United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
WILLIAM J. AUBIN, ET AL.
COLUMBIA CASUALTY COMPANY, ETAL.
RULING AND ORDER
A. JACKSON, CHIEF JUDGE
the Court is the Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Rule 12(B)(6)
(sic) (Doc. 13) and the Motion to Dismiss Amended Comaplint
(sic) Pursuant to Rule 12(B)(6) (sic) (Doc. 34) filed by
Jason Ard, Sheriff of Livingston Parish, State of Louisiana
("Sheriff Ard"). In his motions, Sheriff Ard seeks
to dismiss William Aubin's claims against him for failure
to state a claim upon which relief may be granted under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("Rule") 12(b)(6).
Each party filed oppositions (Docs. 17, 37), replies (Docs.
28, 44), sur-replies (Doc. 32), and sur-sur replies (Doc. 39)
where applicable. Jurisdiction is proper under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1331. Oral argument on Defendant's motions was
held on January 31, 2017.
action arises out of a physical altercation between Mr. Aubin
and Deputy William Durkin ("Deputy Durkin") that
occurred on April 30, 2015. On that date, Plaintiffs assert
that they were at their home near Denham Springs, Louisiana,
when Deputy Durkin drove down the street in a marked patrol
car, allegedly responding to a complaint concerning
Plaintiffs' neighbor. (Doc. 1 at ¶¶ 6, 7).
Plaintiffs allege that they approached Deputy Durkin to
discuss the matter concerning their neighbor with him, at
which time Plaintiffs allege Deputy Durkin began cursing at
Mr. Aubin and threatened to arrest him. (Doc. 1 at
¶¶ 10 - 12). Plaintiffs further allege that Mr.
Aubin began retreating toward his home and attempted to place
a telephone call to the Sheriffs Office to file a complaint
about Deputy Durkin's conduct when Deputy Durkin grabbed
Mr. Aubin, threw him on the front of his patrol unit, began
hitting him on the head with handcuffs, twisted his arm,
causing injury to his rotator cuff, hit him in the head and
kicked him in the buttocks. (Doc. 1 at ¶¶ 13 - 17).
The Complaint alleges that Mr. Aubin was handcuffed and
charged with resisting an officer in violation of La. R.S.
§ 14:108; interfering with a law enforcement
investigation in violation of La. R.S. § 14:329; and
public intimidation and retaliation in violation of La. R.S.
result of this alleged incident, Plaintiffs assert that
Deputy Durkin is liable for "(a) battery, (b) assault,
(c) false arrest, (d) false imprisonment, (e) unlawful
seizure, (f) cruel and unusual treatment, (g) violation of
the Constitution and other laws of the United States and of
the State of Louisiana, (h) excessive use of force, (i)
unreasonable use of force, (j) malicious prosecution, and for
all other acts and omissions as will be shown at trial."
(Doc. 1 at ¶ 29). Plaintiffs also allege that Deputy
Durkin is liable for assault upon Mrs. Aubin and for her loss
of consortium. (Doc. 1 at 111130-32).
further assert that "[Sheriff] Ard is vicariously liable
unto the Aubins as a matter of Louisiana state law for the
acts, omissions, torts and/or other misconduct of
Durkin" and "for his ratification and endorsement
of, and deliberate indifference to, the Conduct of Durkin, as
well as for his failure to adequately train and supervise
Durkin." (Doc. 1 at ¶¶ 33 - 34).
Ard filed his initial Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 13) on June 13,
2016, seeking to dismiss "all federal law claims
asserted against Sheriff Ard, as well as all claims of
independent liability under Louisiana state law." (Doc.
13-2 at p. 1). In response to Sheriff Ard's motion,
Plaintiffs filed an Amended Complaint in accordance with
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("Rule")
15(a)(1)(B), which they claim mooted Sheriff Ard's
initial motion. (See Docs. 16, 17). Plaintiffs' Amended
Complaint adds the following allegations against Sheriff Ard:
... Sheriff Ard failed to train and supervise his deputies,
including Durkin, in the First Amendment protection of the
speech of residents of Livingston Parish, including William
Aubin, and in the proper, constitutional, scope of
Louisiana's public intimidation law.
To the contrary, Sheriff Ards official policy is that his
deputies are ministers of God, who derive their just
authority from God, and who have a divine commission to
punish wrongdoers including, allegedly, William Aubin in this
In particular, Sheriff Ard has testified that his
deputies' divine authority is explained in Paul's
epistle to the Romans, chapter 13, verse 4, and, accordingly,
Sheriff Ard has emblazoned "13:4" on the Livingston