United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ADRIANNE L. BIELLER
ATLANTIC SPECIALTY INSURANCE COMPANY
ORDER AND REASONS
Defendant's “Motion to Alter or Amend Order and
Reasons on Motion for Summary Judgment Pursuant to Fed. R.
Civ. Proc. 59(e) or, in the Alternative, Motion for
Certification and Motion to Stay Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1292(b)” (Rec. Doc. 37), IT IS ORDERED
that the motion is GRANTED IN PART. This
Court's earlier Order (Rec. Doc. 34) will be amended to
include a subsequent history citation and explanatory
footnote. The motion is DENIED IN PART
insofar as it requests that this Court reverse its earlier
Order or permit an interlocutory appeal.
January 10, 2017, this Court issued an Order and Reasons
denying Defendant's motion for summary judgment. Rec.
Doc. 34. In that Order, we discussed Liberty Mutual
Insurance Company v. Grant Parish Sheriff's
Department, 350 So.2d 236 (La.App. 3 Cir. Aug. 30, 1977)
in an attempt to better understand the rationale for existing
Louisiana law that provides the sheriff, not his or her
department, with the procedural capacity to sue or be sued.
Id. at 11-13. Defendant now moves for an order
amending our earlier Order and granting its motion for
summary judgment, because Liberty Mutual
was subsequently overruled. Rec. Doc. 37-1 at
(citing Jenkins v. Jefferson Par. Sheriff's
Office, 402 So.2d 669, 671 (La. 1981)). However, the
fact that Liberty Mutual's holding was overruled
has no impact on this Court's earlier Order.
discussing Liberty Mutual we were considering the
earliest case that we could find explaining why a sheriff,
not his or her department, may sue or be sued. Rec. Doc. 34
at 11. The Louisiana Third Circuit's holding,
that a current sheriff could not be held liable for the
negligent acts that occurred under a former sheriff, was
irrelevant. It was merely the court's finding that a
sheriff's department could not be sued, and the rationale
for that finding, that we considered. Notably, Liberty
Mutual continues to be cited as one of the earliest
cases, if not the earliest case, recognizing this rule.
See, e.g. Green v. New Orleans Police Dep't, No.
12-1992, 2013 WL 5739076, at *3 and n.6 (E.D. La. Oct. 22,
2013) (recognizing that Louisiana does not provide any law
enforcement office or department with the legal status
necessary to be sued and that Jenkins only overruled
Liberty Mutual insofar as the Third Circuit held
that a present sheriff could not be liable for the negligent
acts committed under a former sheriff); Webster v.
City of Ferriday, No. 16-575, 2016 WL 7041716,
at *1 (W.D. La. Sept. 27, 2016); Lemon v. Kenner Police
Dep't, No. 16-6631, 2016 WL 3950771, at *5 (E.D. La.
July 1, 2016) (Magistrate Judge's report and
recommendation); Barron v. Hilton, No. 14-2754, 2015
WL 1198111, at *2 (W.D. La. March 10, 2015); Ashy v.
Migues, 99-1502, p. 3 (La.App. 3 Cir. 4/5/00); 760 So.2d
440, 443 (recognizing that the “Sheriff, not the
‘Parish Sheriff's Office, ' is the
constitutionally designated chief law enforcement officer of
denied Defendant's motion for summary judgment because
(1) Louisiana law gives the sheriff, not his or her
department, the procedural capacity to sue and be sued; (2)
Louisiana statutes provide that the sheriff, not his or her
department, may contract for insurance; (3) unlike the type
of entity at issue in Terrell v. Fontenot, 11-1472
(La.App. 4 Cir. 6/27/12); 96 So.3d 658, which cannot act on
its own behalf, a sheriff can; (4) the goal in creating a
corporation or other business organization is to create a
separate legal entity, while the goal in electing a sheriff
is to provide an individual person with authority in a
particular jurisdiction; (5) the holding in Holloway v.
Shelter Mutual Insurance Company, 03-896 (La.App. 3 Cir.
12/10/03); 861 So.2d 763, providing that if an individual
person wishes to confer authority to sign a UM waiver, he or
she must do so in writing; and (6) a rejection of UM coverage
must be clear and unmistakable. Defendant's instant
motion to amend our earlier Order has not convinced us to
our earlier Order will be amended to add a subsequent history
citation and a footnote to make it clear that we are, and
were, aware of both Jenkins and Riley v.
Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office, 94-202 (La.
4/4/1994); 637 So.2d 395, 395.
 Note, Defendant's memorandum in
support of its motion was not numbered correctly.
See Rec. Doc. 37-1. We will cite to the page number
of the record document, rather than the page number included
 In fact, we explicitly stated that the
case merely “provide[d] some insight into the manner in
which Louisiana courts and the Louisiana legislature views
sheriff's offices.” Rec. Doc. 34 at 13.
 It is not clear from Defendant's
motion, but to the extent that Defendant believes this Court
read Liberty Mutual in a way, and was persuaded by
such reading, that the sheriff is held personally liable, it
is mistaken. Whether or not a sheriff is held liable in his
or her personal or official capacity is irrelevant to our
ruling. What matters is that it is the individual sheriff,
not his or her department, who has the procedural capacity to
sue or be sued and that it is the sheriff who must sign a UM
waiver or confer authority to do so in writing. When we
stated that “in light of Liberty Mutual . . .
(providing that it is the individual sheriff who is held
liable), ” (Rec. Doc. 34 at 19) we were referring to
the fact that the sheriff, an individual person and not his
or her department, must sue or be sued. We were not
suggesting that the sheriff is held personally liable.
Indeed, the sentence continues, in the same clause, “in
light of Liberty Mutual . . . and its progeny
(recognizing that a sheriff, not his or her office, has the
procedural capacity to sue or be sued) . . . .” Rec.
Doc. 34 at 19 (emphasis added). Defendant appears to have
misunderstood this Court's ruling, citing several cases
in which courts have found that a sheriff is not personally
liable. Rec. Doc. 37-1 at 8 (citing Jenkins, 402
So.2d at 671; Riley, 637 So.2d at 395;
Salvagio, No. 13-5182, 2013 WL 6623921, at *2 (E.D.
La. Dec. 16, 2013); Jones v. St. Tammany Par. Jail,4 F.Supp.2d 606, 614 (E.D. La. 1998)). In fact, the cases
cited and quotations used by Defendant only support our
earlier finding, because they each refer to the potential
liability of the sheriff, not his or her department.
Jenkins, 402 So.2d at 671 (“the sheriff is the
appropriate governmental entity on which to place
responsibility . . . .”); Riley, 637 So.2d at
395 (“We amend the judgment to permit its enforcement
against the present ...