United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
MARTIN L. TEXADA (#399229)
JAMES M. LEBLANC, ET AL.
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
RICHARD L. BOURGEOIS, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on the plaintiff and the
defendants' cross Motions for Summary Judgment (R. Docs.
28 and 29). These Motion are opposed. See R. Docs.
30 and 31.
pro se plaintiff, an inmate incarcerated at the
Louisiana State Penitentiary (“LSP”), Angola,
Louisiana, filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983 against Secretary James LeBlanc, former Warden Burl
Cain, Ass't Warden Leslie Dupont, and Ass't Warden
Chad Menzina, complaining that the defendants violated his
constitutional rights through exposure to excessive heat.
plaintiff's claims for monetary damages asserted against
the defendants in their official capacities, the
plaintiff's claim for compensatory damages asserted
against the defendants in their individual capacities, and
any claim the plaintiff may have been asserting on behalf of
other inmates have been previously dismissed. See R.
Docs. 17 and 18.
plaintiff moves for summary judgment relying upon the
pleadings, a statement of undisputed facts, and his own
Declaration. The defendants oppose the plaintiff's Motion
relying upon the pleadings, and the affidavits of Randall
Robertson, Dr. Randy Lavespere, Larry Phillips, and the
plaintiff's medical records.
defendants move for summary judgment relying upon the
pleadings, a statement of undisputed facts, the Affidavits of
Randall Robertson, Dr. Randy Lavespere, and Larry Phillips,
the plaintiff's medical records, and the DOC Heat
Pathology Policy. The plaintiff opposes the defendants'
Motion relying upon the pleadings and his own Affidavit.
to well-established legal principles, summary judgment is
appropriate where there is no genuine disputed issue as to
any material fact, and the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. Rule 56, Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317
(1986); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S.
242 (1986). A party moving for summary judgment must inform
the Court of the basis for the motion and identify those
portions of the pleadings, depositions, answers to
interrogatories and admissions on file, together with
affidavits, if any, that show that there is no such genuine
issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
supra, 477 U.S. at 323. If the moving party carries
its burden of proof under Rule 56, the opposing party must
direct the Court's attention to specific evidence in the
record which demonstrates that the non-moving party can
satisfy a reasonable jury that it is entitled to a verdict in
its favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
supra, 477 U.S. at 248. This burden is not satisfied
by some metaphysical doubt as to alleged material facts, by
unsworn and unsubstantiated assertions, by conclusory
allegations, or by a mere scintilla of evidence. Little
v. Liquid Air Corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th Cir. 1994).
Rather, Rule 56 mandates that summary judgment be entered
against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to
establish the existence of an element essential to that
party's case and on which that party will bear the burden
of proof at trial. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
supra, 477 U.S. at 323. Summary judgment is
appropriate in any case where the evidence is so weak or
tenuous on essential facts that the evidence could not
support a judgment in favor of the non-moving party.
Little v. Liquid Air Corp., supra, 37 F.3d
at 1075. In resolving a motion for summary judgment, the
Court must review the facts and inferences in the light most
favorable to the non-moving party, and the Court may not
evaluate the credibility of witnesses, weigh the evidence, or
resolve factual disputes. International Shortstop, Inc.
v. Rally's, Inc., 939 F.2d 1257, 1263 (5th Cir.
Complaint the plaintiff alleges the following: The plaintiff
was confined to a 6 x 8 cell for 23 hours per day on a tier
where the windows are broken and can only be opened and
closed twice annually, and where there are only 4 stationary
wall-mounted fans, resulting in “dead zones”
where no air is circulating. As a result, the plaintiff has
been subjected to 100 degree temperatures resulting in the
exacerbation of his unspecified pre-existing conditions.
response to the plaintiff's Complaint, the defendants
assert that they are entitled to qualified immunity in
connection with the plaintiff's claims. Specifically, the
defendants contend that the plaintiff's allegations and
evidentiary showing fail to show the existence of a genuine
issue of disputed fact relative to their participation in any
violation of the plaintiff's constitutional rights.
qualified immunity defense is a familiar one and, employing a
two-step process, operates to protect public officials who
are performing discretionary tasks. Huff v. Crites,
473 F. App'x. 398 (5th Cir. 2012). As enunciated in
Saucier v. Katz, 533 U.S. 194 (2001), the first step
in the analysis is to consider whether, taking the facts as
alleged in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, the
defendants' conduct violated the plaintiff's
constitutional rights. Id. at 201. Second, the
district court looks to whether the rights allegedly violated
were clearly established at the time that the violation
occurred. Id. This inquiry, the Court stated, is
undertaken in light of the specific context of the case, not
as a broad, general proposition. Id. The relevant,
dispositive inquiry in determining whether a constitutional
right was clearly established is whether it would have been
clear to a reasonable state official that his conduct was
unlawful in the situation which he confronted. Id.
at 202. The assertion of the qualified immunity defense
alters the summary judgment burden of proof. Michalik v.
Hermann, 422 F.3d 252, 262 (5th Cir. 2005). Once a
defendant pleads qualified immunity, the burden shifts to the
plaintiff, who “must rebut the defense by establishing
that the ...