On June 22, 2001, an inmate housed in the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice filed a pro se lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. The plaintiff alleged that ...
read more >
On June 22, 2001, an inmate housed in the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice filed a pro se lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. The plaintiff alleged that the defendants had violated his constitutional rights by their failure to protect him from a threatening cellmate, their obstruction of a post-assault investigation, and their failure to conduct sufficient post-assault interviews in accord with a previously ordered consent decree.
On February 25, 2003, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas (Judge Mary Lou Robinson) dismissed the plaintiff's complaint for failure to state a claim on which relief could be granted. Purvis v. Johnson, No. 2:01-CV-0238, 2003 WL 22053947 (N.D.Tex. Feb. 25, 2003). The plaintiff appealed.
On October 21, 2003, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (Judge Edith Hollan Jones, Judge Fortunato Pedro Benavides, and Judge Edith Brown Clement) partially affirmed and partially vacated the district court's decision. The court held that: 1) the plaintiff sufficiently alleged that the prison officials were aware of the facts from which the inference could be drawn that the inmate faced a substantial risk of serious harm, as required to state an Eighth Amendment claim for failure to protect him from violence at the hands of other prisoners; 2) that the plaintiff's allegation that the prison officer obstructed the investigation into the assault was insufficient to state a claim for violation of the plaintiff's rights; and 3) that the remedial consent decree at issue could not serve as a substantive basis for a claim of damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Fifth Circuit remanded the case back to the district court for proceedings consistent with these findings. Purvis v. Johnson, No. 03-10299, 78 Fed.Appx. 377 (5th Cir. Oct. 21, 2003).
On April 1, 2004, the district court (Judge Robinson) found that the plaintiff was not entitled to any monetary damages and dismissed the case as to the defendants in their official capacities. The court ruled that the claims against the defendants in their individual capacities survived this dismissal. Purvis v. Domingues, No. 2:01-CV-0238, 2004 WL 719243 (N.D.Tex. April 1, 2004).
On April 20, 2004, after the jury had been seated and sworn in for trial, and after the witnesses had testified and been excused, the plaintiff asked the court to dismiss the case. The court granted that request. Kristen Sagar - 09/04/2006