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Amir v. Louisiana State

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

February 20, 2018

KING SANDI AMIR EL
v.
LOUISIANA STATE, ET AL.

         SECTION: “J” (2)

          ORDER & REASONS

          CARL J. BARBIER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to FRCP 12(c) or, alternatively, for Summary Judgment Pursuant to FRCP 56 filed by Defendant, former Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand, in his individual capacity, and current Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto, in his official capacity as the Sheriff of Jefferson Parish.[1] (Rec. Doc. 60.) Plaintiff, King Sandi Amir El, did not file an opposition to the motion. Having considered the motion and legal memoranda, the record, and the applicable law, the Court finds that the Motion to Dismiss should be GRANTED.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         This litigation appears to stem from Plaintiff's arrest in May of 2015. On or around May 30, 2015, Plaintiff was stopped by Defendant Officer D. Boudreaux in the front yard of his grandmother's home. Plaintiff alleges that Officer Boudreaux “aggressively demanded that Plaintiff identify himself” and to produce his driver's license. Plaintiff refused to produce any identification but identified himself as “King Sandi Amir El, a Moslem Moorish American.” Despite Plaintiff's attempt to resist, Officer Boudreaux then allegedly grabbed Plaintiff's arm and led him toward his police car. Plaintiff asserts that Officer Boudreaux handcuffed him and again asked Plaintiff to identify himself. Plaintiff “allowed his Clock of Destiny, Moorish Nationality Card, to be observed” by Officer Boudreaux; other deputies then arrived at the scene. One of the deputies who arrived on scene allegedly told Plaintiff, “You're not King, you are Carlton Morris.” Plaintiff instructed the officer that his name is not Carlton Morris, but rather King Sandi Amir El. Officer Boudreaux then told Plaintiff to get into the police car voluntarily or he would use his Taser on him. Thereafter, Plaintiff was transported to the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center (“JPCC”). Plaintiff alleges that at the JPCC he again identified himself as a Moslem Moorish American but was mocked by Jefferson Parish deputies. While in the JPCC, Plaintiff asserts that he was held under the false name of Carlton Clennon Morris and identified on documents as “negro” or “black, ” which Plaintiff also alleges is untrue.

         In September 2015, Plaintiff made an appearance at the 24th Judicial District Courtroom and proclaimed that he was not a Negro, black, or a colored person. Thereafter, Commissioner Schneider then allegedly stated, “You are black, and you are a Negro, and if you say anything else I will hold you in contempt.” Plaintiff told Commissioner Schneider that he was denying him his right to be heard and that Plaintiff did not consent to being held “in involuntary servitude for defending [his] honor and reputation.” Commissioner Schneider ordered the courtroom officer to handcuff Plaintiff and transport him to the JPCC. Plaintiff alleges that he was held for approximately forty-eight hours without reprieve. Plaintiff again alleges he was held under the name Carlton Clennon Morris.

         Finally, in January 2016, Plaintiff made another appearance at the 24th Judicial District Courtroom. During proceedings before the Honorable Raymond Steib, Plaintiff asserts that he was asked to “please remove your hat” which was a “Moorish Fez.” Further, Plaintiff alleges Judge Steib ordered Carlton Clennon Morris to take a drug screening, but Plaintiff again alleges that he is not Carlton Clennon Morris.

         On March 14, 2016, Plaintiff filed this pro se and in forma pauperis suit against Jefferson Parish and the State of Louisiana. (No. 16-2125; Rec. Doc. 1.) Thereafter, the Court granted Plaintiff leave to file an Amended Complaint and name the following individuals as Defendants: Governor John Bel Edwards, Jefferson Parish District Attorney Paul Connick, Deputy D. Boudreaux, and Sherriff Newel Normand, in their personal and official capacities. (Rec. Docs. 31, 32.) Plaintiff's Amended Complaint includes thirty-five different claims, including numerous alleged constitutional violations, against the four Defendants listed in the Amended Complaint. Plaintiff seeks monetary compensation from these Defendants and a declaration that they are not permitted to refer to him as Carlton Clennon Morris. Further, Plaintiff seeks a declaration that Defendants are not permitted to label or document him as Negro, black, African, or colored person.

         On April 3, 2017, the Court granted Jefferson Parish's Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim (Rec. Doc. 26) dismissing all claims against Jefferson Parish with prejudice. (Rec. Doc. 38.) On May 12, 2017, the Court also granted Governor Edwards' Motion to Dismiss (Rec. Doc. 35) dismissing the claims against Governor Edwards, Jefferson Parish District Attorney Connick, and the State of Louisiana with prejudice. (Rec. Doc. 43.) On July 19, 2017, the Court dismissed the claims against Jefferson Parish Sheriff Deputy D. Boudreaux without prejudice during the Court's call docket. (Rec. Doc. 48.) On October 3, 2017, the Court denied Plaintiff's Motion for Emergency Injunctive Relief. (Rec. Doc. 55.) On October 24, 2017, former Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand, in his individual capacity, and current Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto, in his official capacity as the Sheriff of Jefferson Parish, filed the instant Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to FRCP 12(c) or, alternatively, for Summary Judgment Pursuant to FRCP 56. (Rec. Doc. 60.) Plaintiff did not file an opposition. The motion is now before the Court on the briefs and without oral argument.

         LEGAL STANDARD AND DISCUSSION

         Former Sheriff Normand, in his individual capacity, and current Sheriff Lopinto, in his official capacity as the Sheriff of Jefferson Parish move for a judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c).

         Rule 12(c) provides that “[a]fter the pleadings are closed- but early enough not to delay trial-a party may move for judgment on the pleadings.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c). A motion brought pursuant to Rule 12(c) “is designed to dispose of cases where the material facts are not in dispute and a judgment on the merits can be rendered by looking to the substance of the pleadings and any judicially noticed facts.” Hebert Abstract Co. v. Touchstone Props., Ltd., 914 F.2d 74, 76 (5th Cir. 1990).

         Courts evaluate a motion under Rule 12(c) for judgment on the pleadings using the same standard as a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim. Doe v. MySpace, Inc., 528 F.3d 413, 418 (5th Cir. 2008) (citing Johnson v. Johnson, 385 F.3d 503, 529 (5th Cir. 2004)). To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the plaintiff must plead enough facts to “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is facially plausible when the plaintiff pleads facts that allow the Court to “draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. A court must accept all well-pleaded facts as true and must draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. Lormand v. U.S. Unwired, Inc., 565 F.3d 228, 232 (5th Cir. 2009); Baker v. Putnal, 75 F.3d 190, 196 (5th Cir. 1996). The Court is not, however, bound to accept as true legal conclusions couched as factual allegations. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. “[C]onclusory allegations or legal conclusions masquerading as factual conclusions will not suffice to prevent a motion to dismiss.” Taylor v. Books A Million, Inc., 296 F.3d 376, 378 (5th Cir. 2002).

         A. Claims against former Sheriff Normand in his ...


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