United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
take notice that the attached Magistrate Judge's Report
has been filed with the Clerk of the United States District
accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), you have fourteen
(14) days after being served with the attached Report to file
written objections to the proposed findings of fact,
conclusions of law and recommendations therein. Failure to
file written objections to the proposed findings,
conclusions, and recommendations within 14 days after being
served will bar you, except upon grounds of plain error, from
attacking on appeal the unobjected-to proposed factual
findings and legal conclusions of the Magistrate Judge which
have been accepted by the District Court.
NO EXTENSION OF TIME SHALL BE GRANTED TO FILE WRITTEN
OBJECTIONS TO THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
WILDER-DOOMES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the Court is the Motion to Dismiss of the Louisiana
Department of Public Safety and Corrections (R. Doc. 90).
This Motion is opposed.
se Plaintiff, an inmate confined at the Louisiana State
Penitentiary (“LSP”), Angola, Louisiana, filed
this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against former
Warden Burl Cain, current Warden Darrel Vannoy, current or
former Mental Health Directors Carol Gilcrease (originally
identified as “Carol Duthu”), Ms. Peabody and Ms.
Kristen Thomas (originally identified as “Ms.
Kelly”), LSP psychiatrists Dr. Gamble and Dr. Reinbold,
LSP social worker David Ankenbrand, and the Louisiana
Department of Public Safety and Corrections
(“DOC”). In his Complaint, as amended, Plaintiff
asserts claims relative to his long-term segregated
confinement at LSP, allegedly without adequate mental health
care or treatment. In his Amended Complaint, he has also
asserted a claim arising under the Americans with
Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq.,
and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. §
instant Motion, Defendant DOC seeks dismissal pursuant to
Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
contending that Plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted. In Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), and Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), the Supreme Court addressed
the standard of pleading that a plaintiff must meet in order
to survive a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6).
Specifically, “[f]actual allegations must be enough to
raise a right to relief above the speculative level.”
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, supra, at 555.
“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, supra, 556 U.S.
at 678, quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
supra. “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. It follows
that, “where the well-pleaded facts do not permit the
court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct,
the complaint has alleged - but it has not
‘show[n]' - ‘that the pleader is entitled to
relief.'” Id. at 679. “Where a
Complaint pleads facts that are ‘merely consistent
with' a defendant's liability, it ‘stops short
of the line between possibility and plausibility of
entitlement to relief.'” Id. at 678
(internal quotation marks omitted).
motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Rule
12(b)(6), the Court “must accept as true all of the
factual allegations contained in the Complaint.”
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). Further,
“[a] document filed pro se is ‘to be liberally
construed' ... and ‘a pro se Complaint,
however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent
standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers.'” Id. (citation omitted). Even a
pro se complainant, however, must plead
“factual matter” that permits the court to infer
“more than the mere possibility of misconduct.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, supra, 556 U.S. at 678. The court
need not accept “a legal conclusion couched as a
factual allegation, ” Papasan v. Allain, 478
U.S. 265, 286 (1986), or “naked assertions [of unlawful
conduct] devoid of further factual enhancement.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, supra, 556 U.S. at 678 (internal
quotation marks omitted).
the foregoing standard in connection with Plaintiff's
claim asserted against the DOC, the Court concludes that
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss should be granted,
specifically because Plaintiff's § 1983 claim is
barred by the Eleventh Amendment to the United States
Constitution. Under the Eleventh Amendment, an
unconsenting state is generally immune from any lawsuit
seeking monetary damages or equitable relief brought in
federal courts by her citizens or by the citizens of other
states. See Edelman v. Jordan, 415 U.S. 651, 662-63
(1974). Although Congress has the power to abrogate this
immunity through the Fourteenth Amendment, it has not done so
as to claims for the deprivation of civil rights under color
of state law under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See Quern v.
Jordan, 440 U.S. 332, 345 (1979). Accordingly, absent
consent or waiver, not here present, the State of Louisiana
is immune from suit in federal court under § 1983. This
shield of immunity also extends to the Louisiana Department
of Public Safety and Corrections as an arm or agency of the
State. See, e.g., Anderson v. Phelps, 655 F.Supp.
560, 563-64 (M.D. La. 1985). See also Lova v. Texas Dept.
of Corrections, 878 F.2d 860, 861 (5th Cir. 1989).
Accordingly, this aspect of Plaintiff's Complaint is
subject to dismissal as a matter of law.
recommended that the Motion to Dismiss of the Louisiana
Department of Public Safety and Corrections (R. Doc. 90) be
granted, dismissing Plaintiff's claim asserted against
this Defendant, with prejudice.