaint [Doc. # 1], at 3.
Id. at 4.
Id. at 3-4.
Id. at 4.
A prisoner civil rights complaint is considered “malicious” for purposes of the
PLRA if it duplicates allegations made in another federal lawsuit by the same plaintiff.
See Pittman v. Moore, 980 F.2d 994, 994 (5th Cir. 1993) (per curiam). To the extent
that he complains about the lack of access to a law library, the allegations in Grana’s
pending civil rights complaint clearly duplicate those presented by him previously in
other cases. Because Grana has made the same or similar claims in at least two prior
lawsuits, the Court concludes that the pending complaint about lack of access to a law
library is subject to dismissal as malicious under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. See, e.g., Wilson
v. Lynaugh, 878 F.2d 846 (5th Cir. 1989) (duplicative claims may be dismissed sua
Inadequate Grievance Investigations
Grana’s claim that Sergeant Ward, Officer Shelton, and other officials at the Jail
violated his right to due process by failing to adequately investigate his grievances
must be dismissed for failure to state a claim. In that regard, it is well established that
a prison inmate has no constitutionally protected interest “in having grievances
resolved to his satisfaction.” Geiger v. Jowers, 404 F.3d 371, 374 (5th Cir. 2005). To
the extent that this claim relies on a “legally nonexistent interest, any alleged due
process violation arising from the alleged failure to investigate his grievances is
indisputably meritless.” Id.
CONCLUSION AND ORDER
Based on the foregoing, the Court ORDERS as follows:
The plaintiff’s motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (Docket
Entry No. 2) is GRANTED.
Officials at the Harris County Jail shall deduct the full amount of the
filing fee for indigent litigants ($350.00) from the inmate trust fund
account belonging to Victor A. Grana, also known as Victor A. Giama
(SPN #00996844) and forward them to the Clerk of Court in compliance
with 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2).
The plaintiff’s complaint is DISMISSED with prejudice as frivolous and
malicious and will count as a strike under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).
The Clerk is directed to provide a copy of this order to the plaintiff. The
Clerk shall also provide a copy of this order by regular mail, facsimile
transmission, or e-mail to: (1) the Harris County Jail Inmate Trust Fund, Attn:
Sergeant Tom Katz, 1200 Baker Street, Houston, Texas, 77002, phone: (713) 7558436,
SIGNED at Houston, Texas, on September 27, 2017.
NANCY F. ATLAS
SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
NAN Y F. ATLAS
STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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