United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lafayette Division
Kelly Renee Pelican-Reed, on behalf of her minor child J R (Jr.), Plaintiff, Pro se, Opelousas, LA.
For Police Dept City of Opelousas, Loretta Etienne, Rodney May, Defendants: A Kirk Gasperecz, LEAD ATTORNEY, Adams & Reese (NO), New Orleans, LA.
C. MICHAEL HILL, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE. JUDGE DOHERTY.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
C. MICHAEL HILL, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Pending before the undersigned for Report and Recommendation is Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment filed by the City of Opelousas, through the Opelousas Police Department (the " City"), Loretta Etienne (" Etienne"), and Rodney May (" May"), on October 14, 2014. [rec. doc. 20]. Pro se plaintiff, Kelly Renee Pelican-Reed (" Pelican-Reed"), on behalf of her minor son, JR (" JR"), filed opposition on October 30, 2014. [rec. doc. 24]. Defendants filed a reply on November 12, 2014. [rec. doc. 29].
Oral argument was held on November 19, 2014, after which I took the motion under advisement.
For the following reasons, I recommend that the Motions for Summary Judgment be GRANTED, and that all claims filed by plaintiff be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.
Pelican-Reed, on behalf of her minor son, JR, filed an action in this Court under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 seeking money damages against the City and Officers Etienne and May of the Opelousas Police Department.
Sgt. Etienne, Lt. May and Pfc. Romalis Curtis (" Curtis") are police officers with the Opelousas Police Department. On October 12, 2013, Nolan J. Noel (" Noel"), who was the owner of Opelousas Skate Center a/k/a Skatz Skating Rink (the " rink"), in Opelousas, Louisiana, hired off-duty officers Etienne, May and Curtis to work security details at the rink. [rec. doc. 20, Exhibit A, Declaration of Loretta Etienne, ¶ 3; Exhibit B, Declaration of Rodney May, ¶ 3; Exhibit C, Declaration of Nolan J. Noel, ¶ 1]. Noel gave the officers his permission to direct any patron engaging in rowdy, unruly or threatening behavior to leave the rink. [Exhibit C, ¶ 2]. Any patron refusing to leave, after the officers directed them to do so, did not have Noel's permission to be in the rink. [ Id.].
On the night of October 12, 2013, Etienne overheard a group of approximately 11 patrons (the " Aggison group") near the girls' bathroom talking about fighting. [Exhibit A, ¶ 3]. About the same time, she witnessed a smaller group of patrons, including JR (the " JR group"), standing against the wall on the right side of the building. [ Id.]. Etienne told May what she had observed, and Lt. May, Pfc. Curtis and Sgt. Etienne agreed to stand near the JR group to make sure that a fight did not break out. [ Id.; Exhibit B, ¶ 3].
As Etienne observed the patrons, the Aggison group began walking around the rink, passing by the JR group several times. [Exhibit A, ¶ 4.]. During one occasion, a member of the larger group, Kaman Aggison, stared at the JR group as he passed. [ Id.]. On about the fourth pass, Kaman Aggison looked at the JR group as though he wanted to fight them. [ Id.].
Next, JR and another member of his group began walking around the rink in the opposite direction. [ Id., ¶ 5]. The two continued walking until they encountered the Aggison group which, by then, had walked completely around the rink from the other direction. [ Id.]. At this point, the three officers believed there was a significant risk of a fight breaking out, and told everyone in the Aggison group to call their rides and go home. [ Id., ¶ 6; Exhibit B, ¶ 6].
Etienne directed JR to go back to the area where his group had been standing against the wall to keep him a safe distance away from the Aggison group while they called their rides. [Exhibit A, ¶ 7]. As members of the Aggison group were standing at the counter near the rink's entrance waiting on their rides, Etienne observed JR walk across the floor with a pair of skates in his hand. [ Id.]. When JR arrived at the counter, he put the skates on the counter, turned towards ...