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Hebert v. Hebert

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lafayette Division

February 26, 2015

RUSTY J. HEBERT,
v.
DARLENE LANDRY HEBERT, ET AL.

RULING ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

C. MICHAEL HILL, Magistrate Judge.

Pending before the Court is the Motion for Summary Judgment filed by the Lafayette Parish Consolidated Government ("LCG") and Detective Walter Allred ("Allred"), on November 25, 2014. [rec. doc. 14]. Plaintiff, Rusty J. Hebert ("Rusty"), filed opposition on December 16, 2014. [rec. doc. 17]. Defendants filed a reply on December 23, 2014. [rec. doc. 22].

Oral argument was held January 14, 2015, after which I took the motion under advisement.

For the following reasons, the Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED, and all federal claims filed by plaintiff are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE; all state law claims are REMANDED to the 15th Judicial District Court, Parish of Lafayette.

Background

Rusty Hebert filed this lawsuit against LCG and Allred asserting federal claims under 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983 for violations of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, and state law tort claims under LA. CIV. CODE article 2315.[1]

Rusty and Darlene Landry Hebert ("Darlene") were married on June 22, 1998. During the marriage, they acquired a home located at 604 Rosedown Boulevard in Lafayette, Louisiana. [rec. doc. 14, Deposition of Darlene Landry Hebert ("Darlene Hebert depo."), p. 7]. In March of 2008, Rusty and Darlene separated, and Rusty moved out of the house. [rec. doc. 14, Deposition of Rusty Hebert ("Rusty Hebert depo."), p. 18; Darlene Hebert depo., p. 6].

Darlene continued to reside in the house after the separation. [Darlene Hebert depo., p. 7]. In June, 2008, she changed the locks after Rusty was served with divorce papers. [Darlene Hebert depo., p. 7]. The Heberts' divorce was finalized on February 25, 2009. [Darlene Hebert depo., p. 11].

On March 5, 2009, Rusty, knowing that Darlene would be at work, went to the house at about 1:00 or 2:00 p.m. [Rusty Hebert depo., pp. 27, 35-37]. To get into the house, he broke a window. [Rusty Hebert depo., pp. 34, 36, 80]. While inside, he shattered the glass on the couple's wedding picture and destroyed other items. [Rusty Hebert depo., pp. 37-38]. He also wrote some "ugly" letters to Darlene, which he left for her. [Rusty Hebert depo., pp. 38, 83-84].

Rusty then took a nap and watched television. [Rusty Hebert depo., p. 39]. He exited the house through the broken back window. [Rusty Hebert depo., p. 40].

When Darlene arrived home, at about 5:30 p.m., she discovered glass all over the floor, crumbled and ripped up pictures, and the letters from Rusty. [Darlene Hebert depo., p. 8]. She called the police, reporting that someone, whom she suspected was her ex-husband, had broken into her home. [Darlene Hebert depo. p. 9]. At all relevant times, Darlene was employed as a secretary for the Criminal Investigation Division of the Lafayette City Police Department. [Darlene Hebert depo., p. 6].

Shortly afterwards, patrol officers Tom Mercier and Chris Waddlington with the Lafayette City Police arrived at Darlene's house and took a statement from her. [Darlene Hebert depo., p. 9]. While the police officers were there, Rusty called Darlene's cell phone, but she did not answer. [Rusty Hebert depo., p. 42].

Detective Walter Allred was assigned to the case. [Darlene Hebert depo., p.12]. After the incident, Allred talked to Darlene and a neighbor, Richard Boudreaux ("Boudreaux"). [rec. doc. 14, Exhibit D, Deposition of Walter Allred ("Allred depo."), pp. 25, 27]. Boudreaux gave a statement in which he reported seeing Rusty entering the house. [Allred depo., p. 41].

At approximately 6:15 p.m. that evening, Allred contacted Rusty. [Allred depo., p. 25] When Allred asked Rusty about the incident, Rusty became "irate and started yelling." [Allred depo., p., 28; Rusty Hebert depo., p. 44]. Allred instructed Rusty to go to the police station to give a statement. [Rusty Hebert depo., pp. 47-48; Allred depo., p. 28].

On the evening of March 5, 2009, Allred obtained an arrest warrant for Rusty which was signed by state Judge Thomas Frederick. [rec. doc. 14, Exhibit D; Allred depo., pp. 39-40]. Afterwards, the local TV stations and other media outlets ran a story showing Rusty's picture and stating that he was wanted for breaking into his former wife's residence. [rec. doc. 14, Exhibit E; Rusty Hebert depo., pp. ...


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