United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
KATHLEEN KAY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the court are Motions for Summary Judgment [docs. 44, 47]
filed pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure by defendants Landon Dowden (“Dowden”)
and Jacqueline Jones (“Jones”), respectively.
Both motions relate to the civil rights action [doc. 1] filed
through counsel but now being tried pro se by
plaintiff Darian Chaney (“Chaney”). See
doc. 28. Chaney opposes the motions. Docs. 49, 50.
motions have been referred to the undersigned for review,
report, and recommendation in accordance with the provisions
of 28 U.S.C. § 636.
following reasons, IT IS RECOMMENDED that
the motions [docs. 44, 47] be DENIED.
counsel, Chaney filed a complaint in this court on December
8, 2015, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state tort law,
alleging that he had been subjected to police brutality
following a traffic stop and car chase in Vernon Parish,
Louisiana. Doc. 1. As defendants he named the City of
Leesville, Louisiana, as well as Landon Dowden and Jacqueline
Jones, individual officers of the Leesville Police
Department. Id. at 2. On February 27, 2015,
Chaney's attorneys filed a motion to withdraw, stating
that Chaney had terminated their representation by mail
earlier that month.Doc. 25. This court granted the motion on
February 28, 2017, advising Chaney of his responsibilities as
a pro se litigant, and entered an electronic scheduling
order. Docs. 28, 29.
thereafter, from March 2 through March 8, 2017, this court
received several letters from Chaney to the undersigned
magistrate judge, the district judge, the United States Fifth
Circuit Court of Appeals, and his former attorneys, quoting
fictitious law books and statutes and making demands for
immediate compensation in the amount of 26.3 million dollars.
See docs. 30-43. Within these letters Chaney
declared multiple times that he was not suing the individual
officers but instead only intended to sue the City of
Leesville Police Department. Doc. 30, p. 2; doc. 33, p. 2;
see doc. 37, p. 2 (questioning why Jacqueline Jones
was named in the caption on his suit).
individual officer defendants now move for summary judgment,
in motions filed on March 15 and 24, 2017, respectively, on
the basis that Chaney has time and again averred that he does
not intend to sue them. Docs. 44, 47. In his responses, filed
in this court on April 10, 2017, Chaney continues to make
several confounding assertions, but also states that he
“accept[s] [defendant law firm's] offer to sue
Jacqueline Jones and Landon Dowden.” Doc. 49, p. 2;
see also doc. 50, p. 1 (stating causes of action by
Summary Judgment Standard
should grant a motion for summary judgment when the
pleadings, including the opposing party's affidavits,
“show that there is no genuine issue as to any material
fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter
of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); see also Celotex Corp.
v. Catrett, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 2553 (1986). The party
moving for summary judgment is initially responsible for
demonstrating the reasons justifying the motion for summary
judgment by identifying portions of pleadings and discovery
that show the lack of a genuine issue of material fact for
trial. Tubacex, Inc. v. M/V Risan, 45 F.3d 951, 954
(5th Cir. 1995). The court must deny the moving party's
motion for summary judgment if the movant fails to meet this
the movant makes this showing, the burden then shifts to the
non-moving party to set forth specific facts showing that
there is a genuine issue for trial. Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2510 (1986). The burden
requires more than mere allegations or denials of the adverse
party's pleadings. The non-moving party must demonstrate
by way of affidavit or other admissible evidence that there
are genuine issues of material fact or law. Celotex,
106 S.Ct. at 2553. There is no genuine issue of material fact
if, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party, no reasonable trier of fact could find for
the non-moving party. Tolan v. Cotton, 134 S.Ct.
1861, 1866 (2014). Furthermore, a court may not make
credibility determinations or weigh the evidence in ruling on
a motion for summary judgment. Reeves v. Sanderson
Plumbing Prods., Inc., 120 S.Ct. 2097, 2110 (2000).
However, the nonmovant must submit “significant