United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS
ZAINEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
following motions are before the Court: Motion for Judgment
on the Pleadings (Rec. Doc. 23) filed by defendants Daphne
Johnson, Lemoyne Reine, and Cody Smith; Cross-Motion (Rec.
Doc. 24) filed by Plaintiff, Daphne Cross (pro se), mother of
the minor X.F. The motions, submitted on June 28, 2017, are
before the Court on the briefs without oral argument.
Daphne Cross has filed this § 1983 complaint pro se on
behalf of her minor son X.F. According to her complaint,
Juvenile Court Judge Candice Bates-Anderson (a defendant
herein) presided over X.F.'s case wherein he was placed
in the custody of the Bridge City Center for Youth at the age
of 15. Plaintiff complains that notwithstanding some prior
abuse at Bridge City Center that X.F. had endured in
September 2014, the judge decided to keep him there. On June
25, 2015, X.F. was attacked by some other youths and had to
be rushed to Children's Hospital to have his ear sewn
Cody Smith was an employee of Bridge City and the Court
gleans from the complaint that Plaintiff believes that Smith
lied in Court about X.F.'s case. Defendant Lemoyne Reine
was X.F.'s probation officer, and defendant Daphne
Johnson was Reine's supervisor. Plaintiff alleges
generally that her son's federal due process rights were
violated by the defendants acting together.
Johnson, Reine, and Smith previously moved to dismiss all
federal claims against them. Their motion was directed solely
at the official capacity claims and the Court agreed that for
purposes of § 1983 these defendants are not
“persons” amenable to suit. (Rec. Doc. 10).
See Will v. Mich. Dept. of State Police, 491 U.S.
58, 71 (1989). The Court therefore dismissed with prejudice
the federal claims against defendants Johnson, Reine, and
Smith in their official capacities. Id.
Johnson, Reine, and Smith now move for judgment on the
pleadings as to the claims, if any, asserted against them in
their personal capacities. As to the moving defendants, the Court
agrees with their characterization of the Complaint: Cross
appears to claim that X.F. was improperly convicted because
of Defendants' fault, thereby laying responsibility on
them for the abuse and violence that X.F. experienced at the
Bridge City Center for Youth. (Rec. Doc. 23-2, Memo in
Support at 1). Cross takes issue with the testimony that
Smith gave in the juvenile proceedings, and with documents
that Reine provided to the court.
claims against Reine and Smith for their acts in conjunction
with X.F.'s trial are barred under Heck v.
Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994). Heck holds that
a civil cause of action does not accrue under § 1983
during the existence of a criminal judgment when success on
that cause of action would render the criminal conviction
invalid. 312 U.S. at 486-87. The principles of Heck
apply to allegations of false testimony and evidence
tampering. See Villegas v. Galloway, 458 Fed.Appx.
334, 337 (5th Cir. 2012) (unpublished).
claims against Johnson are likewise barred by Heck
for the same reason. Moreover, under § 1983 supervisory
officials are not liable for the acts of their subordinates
on any theory of vicarious liability. Thompkins v.
Belt, 828 F.2d 298, 305 (5th Cir. 1987)
(citing Thibodeaux v. Arceneaux, 768 F.2d 737, 739
(5th Cir. 1985)).
defendants Daphne Johnson, Lemoyne Reine, and Cody Smith are
entitled to judgment as a matter of law on the claims
asserted against them in their personal capacities.
and for the foregoing reasons;
ORDERED that the Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (Rec.
Doc. 23) filed by defendants Daphne Johnson, Lemoyne Reine,
and Cody Smith is GRANTED. All federal claims against these
defendants in their personal capacities are dismissed with
prejudice. The Clerk is instructed to enter a final judgment
as to all defendants;
FURTHER ORDERED that the Cross-Motion (Rec. Doc. 24) filed by