United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
L. HORNSBY, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Deon Miller (“Plaintiff”) is a self-represented
inmate who was formerly housed at the Bayou Dorcheat
Correctional Center (“BDCC”). He filed this civil
action against Warden John Lewis and alleged that he was (1)
forced to attend church services, (2) discriminated against
because he is an African-American when his job was taken away
and given to a white prisoner, and (3) terrorized by
deputies. Plaintiff was ordered to file an amended complaint
and provide additional details about his claims. That
pleading (Doc. 11) mentioned only the allegation of forced
Lewis has filed a Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 24) that
attacks all claims. Plaintiff, who is now housed at a
different facility, was given notice of the motion but did
not file any opposition. For the reasons that follow, it is
recommended that Warden Lewis's motion be granted.
judgment is appropriate “if the movant shows that there
is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant
is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed. R.
Civ. Pro. 56(a). The party seeking summary judgment has the
initial responsibility of informing the court of the basis
for its motion, and identifying those parts of the record
that it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine dispute
of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 106
S.Ct. 2548 (1986). If the moving party carries his initial
burden, the burden then falls upon the nonmoving party to
demonstrate the existence of a genuine dispute of a material
fact. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 106 S.Ct. 1348, 1355-56 (1986).
alleged in his amended complaint that he was “forced to
attend religious services while in the custody of Warden
Lewis, or was sent to segregation for refusing, and left
there while services were being held.” Warden Lewis
supports his motion with an affidavit in which he testifies
that Plaintiff was able to serve as a trusty during much of
his time at BDCC. Trustys are granted various privileges,
including the ability to work off the premises.
maintain trusty status, Plaintiff was required to select and
attend three self-improvement classes each week. During
Plaintiff's stay at BDCC, trustys could choose from
several programs: Alcoholics Anonymous, education, religious
services, law library, celebrate recovery, anger management,
parenting, mind-altering substances, and preparing for
success on the outside. Lewis testifies that trustys were not
required to attend a church service, and Plaintiff was not
placed in segregation and did not lose his trusty status
because he did not participate in religious services.
Lewis has met his summary judgment burden with respect to the
claim that Plaintiff was forced to participate in religious
services. Plaintiff has not responded with any competent
summary judgment evidence that would create a genuine dispute
as to any material fact on this claim. Accordingly, Lewis is
entitled to summary judgment on this claim.
original complaint alleged that he was treated unequally
because of his race (African-American) when his “job
was took away from me for nothing that was against the rules
at BDCC and gave to a white man.” Petitioner did not
mention this claim in his amended complaint, and the amended
pleading did not incorporate by reference the prior
allegations. Generally, an amended complaint supercedes and
replaces an original complaint unless the amendment
specifically refers to or adopts the earlier pleading.
Doelens v. Redman Homes, Inc., 759 F.2d 504, 508
(5th Cir. 1985). The Fifth Circuit has applied the rule to
pro se prisoner complaints. Eubanks v. Parker County
Commissioners Corp., 1995 WL 10513, *2 (5th Cir. 1995);
Moore v. Melvin, 1994 WL 708686, n.8 (5th Cir.
the equal protection claim were properly pleaded, Lewis
offers testimony that challenges the underlying facts. Lewis
testified that the reason Plaintiff lost his trusty status
was that he was disciplined for violating the BDCC tobacco
policy and transferred to a different dorm for inmates who
are not in trusty or work release status. Plaintiff has not
responded with any competing summary judgment evidence, ...