United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lafayette Division
DRELL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court in this civil rights suit is an unopposed motion
for summary judgment filed by Defendants, Colonel Michael
Edmonson and Officers Stephen Bruner, Tim Hanks, Bart
Bouillon and Dexter Bourque. Doc. 78. Pursuant to the motion,
Defendants seek dismissal of this suit on the basis that all
claims asserted therein have prescribed. For the reasons set
forth below, the motion is GRANTED.
January 9, 2010, Plaintiff Willie Francisco was involved in a
single vehicle accident in which one of the occupants of the
vehicle was fatally injured. Doc. 1 at ¶¶ 16-18.
Based upon an investigation conducted by the Louisiana State
Police, an arrest warrant issued for Plaintiff on January 14,
2010. Doc. 33-4. On March 12, 2010, Plaintiff was arrested
and charged with negligent homicide, negligent injuring, hit
and run, and driving without a license. Doc. 1 at ¶ 23.
On June 23, 2010, Plaintiff appeared for arraignment. Doc.
78-4. On April 19, 2012, the charges against Plaintiff were
dismissed, and Plaintiff was released from custody the same
day. Doc. 1 at ¶ 24; Doc. 78-1 at ¶ 5. Thereafter,
Plaintiff filed this suit against the above-named Defendants
for violations of his Constitutional rights and pendant state
law tort claims. Doc. 1; Doc. 78-1 at ¶ 1.
suit, Plaintiff asserts the following claims against Officers
Bruner, Hanks, Bouillon and Bourque: violations of his Fourth
and Fourteenth Amendment rights under the United States
Constitutionpursuantto42U.S.C. § 1983; conspiracy to
violate Plaintiff s Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1985; unspecified violations of
his rights under the Louisiana Constitution; and claims of
false arrest, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution
pursuant to La. Civ. Code art. 2315. Doc. Nos. 1, 15, 31, 49
at 1, and 62 at 2-4. With regard to Colonel Edmonson,
Plaintiff asserts a claim for his alleged failure to properly
train and supervise the foregoing police officers pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983. Doc. Nos. 31 at ¶ 6, and 49 at 1.
All claims are asserted against each defendant solely in
their personal capacities.
prior filings, counsel for Plaintiff contended he filed this
suit on April 19, 2013, but "the document did not
register on the website [i.e., CM/ECF] until May 15,
2013." Doc. 13 at 7, n. 1. However, at a hearing
conducted on April 22, 2014, the Operations Manager for the
Western District of Louisiana testified that while counsel
for Plaintiff opened a suit on April 19, 2013, he did not
actually file a complaint into the record until May 15, 2013.
Doc. 61 at pp. 3-5. At that hearing, counsel for Plaintiff
admitted he mistakenly did not file the Complaint on April
19, 2013. Id. at 20. On May 15, 2013, counsel
realized the Complaint was not filed in the record and
contacted the Clerk of Court, who provided counsel with
instructions for filing same. Doc. 19 at 2; Doc. 61 at 5.
civil action is commenced by filing a complaint with the
court." Fed.R.Civ.P. 3. As the Complaint in this matter
was not filed into the record until May 15, 2013, the Court
deems May 15, 2013 as the date this civil action was
commenced. See e.g. Franklin v. McHugh, 804 F.3d 627
(2nd Cir. 2015) (Where counsel only completed part
of the process to electronically file a notice of appeal
within the deadline for filing same, but the notice of appeal
itself was not filed into the record until after the deadline
passed, the notice of appeal was untimely filed); accord
Sudduth v. Tex. Health & Human Servs. Comm'n.
83OF.3d 175, 178 (5th Cir. 2016); Walker v.
Transfrontera CV de SA, 634 Fed.Appx. 422, 427
(5th Cir. 2015) (counsel has a responsibility to
routinely check the docket sheet for activity, regardless of
whether he receives electronic notices about updates);
Frazana K. v. Indianan Dep't of Educ.. 473 F.3d
703, 705-06 (7th Cir. 2007) (If counsel blunders
in his attempts to electronically file documents, "the
remedy is malpractice litigation against the culprit, not the
continuation of litigation against an adversary who played no
role in the error"). Additionally, as Plaintiff has not
complied with Local Rule 56.2, he is deemed to have admitted
Defendants' Statement of Undisputed Material Fact no. 1,
which reads: "On May 15, 2013, the Plaintiff filed his
original Complaint. .. ." Doc. 78-1 at ¶ 1; Local Rule
Summary Judgment Standard
party may move for summary judgment, identifying each claim
or defense-or the part of each claim or defense-on which
summary judgment is sought." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a).
"The court shall grant summary judgment 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." Id. "A genuine issue of material
fact exists when the evidence is such that a reasonable jury
could return a verdict for the non-moving party."
Quality Infusion Care, Inc. v. Health Care Service
Corp., 628 F.3d 725, 728 (5th Cir. 2010). As
summarized by the Fifth Circuit:
When seeking summary judgment, the movant bears the initial
responsibility of demonstrating the absence of an issue of
material fact with respect to those issues on which the
movant bears the burden of proof at trial. However, where the
nonmovant bears the burden of proof at trial, the movant may
merely point to an absence of evidence, thus shifting to the
non-movant the burden of demonstrating by competent summary
judgment proof that there is an issue of material fact
Lindsey v. Sears Roebuck and Co., 16 F.3d 616, 618
(5th Cir.1994) (internal citations omitted). To
satisfy this burden, the non-movant is "required to
identify specific evidence in the record, and to articulate
the 'precise manner' in which that evidence
support[s] [its] claim." Forsyth v. Barr, 19
F.3d 1527, 1537 (5th Cir. 1994) (citing
Topalian v. Ehrman. 954 F.2d 1125, 1131
(5th Cir. 1992)).
motion for summary judgment cannot be granted simply because
there is no opposition, even if the failure to oppose
violate[s] a local rule." Hibernia Nat. Bank v.
Administracion Cent. Sociedad Anonima, 776 F.2d 1277,
1279 (5th Cir. 1985). "The movant has the
burden of establishing the absence of a genuine issue of
material fact and, unless he has done so, the court may not
grant the motion, regardless of whether any response was
filed." Id.; see also Day v. Wells
Fargo Bank Nat. Ass'n, 768 F.3d 435
(5th Cir. 2014) ("a court may grant an
unopposed summary judgment motion if the undisputed facts
show that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of