United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
MARY R. MAYFIELD
DESOTO PARISH POLICE JURY, ET AL
HORNSBY MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Elizabeth Erny Foote United States District Judge
the Court is Defendant Gary Evans' Motion To Dismiss
Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint. Record Document 22,
Plaintiff filed this suit against the Desoto Parish Police
Jury ("DPPJ"), Police Jury President Reggie Roe
("Roe"), Police Jury Administrator Steve Brown
("Brown"), and District Attorney Evans
("Evans"), alleging various employment-related
claims on the basis of discriminatory and retaliatory events.
Record Document 19. Defendant Evans moves to dismiss
Plaintiff's claims against him under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim.
reasons discussed below, the Motion To Dismiss [Record
Document 22] is GRANTED. Plaintiff's civil conspiracy and
§ 1981 retaliation claims against Evans are dismissed
without prejudice; her claims against Evans under Title VII
for hostile work environment, retaliation and constructive
discharge are dismissed with prejudice.
Mary Mayfield, who is a white woman, worked for the DPPJ as
the Executive Director of the Office of Community Services.
Record Document 19, p. 5. Plaintiff alleges that, at work,
Roe and Brown tried to show Plaintiff pictures of naked women
and commented on those women to Plaintiff. Id. p. 6.
Plaintiff filed a human resources complaint about the
incident. Id., p. 7. Nevertheless, Roe and Brown
allegedly continued their harassment. Id. p. 8. A
few months later, Evans, whom Plaintiff alleges is friends
with Roe, called her into his office and "went on a
tirade, " yelling about the programs she administered.
Id., p. 11. She says he got offensive, saying that
"those mother fucking blacks...get all the free shit
already" and that the DPPJ would not fund more programs
like hers. Id. The specifics of what happened next
are unclear. Plaintiff apparently learned that her
subordinates were told by Brown that she would be taking time
off, and then the DPPJ asked Plaintiff to return her work
cell phone and the keys to her office, and the DPPJ announced
the appointment of an "Interim" Executive Director.
Id. p. 15. Plaintiff eventually resigned.
Id. p. 17.
Plaintiff's original complaint she set out these events
along with a lengthy list of federal statutes, state
statutes, federal constitutional provisions and state
constitutional provisions she alleged had been violated by
the Defendants' conduct. Record Document 1. Plaintiff did
not, however, state which claims were alleged against which
Defendants and under which provisions of law. Id.
The Court granted Plaintiff leave to amend her complaint to
sort out her claims. Record Document 16. Plaintiff's
subsequently filed First Amended Complaint identifies claims
against each Defendant, although Plaintiff still does not
always clearly state under which statute or constitutional
provision each claim is brought. Record Document 19.
Standard of Review
order to survive a motion to dismiss brought under Rule
12(b)(6), a plaintiff must "state a claim to relief that
is plausible on its face." Ashcroft v. Iqbal.
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). "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. at 663. 'Threadbare recitals of the elements
of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory
statements, do not suffice." Id. at 678. The
court must accept as true all of the factual allegations in
the complaint in determining whether plaintiff has stated a
plausible claim. See Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007); In re Katrina Canal Breaches
Litigation, 495 F.3d 191, 205 (5th Cir. 2009). However,
a court is "not bound to accept as true a legal
conclusion couched as a factual allegation." Papasan
v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986).
first claim against Evans is civil conspiracy. This claim is
apparently brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1985 and an
unspecified "State Law." Record Document 19, p. 16.
Section 1985 has three subsections. Plaintiff does not
identify the subsection under which her claim is brought.
Subsection (1) prohibits conspiracy to prevent an official
from performing her duty, subsection (2) prohibits conspiracy
to obstruct justice or intimidate a party, witness, or juror,
and subsection (3) prohibits conspiracy to deprive a person
of certain civil rights. Suttles v. United States Post
Office, 927 F.Supp. 990, 1000 (S.D. Tex. 1996).
Plaintiff's claim appears to be brought under subsection
(3). Record Document 19, p. 23 ("Evans...deprive[d]
plaintiff of her constitutionally protected civil
does not specifically address the civil conspiracy, instead
arguing that as to the civil conspiracy, hostile environment,
and retaliation claims, he cannot be liable because he was
not Plaintiff's employer within the meaning of Title VII.
Record Document 22-1, p. 9. However, § 1985 has no
employment relationship requirement, and so this argument is
order to state a claim for a conspiracy under §
1985(3), a plaintiff must allege "(1) a conspiracy
involving two or more persons, (2) for the purpose of
depriving, directly or indirectly, a person or class of
persons of the equal protection of the laws; and (3) an act
in furtherance of the conspiracy; (4) which causes injury to
a person or property, or a deprivation of any right or
privilege of a citizen of the United States, " and (5)
that the conspiracy was motivated by some class-based animus.
Hilliard v, Ferguson, 30 F.3d 649, 652-53 (5th Cir.
1994). Section 1985 does not create rights, it is merely a
mechanism for enforcing federal rights defined elsewhere.
Great Am. Fed. Sav. & Loan Ass'n v. Novotny,
442 U.S. 366, 376 (1979). Plaintiff must identify what
defined federal right was allegedly violated. She does not do
so, instead asserting only that the Defendants acted to
"deprive plaintiff of her constitutionally protected
civil rights." Record Document 19, p. 23. The
Constitution protects many civil rights. Plaintiff must
identify a particular one. She cannot simply state the
elements of civil conspiracy and leave it to the ...