Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Lee v. L'Auberge Casino & Hotel

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

September 6, 2017

SHAUN LEE
v.
L'AUBERGE CASINO & HOTEL

          RULING AND ORDER

          BRIAN A. JACKSON, CHIEF JUDGE.

         Before the Court is the Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 9) filed by Sheriff Sid Gautreaux III and the Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 23) filed Deputy Sheriff James Jamison ("Defendants"). Shaun Lee ("Plaintiff') filed oppositions, (Docs. 7 and 25), and replies, (Docs. 26 and 38). For the following reasons, the Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 9) filed by Sheriff Gautreaux is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART, and the Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 23) filed by Deputy Jamison is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff alleges that on December 5, 2015, he had an argument with another patron while at a poker table at the L'Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge. (Doc. 13 at ¶ 4). Casino employees then chased him from the premises, and when Plaintiff arrived at the casino parking lot, Deputy Jamison ordered him to stop. Id. at ¶ 4-5. Plaintiff alleges that he immediately stopped and put his hands in the air, but Deputy Jamison slammed him to the ground, fracturing his wrist. Id. at ¶ 6-7.

         Plaintiff brought claims under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1343, the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and Louisiana law. Id. at ¶ 2. Plaintiff claims that Defendants are liable for: assault, battery (excessive force), failure to provide medical attention, negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress, cruel treatment, false arrest/imprisonment, malicious prosecution, deliberate indifference, and failure to train, screen and supervise. Id. at ¶ 8. Plaintiff also claims that Sheriff Gautreaux is liable under a theory of respondeat superior. Id. at ¶ 9. Plaintiff also seeks punitive damages under § 1983. Id. at ¶ 12.

         Plaintiff filed a Petition for Damages in the 19th Judicial District Court for the Parish of East Baton Rouge on November 10, 2016, naming Sheriff Gautreaux and L'Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge as defendants. (Doc. 1-1). On December 13, 2016, L'Auberge Casino & Hotel removed the case to this Court under 28 U.S.C. § 1441, (Doc. 1), and Sheriff Gautreaux later consented to removal. (Doc. 2). On January 10, 2017, L'Auberge Casino & Hotel filed a Motion to Dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). (Doc. 4). Three days later, Sheriff Gautreaux filed a Motion to Dismiss. (Doc. 5).[1] Plaintiff then filed an Amended Complaint and substituted Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. ("Pinnacle") for L'Auberge Casino & Hotel as a defendant. (Doc. 8). Sheriff Gautreaux filed a Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint. (Doc. 9). The Magistrate Judge then ordered Plaintiff to file a Motion to Substitute his Amended Complaint with a Comprehensive Amended Complaint. (Doc. 14). Plaintiff thereafter filed a Comprehensive Amended Complaint, naming East Baton Rouge Sheriffs Deputy James Jamison, as an additional defendant. (Doc. 16). Deputy Jamison then filed a Motion to Dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). (Doc. 23). The Magistrate ordered Pinnacle and Sheriff Gautreaux to file a supplemental memorandum in support of their pending motions to dismiss, or to withdraw the motions if Plaintiffs Comprehensive Amended Complaint resolved the issues raised in the motions. (Doc. 27). Pinnacle withdrew its Motion to Dismiss, (Doc. 35), and Sheriff Gautreaux filed a supplemental memorandum in support of its previously filed Motion to Dismiss, (Doc. 36).[2]

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) tests the sufficiency of the complaint against the legal standard set forth in Rule 8, which requires "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Rule 8(a)(2). "To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). "Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief [is] . . . a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Ashcroft, 556 U.S. at 679.

         "[F]acial plausibility" exists "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 678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). Hence, the complaint need not set out "detailed factual allegations, " but something "more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action" is required. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. When conducting its inquiry, the Court "accepts all well-pleaded facts as true and views those facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff." Bustos v. Martini Club Inc., 599 F.3d 458, 461 (5th Cir. 2010) (quotation marks omitted).

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Plaintiffs § 1983 Official Capacity Claims

         A § 1983 suit against a government official, like a police officer, in his official capacity cannot be based on a theory of vicarious liability. Alton v. Texas A & M University, 168 F.3d 196, 200 (5th Cir. 1999). Rather, under § 1983, liability for a government official sued in his official capacity requires proof of: "(1) an official policy (or custom), of which (2) a policymaker can be charged with actual or constructive knowledge, and (3) a constitutional violation whose moving force is that policy or custom." Quinn v. Guerrero, 863 F.3d 353, 364 (5th Cir. 2017) (internal citation omitted). Further, "each and any policy which allegedly caused constitutional violations must be specifically identified by a plaintiff[, ]" in order for the necessary determination to be made on the policy's relative constitutionality." Piotrowski v. Houston, 237 F.3d 567, 579-80 (5th Cir. 2001).

         1. Sheriff Gautreaux

         Plaintiff alleges that Sheriff Gautreaux is liable under § 1983 because Deputy Jamison was acting under the direction of the Sheriff at the time of the alleged incident. (Doc. 13 at ¶ 10). It is well-established that official capacity suits cannot be based on vicarious liability. Alton, 168 F.3d at 200. Plaintiff also alleges that Sheriff Gautreaux is liable because he failed to properly train, supervise, and screen his employees, and failed to enforce the laws of the United States and Louisiana. (Doc. 13 at ¶ 13). Beyond conclusory allegations Plaintiff, however, has not adequately plead facts that evince a failure to train or supervise claim. See Ashcroft, 556 U.S. at 678 ("Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice."). Plaintiffs official capacity claims against Sheriff Gautreaux are dismissed.

         2. Deputy Jamison

         Although it is unclear whether Plaintiff has brought an official capacity claim against Deputy Jamison, to the extent he has, these claims will be dismissed. Plaintiff has not alleged that Deputy Jamison is a policymaker. And moreover, he has not identified a specific policy or custom that led to any alleged ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.