United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lafayette Division
MEMORANDUM RULING AND ORDER
B. WHITEHURST UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
before the Court is a motion to dismiss pursuant to FRCP
12(b)(1) or alternatively pursuant to FRCP 12(b)(6) [Rec.
Doc. 55], filed by Defendant, the State of Louisiana through
the Louisiana Department of Corrections. Plaintiff, Kenward
Alexander, Jr., has filed a memorandum in opposition to the
motion. [Rec. Doc. 62]. For the following reasons, the motion
will be granted.
action was originally brought by Plaintiff, Kenward
Alexander, in the Fifteenth Judicial Court, Lafayette Parish,
Lafayette, Louisiana, and was removed to this Court under the
Court's federal question and supplemental jurisdiction.
Plaintiff alleged claims under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983,
the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments and the laws of
Louisiana against Michael Neustrom, individually and in his
Official Capacity as Sheriff of Lafayette Parish (Sheriff
Neustrom”), John Bernard and Sandy Riviere,
individually and in their official capacities as deputies for
the LPSO (“Deputies”), as well as “Jane
Doe” and “John Doe.” R. 1. In his
First Supplemental and Amended Petition, Plaintiff also named
health providers at the Lafayette Parish Sheriffs Office
including, Toree Roy and Quinceyeta Hamilton, Ian Duplantis,
Cynthia Landry and Daneisha Marks. R. 34. Most
recently, in his Second Supplemental and Amended Petition,
Plaintiff named as additional defendants: the State of
Louisiana, through its agency the Department of Corrections
(the “DOC”), as well as DOC employees, Michelle
David, Tamyra Young, Melanie Benedict, Stayce Falgout and Dr.
Raman Singh. R. 60, ¶ 8. Plaintiff also
named Sandra Chaisson, an employee with University Hospital
and Clinic, Id. at ¶ 9, and Mark Garber, the
newly elected Lafayette Parish Sheriff. R. 60.
alleges that on or about March 18, 2015, he was incarcerated
as a pretrial detainee in the Lafayette Parish Correctional
Center, under the custody of the Lafayette Parish Sheriffs
Department. Plaintiff alleges that on that date he was
threatened by a group of inmates with physical violence which
ultimately lead to him suffering injuries, including a
fractured jaw. Plaintiff was taken to the University Hospital
and Clinic where he was treated and released to the
Sheriff's Department. Plaintiff alleges he required
further medical treatment which the defendants failed to
timely and adequately provide, thereby acting with deliberate
indifference to Plaintiff's serious medical needs,
resulting in further injury to him.
seeks money damages as well as injunctive relief from the
prospective violation of the civil and constitutional rights
of other pretrial detainees in the LPCC.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), “[a] case is
properly dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction
when the court lacks the statutory or constitutional power to
adjudicate the case.” Home Builders Ass'n of
Miss., Inc. v. City of Madison, 143 F.3d 1006, 1010 (5th
Cir. 1998). In ruling on a Rule 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss,
the Court may rely on (1) the complaint alone, presuming the
allegations to be true; (2) the complaint supplemented by
undisputed facts; or (3) the complaint supplemented by
undisputed facts and the court's resolution of disputed
facts. Den Norske Stats Ojeselskap As v. HeereMac
Vof, 241 F.3d 420, 424 (5th Cir. 2001). The party
asserting jurisdiction bears the burden of establishing that
the district court possesses jurisdiction. Ramming v.
United States, 281 F.3d 158, 161 (5th Cir. 2001). The
standard of review for a motion to dismiss under Rule
12(b)(1) is the same as that for a motion to dismiss pursuant
to Rule 12(b)(6). United States v. City of New
Orleans, 2003 WL 22208578, at *1 (E.D.La. Sept. 19,
survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the plaintiff must
plead enough facts “to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is facially
plausible when the plaintiff pleads facts that allow the
court to “draw the reasonable inference that the
defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Id. at 678. A court must accept all well-pleaded
facts as true and must draw all reasonable inferences in
favor of the plaintiff. Lormand v. U.S. Unwired,
Inc., 565 F.3d 228, 239 (5th Cir. 2009).
legally sufficient complaint must establish more than a
“sheer possibility” that the plaintiff's
claim is true. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. It need not
contain detailed factual allegations, but it must go beyond
labels, legal conclusions, or formulaic recitations of the
elements of a cause of action. Id. In other words,
the face of the complaint must contain enough factual matter
to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal
evidence of each element of the plaintiff's claim.
Lormand, 565 F.3d at 257. If there are insufficient
factual allegations to raise a right to relief above the
speculative level, or if it is apparent from the face of the
complaint that there is an insuperable bar to relief, the
claim must be dismissed. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.
alleges a Section 1983 claim against the Louisiana Department
of Corrections (“DOC”). The DOC exists as an
agency of the State of Louisiana. Champagne v. Jefferson
Parish Sheriff's Office, 188 F.3d 312 (5th
Cir.1999). Accordingly, the Court is without jurisdiction
under Rule 12(b)(1) as the plaintiff's § 1983 claims
against the DOC are barred by the Eleventh
Cozzo v. Tangipahoa Parish Council-President
Government, 279 F.3d 273(5th Cir. 2002), a Section 1983
action, the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
The Eleventh Amendment bars a state's citizens from
filing suit against the state or its agencies in federal
courts. When a state agency is the named defendant, the
Eleventh Amendment bars suits for both money damages and
injunctive relief unless the state has waived its immunity.
By statute, Louisiana has refused any such waiver of its
Eleventh Amendment ...