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Billizone v. Jefferson Parish Correctional Center

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

April 27, 2015

ERNEST BILLIZONE, SR.,
v.
JEFFERSON PARISH CORRECTIONAL CENTER, ET AL.,

ORDER AND REASONS

SALLY SHUSHAN, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff, Ernest Billizone, Sr., a frequent litigant in this Court, filed the instant civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center and a number of individual jail officials asserting a variety of claims. The parties consented to the jurisdiction of the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge.[1]

On December 15, 2014, the Court dismissed plaintiff's claims against defendant Jean Llovet concerning the jail's medical care.[2] The remaining individual defendants, Sheriff Newell Normand, Edward Olsen, Howard Lavin, Martha Ennis, John Cotton, Carl Preyer, Gary Cook, and Sue Ellen Monfra, have now filed a motion seeking dismissal of the claims against them.[3] Plaintiff was ordered to respond to that motion on or before April 22, 2015;[4] however, no response has been filed.

I. Jefferson Parish Correctional Center

Before turning to the pending motion, the Court first notes that plaintiff has also named the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center as a defendant. However, it is clear that a correctional center may not be sued because it is merely a building, not a "person" subject to suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See, e.g., Mitchell v. Jefferson Parish Correctional Center, Civ. Action No. 13-4963, 2013 WL 6002770, at *3 (E.D. La. Nov. 12, 2013); Stamps v. Jefferson Parish Correctional Center, Civ. Action No. 12-1767, 2012 WL 3026808, at *2 (E.D. La. July 12, 2012), adopted, 2012 WL 3027945 (E.D. La. July 24, 2012). Accordingly, pursuant to its authority to act sua sponte under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A(b), [5] the Court hereby dismisses the claim against the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center as frivolous and/or for failing to state a claim on which relief may be granted. See, e.g., Castellanos v. Jefferson Parish Correctional Center, Civ. Action No. 07-7796, 2008 WL 3975606, at *5 (E.D. La. Aug. 22, 2008).

II. Individual Defendants

The remaining individual defendants have filed a "Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c) or, Alternatively, for Summary Judgment Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56."[6] The standards to be used in analyzing such motions are clear.

"A motion under Rule 12(c) for failure to state a claim is subject to the same standards as a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6)." In re Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. LLC, 624 F.3d 201, 209-10 (5th Cir. 2010). The United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has explained:

To avoid dismissal, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. To be plausible, the complaint's factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level. In deciding whether the complaint states a valid claim for relief, we accept all well-pleaded facts as true and construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.

Id. at 210 (citations, quotation marks, and brackets omitted).

On the other hand, when reviewing a motion for summary judgment under Rule 56, the Court may grant the motion when no genuine issue of material fact exists and the mover is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). There is no "genuine issue" when the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the nonmovant. Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp. , 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986).

"Procedurally, the party moving for summary judgment bears the initial burden of informing the district court of the basis for its motion, and identifying those portions of the record which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact." Taita Chemical Co., Ltd. v. Westlake Styrene Corp. , 246 F.3d 377, 385 (5th Cir. 2001) (quotation marks and brackets omitted). The party opposing summary judgment must then "go beyond the pleadings and by [his] own affidavits, or by the depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, ' designate specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.'" Celotex Corp. v. Catrett , 477 U.S. 317, 324 (1986) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56); see also Provident Life and Accident Ins. Co. v. Goel , 274 F.3d 984, 991 (5th Cir. 2001). The Court has no duty to search the record for evidence to support a party's opposition to summary judgment; rather, "[t]he party opposing summary judgment is required to identify specific evidence in the record and to articulate the precise manner in which the evidence supports his or her claim." Ragas v. Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. , 136 F.3d 455, 458 (5th Cir. 1998). Conclusory statements, speculation, and unsubstantiated assertions are not competent summary judgment evidence and will not suffice to defeat a properly supported motion for summary judgment. Id.; Douglass v. United Servs. Auto Ass'n , 79 F.3d 1415, 1429 (5th Cir. 1996).

Applying the foregoing standards, the Court hereby grants the pending motion and dismisses the remaining claims against the individual ...


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