United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
RULING AND ORDER
A. JACKSON, CHIEF JUDGE
the Court is the Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 28) filed by
Defendants Warden Jerry Goodwin and Secretary James LeBlanc.
Plaintiff Roger Price filed an opposition. (Doc. 37). For the
following reasons the Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 28) is GRANTED.
was convicted of armed robbery in 1985. (Doc. 7 at ¶ 6).
He was paroled in 2003, and his parole was revoked nearly
eleven months later for unspecified reasons. Id. at
¶ 6-7. Plaintiff claims that state officials then
applied a statute, enacted after he was convicted, to forfeit
all of his good time credit, in violation of the Ex Post
Facto Clause of the United States Constitution. Id.
at ¶¶ 7, 16. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the
Fifth Circuit granted Plaintiffs application for a writ of
habeas corpus based on the same allegations. Price v.
Warden, 785 F.3d 1039, 1040 (5th Cir. 2015). The Court
ordered the State of Louisiana to recalculate Plaintiffs good
time credit or release him. Id.
filed the instant lawsuit in the Nineteenth Judicial District
Court, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. (Doc. 7 at ¶
23). Plaintiff initially sued only the State of Louisiana,
and the State removed the case to this Court. (Doc. 1).
Plaintiff then filed an Amended Complaint, adding Jerry
Goodwin, Warden at the David Wade Correctional Center in
Homer, Louisiana and James LeBlanc, Secretary of the
Louisiana Department of Corrections as Defendants. (Doc. 7).
Plaintiff claims that Defendants are liable under § 1983
for wrongful detention, intentional infliction of emotional
distress, malicious prosecution, and Louisiana state law for
negligence. Id. ¶ 15. On January 13, 2017, the
Court dismissed Plaintiffs claims against the State of
Louisiana on sovereign immunity grounds. (Doc. 14). Warden
Goodwin and Secretary LeBlanc then filed a Motion to Dismiss.
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 Ail. 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.
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).
Official Capacity Claims
contend that they are entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity
insofar as Plaintiff sued them in their official capacity for
damages. (Doc. 28-1 at p. 2). The Eleventh Amendment bars a
state's citizens from filing suit against the state in
federal court unless the state has waived its immunity or
otherwise consented to suit. Cozzo u. Tangipahoa Parish
Council-President Government, 279 F.3d 273, 280 (5th
Cir.2002) ("By statute, Louisiana has refused any such
waiver of its Eleventh Amendment sovereign immunity regarding
suits in federal courts."). Moreover, an
official-capacity suit for monetary relief "against a
state officer is not a suit against the official but rather
is a suit against the official's office. As such it is no
different from a suit against the State itself and is
likewise barred by the Eleventh Amendment. Hafer v.
Melo, 502 U.S. 21, 25-26 (1991).
on these principles of law, Plaintiffs claims for monetary
damages against Defendants LeBlanc and Goodwin in their
official capacities are barred by the Eleventh Amendment.
Therefore, Plaintiffs official capacity claims against
Defendants LeBlanc and Goodwin are dismissed under Rule
12(b)(1) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
Individual Capacity Claims
next argue that Plaintiffs claims against them in their
individual capacity should be dismissed. The Fifth Circuit
has held that proof of an individual defendant's personal
involvement in alleged misconduct is a prerequisite to his
liability on a claim for damages under § 1983. Alton
v, Texas A& M University,168 F.3d 196, 200 (5th
Cir. 1999). Section 1983 does not provide for liability of a
supervisory official under a theory of respondeat
superior or ...