United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
HORNSBY MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
MAURICE HICKS, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court are Defendants Chief Willie Shaw (“Chief
Shaw”), Officer Roland Garner (“Officer
Garner”), and the City of Shreveport's (“the
City”) Motions for Summary Judgment (Record Documents
56 and 57) under Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure seeking dismissal of all of Plaintiff Thomas Jamar
Brown's (“Brown”) claims. For the reasons
stated in the instant Memorandum Ruling, Defendants'
Motions for Summary Judgment are hereby
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
allegations in the instant lawsuit revolve around his arrest
for public drunkenness and resisting arrest in the early
morning hours of July 1, 2010. See Record Document
28 at 3. Brown alleges that at approximately 3:00 AM on July
1, 2010, he was walking with his fiancée Alicia
Figueroa (“Figueroa”) in the 200 block of
Crockett Street in downtown Shreveport. See id.
Suddenly, an unknown officer “blind side pushed”
him while he was walking. See id. Brown then asked
why he was pushed; Officer Garner with the Shreveport Police
Department (SPD), known to Brown because of Officer
Garner's position as the “courtesy officer”
at Brown's apartment complex, then allegedly responded by
telling Brown to “just go home man.” Id.
Brown alleges that he then proceeded home, but was wrongfully
arrested a block away. See id. Officers then placed
Brown in what Brown believed to be Officer Garner's
patrol car. See id. Brown alleges that no one ever
read him his rights or informed him of the crime for which he
was being arrested. See id.
fell asleep in the car, but alleges that he was later awoken
by being repeatedly punched in the face and tased until he
lost consciousness. See id. He then awoke to
discover that he was covered in blood and had been severely
beaten on the face, head, arms, and legs. See id.
Brown alleges that the SPD washed his clothes and returned
them to him when he was released from the Shreveport City
Jail “in an apparent attempt to remove blood stains
from clothing.” Id. at 4.
filed the instant action on July 1, 2011. See Record
Document 1. On August 3, 2012, the Clerk sent a notice to
Brown stating the intention to dismiss the case for failure
to effect service of process within 120 days of filing suit.
See Record Document 8. On April 4, 2013, the Clerk
of Court dismissed the case. See Record Document 9.
On April 3, 2014, Brown file a pro se Motion to
Reopen/Reinstate the case, explaining that he had attempted
to contact the attorney who had originally represented him in
the instant action but had been unable to contact him for
some time; he also explained that he recently discovered that
his attorney had passed away. See Record Document
10. The Court granted the Motion to Reopen/Reinstate the
case. See Record Document 11.
eventually filed an Amended Complaint on March 10, 2015.
See Record Document 28. The Amended Complaint
alleges (1) 42 U.S.C. § 1983 causes of action for
violations of the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, and Fourteenth
Amendments to the United States Constitution and Title VII of
the Civil Rights Act of 1964 against all Defendants; (2) a
conspiracy to deprive Brown of his federal civil rights under
these laws; (3) state law causes of action for violations
Article I, §§ 2, 3, 4, and 13 of the Louisiana
Constitution; and (4) a conspiracy to deprive Brown of his
civil rights under these state constitutional provisions.
See id. as 4-5. On March 11, 2016, Defendants filed
the instant Motions for Summary Judgment. See Record
Documents 56 and 57. Brown filed a Memorandum in Opposition,
and Defendants filed Reply briefs. See Record
Documents 61, 66, and 67.
The Summary Judgment Standard
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governs summary
judgment. This rule provides that the court "shall grant
summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine
dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). Also,
"a party asserting that a fact cannot be or is genuinely
disputed must support the motion by citing to particular
parts of materials in the record." Fed R. Civ. P.
56(c)(1)(A). "If a party fails to properly support an
assertion of fact or fails to properly address another
party's assertion of fact as required by Rule 56(c), the
court may . . . grant summary judgment." Fed.R.Civ.P.
summary judgment motion, "a party seeking summary
judgment always bears the initial responsibility of informing
the district court of the basis for its motion, and
identifying those portions of the pleadings . . . [and]
affidavits, if any, which it believes demonstrate the absence
of a genuine issue of material fact." Celotex Corp.
v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986) (internal
quotations and citations omitted). If the movant meets this
initial burden, then the non-movant has the burden of going
beyond the pleadings and designating specific facts that
prove that a genuine issue of material fact exists. See
id. at 325; see Little v. Liquid Air Corp., 37
F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th Cir. 1994). A non-movant, however,
cannot meet the burden of proving that a genuine issue of
material fact exists by providing only "some
metaphysical doubt as to the material facts, by conclusory
allegations, by unsubstantiated assertions, or by only a
scintilla of evidence." Little, 37 F.3d at
1075. Additionally, in deciding a summary judgment motion,
courts "resolve factual controversies in favor of the
nonmoving party, but only when there is an actual
controversy, that is when both parties have submitted
evidence of contradictory facts." Id. Courts
"do not, however, in the absence of any proof, assume
that the nonmoving party could or would prove the necessary
states that “a party asserting that a fact . . . is
genuinely disputed must support the assertion by citing to
particular materials in the record, including depositions,
documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or
declarations, stipulations, . . . admissions, interrogatory
answers, or other materials.” Once the party seeking to
establish that there is a genuine dispute as to a material
fact has cited to such materials, the opposing party
“may object that the material cited to support or
dispute a fact cannot be presented in a form that would be
admissible in evidence.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. “At the
summary judgment stage, materials cited to support or dispute
a fact need only be capable of being presented in a
form that would be admissible in evidence.” LSR
Consulting, LLC v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 835 F.3d 530,
534 (5th Cir. 2016) (emphasis in original). However, once a
party has challenged the admissibility of the evidence relied
upon to demonstrate a genuine dispute of material fact, the
proponent of that evidence must show that the evidence is
capable of being presented in a form that would be admissible
in evidence. See id.
the Local Rules of the Western District of Louisiana, a party
seeking summary judgment must file “a separate, short
and concise statement of the material facts as to which the
moving party contends there is no genuine issue to be
tried.” Local Rule 56.1. Then, the party opposing
summary judgment must file “a separate, short and
concise statement of the material facts as to which there
exists a genuine issue to be tried.” Local Rule 56.2.
“All material facts set forth in the statement required
to be served by the moving party will be deemed admitted, for
the purposes of the motion, unless controverted as required
by this rule.” Id.
Qualified Immunity in 42 U.S.C. § 1983 Claims
1983 authorizes the assertion of a claim for relief against a
person who, acting under the color of state law, allegedly
violated the claimant's rights under federal law.
See 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Section 1983 actions are
often brought against persons acting under the color of state
law in their individual capacity, but these persons are often
protected from liability by qualified immunity. “The
basic thrust of the qualified-immunity doctrine is to free
officials from the concerns of litigation.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 685 (2009)
(internal quotations and citations omitted). In fact, a
qualified immunity defense is truly “an immunity from
suit rather than a mere defense to liability.”
Pearson v. Callahan, 555 U.S. 223, 231 (2009).
the defendant raises a qualified immunity defense, the
plaintiff carries the burden of demonstrating the
inapplicability of qualified immunity. See Floyd v. City
of Kenner, 351 Fed.Appx. 890, 893 (5th Cir. 2009).
First, the court must determine whether the plaintiff
demonstrated a genuine dispute of material fact as to a
violation of a constitutional right. See Pearson,
555 U.S. at 232. Second, the court must determine whether the
constitutional right at issue was “clearly
established” at the time of the defendant's alleged
misconduct. Id. A defendant who can validly raise a
qualified immunity defense will enjoy its protection so long
as the allegedly violated constitutional right was not
clearly established at the time of the violation. See
id. In other words, the defendant can only be held
liable if he violates a right that is clearly established at
the time of the violation.
when the plaintiff seeks to impose supervisory liability on a
defendant public official in his individual capacity,
“the plaintiff must show that: (1) the supervisor
either failed to supervise or train the subordinate official;
(2) a causal link exists between the failure to train or
supervise and the violation of the plaintiff's rights;
and (3) the failure to train or supervise amounts to
deliberate indifference." Estate of Davis v. City of
N. Richland Hills, 406 F.3d 375, 381 (5th Cir. 2005).
Thus, in a supervisory liability case, a plaintiff must
demonstrate a ...