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Burks v. Russell

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

May 21, 2015

RODERICK BURKS
v.
JAY RUSSELL, ET AL

RULING

ROBERTS G. JAMES, District Judge.

This is a civil rights action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff Roderick Burks ("Plaintiff") claims he was falsely imprisoned for approximately three months. Plaintiff brought suit against Jay Russell, in his individual and official capacity as the Sheriff of Ouachita Parish and Deputy Reginald Smith ("Defendants").

Pending before the Court is Defendants' Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment. [Doc. No. 23]. Plaintiff filed an opposition memorandum. [Doc. No. 25]. Defendants did not reply.

The dispositive issue is whether Plaintiff's claims have prescribed. It is undisputed that this action is subject to a one-year prescriptive period and that Plaintiff initiated suit on May 12, 2014. Because Defendants have presented unrebutted, competent summary judgment evidence showing that the prescription period began to run on May 6, 2013, more than one year before Plaintiff filed suit, Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED.

I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On April 15, 2012, Cameron Brown ("Brown") was beaten unconscious outside his home in Ouachita Parish. [Doc. No. 10, Exh. A]. Deputy Reginald Smith ("Deputy Smith"), of the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office, was assigned to investigate the incident. Id. During the investigation, Brown identified Plaintiff and another individual as his assailants. Id.

On April 19, 2012, Deputy Smith submitted an affidavit of probable cause, and the Fourth Judicial District Court for the Parish of Ouachita, State of Louisiana, subsequently issued an arrest warrant for Plaintiff on charges of second degree battery. [Doc. No. 10, Exh. C]. Records of the Ouachita Parish Correctional Center ("OCC") show Plaintiff was arrested and booked into OCC almost one year later, on February 5, 2013. [Doc. No. 10, Exh. D]. On May 6, 2013, approximately three months after Plaintiff was arrested, the Ouachita Parish District Attorney's Office filed a motion to dismiss the charges. [Doc. No. 10, Exh. E].

Plaintiff alleges that he was released from jail "on or about May 13, 2013, " [Doc. No. 1, p.2] (emphasis added), and that "his freedom from incarceration did not occur until May 13, 2013." [Doc. No. 1, p.4].[1] Further, Plaintiff claims he was required to "appear in open court on these charges" sometime after his release from custody and that the appearance was not "May, 6, 2012 as May 6, 2012 fell on a Sunday." [Doc. No. 12, p.4] (emphasis added).[2]

Defendants, on the other hand, citing OCC's Release Report, claim Plaintiff was released on May 6, 2013, which fell on a Monday. [Doc. No. 10, Exh. D] (emphasis added).

On May 12, 2014, Plaintiff filed the instant action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Defendants. [Doc. No. 1, p. 5]. On October 21, 2014, Defendants filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, contending that Plaintiff's claims had prescribed. [Doc. No. 10].

On December 2, 2014, this Court issued a Memorandum Ruling, denying Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment on grounds that the Defendants had failed to verify the Release Report as a business records exception to the hearsay rule. [Doc. No. 16].

On March 19, 2015, Defendants filed a Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment [Doc. No. 23], attaching the Affidavit of Treshan Breaux, a Deputy in the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Department who oversees the Department's record keeping. [Doc. No. 23, Exh. F, Breaux Affidavit, p. 1, ¶ 1]. She avers that the Release Report was made in the regular course of OCC's activities and contemporaneously with Plaintiff's release from OCC. Id. at p. 2, ¶¶ 10 & 11.

On April 8, 2014, Plaintiff filed a memorandum in opposition [Doc. No. 25]. ...


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