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Griffin v. New Orleans City

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

March 5, 2015

TRENT STEVEN GRIFFIN, SR
v.
NEW ORLEANS CITY ET AL. SECTION I

ORDER AND REASONS

LANCE M. AFRICK, District Judge.

Before the Court are a number of motions[1] filed by defendants, described below, for the dismissal of plaintiff's claims pursuant to Rules 12(b)(6), 12(c), and 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, has filed oppositions.[2] For the following reasons, the Rule 12 motions are GRANTED and the motion for summary judgment is DISMISSED AS MOOT.

BACKGROUND

I. Factual Background

Although plaintiff's rambling 50-page amended complaint is difficult to understand, the Court construes plaintiff's factual allegations as follows. Plaintiff alleges that on or before December 12, 2012, [3] he was driving in his vehicle with a passenger down Tchoupitoulas Street when he was pulled over by a New Orleans Police Department ("NOPD") officer.[4] The NOPD officer allegedly "began to ask questions, without Miranda Warnings' that law enforcement officers are required to provide, then having [sic] the plaintiff step out of the vehicle."[5] Plaintiff alleges that he "refus[ed] to comply with the officer's questions, " resulting in plaintiff's arrest.[6] According to plaintiff, during the arrest "the officer was informed at that time the plaintiff had multiple injuries and he had been shot by a cop' police officer."[7] Plaintiff asserts that the NOPD officer "fabricated" charges of driving while intoxicated and other vehicle-related charges, and that he was pulled over and arrested because "[t]he policer [sic] officer observed two black male subjects in a vehicle with out of state plates in the early hours of the morning traveling on a public road in the City of New Orleans."[8]

Plaintiff alleges that following his arrest, he was taken to the "Central Lockup of the Orleans Parish Prison" ("OPP"), where he "was placed in an open bay area with other detainees."[9] "During the plaintiff's incarceration, another inmate assaulted the plaintiff by striking him in the left side of the face without any warning or prediction."[10] Plaintiff alleges that he advised the deputies that he wanted to press charges, but that the assailant was not charged and instead "was released hours before the plaintiff."[11] Plaintiff also alleges that because of the "inadequate intake and classification process" at OPP, plaintiff was never asked whether he had any medical conditions, and he was given Tylenol following the assault without being asked about other medications he may have been taking or "what charges he was facing to prevent any drug-drug interaction or drug-alcohol interaction."[12]

Following the incident, plaintiff alleges that he complained to some of the defendants: "The plaintiff complains [no] affirmative' actions were initiated by the [NOPD]'s Public Integrity Bureau, Superintendent Ronal Serpas, Commander Arlinda Westbrook, and Sheriff Marlin Gusman, following a formal complaint mailed December 12, 2012. The Complaint was acknowledged by another officer of the [NOPD]'s, Public Integrity Division on December 17, 2012 by email."[13]

II. Procedural Background

Plaintiff filed his original pro se complaint on March 12, 2014.[14] On April 4, 2014, the "City Defendants"[15] filed a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss all claims against them because such claims "have prescribed, " among other reasons.[16] On April 14, 2014, defendant Marlin N. Gusman, the Sheriff of Orleans Parish ("the Sheriff"), filed a motion for summary judgment, asserting that plaintiff's claims "are time-barred, " among other reasons.[17] Plaintiff opposed both motions, [18] and filed an amended complaint on April 23, 2014.[19] The City Defendants filed a second Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss the amended complaint on May 6, 2014, re-urging their arguments that plaintiff's claims are untimely.[20] Plaintiff also opposed this motion.[21] On July 21, 2014, the Sheriff filed a Rule 12(c) motion to dismiss the amended complaint, asserting similar arguments to those urged in the Sheriff's motion for summary judgment.[22] The record does not reflect that plaintiff ever filed an opposition to this Rule 12(c) motion.

STANDARD OF LAW

Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), a district court may dismiss a complaint, or any part of it, for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted if the plaintiff has not set forth a factual allegation in support of his claim that would entitle him to relief. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007); Cuvillier v. Taylor, 503 F.3d 397, 401 (5th Cir. 2007). As the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit explained in Gonzalez v. Kay:

"Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). The Supreme Court recently expounded upon the Twombly standard, explaining that "[t]o survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. It follows that "where the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged-but it has not show[n]'-that the pleader is entitled to relief.'" Id. at 1950 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)).

577 F.3d 600, 603 (5th Cir. 2009).

This Court will not look beyond the factual allegations in the pleadings to determine whether relief should be granted. See Spivey v. Robertson, 197 F.3d 772, 774 (5th Cir. 1999); Baker v. Putnal, 75 F.3d 190, 196 (5th Cir. 1996). In assessing the complaint, a court must accept all well-pleaded facts as true and liberally construe all factual allegations in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Spivey, 197 F.3d at 774; Lowrey v. Tex. A&M Univ. Sys., 117 F.3d 242, 247 (5th Cir. 1997). "Dismissal is appropriate when the complaint on its face show[s] a ...


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