United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
RULING AND ORDER
A. JACKSON, CHIEF JUDGE
the Court is the Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 69) filed by
Defendant, Jason Ard, Sheriff of Livingston Parish
("Sheriff Ard"). Sheriff Ard seeks the dismissal of
claims brought by Plaintiff, Justin Abbott under Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim.
Plaintiff filed an Opposition. (Doc. 70). Sheriff Ard filed a
Reply. (Doc. 73). The Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1331. Oral argument is not necessary. For the
following reasons, the Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 69) filed by
Sheriff Ard is GRANTED.
matter arises from the arrest and subsequent detention of
Plaintiff on September 30, 2015. (Doc. 63 at ¶ 3).
Plaintiff alleges that he was unlawfully arrested without
probable cause by Defendant, Officer Brian Reeves
("Officer Reeves") of the Livingston Parish
Sheriffs Office. (Id. at ¶ 4). At the time of
his arrest, Plaintiff alleges that Officer Reeves was aware
that he had an "obvious bite mark on his
leg." (Id. at ¶ 5). After his
arrest, Plaintiff alleges that Officer Reeves transported him
to the Livingston Parish Detention Center ("LPDC").
(Id. at ¶ 9). Plaintiff alleges that Officer
Reeves acted unlawfully by refusing to allow him to receive
medical assistance for his bite wound prior to transporting
him to the LPDC. (Id. at ¶ 7). Once he arrived
at the LPDC, Plaintiff asserts that he informed Defendant,
Misha McNabb ("McNabb"), the "Nurse
Administrator" of LPDC, that he "was in dire need
of medical attention due to a bite wound on his leg."
(Id. at ¶ 10). Plaintiff further claims that
Defendant, Cheryl Smith ("Smith"), the
"Medical Administrator" of LPDC, denied multiple
requests for medical treatment during his period of
confinement, which lasted from September 30, 2015 through
October 6, 2015. (Id. at ¶¶ 14-15).
consequence of his inability to receive timely medical
treatment, Plaintiff alleges that his bite wound developed
into a severe infection. (Id. at ¶ 17).
Ultimately, Plaintiff claims that he developed a
methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus
("MRSA") infection in his leg at the site of his
bite wound, which left "an enormous hole ... in his
leg." (Id. at ¶¶ 54, 56). Plaintiff
alleges that he was hospitalized for "over seven
days" upon his release from prison to treat this
infection. (Id. at ¶ 55).
March 21, 2016, Plaintiff filed this lawsuit against,
inter alios, Sheriff Ard in both his official and
individual capacities, on the grounds that he may be liable
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for the actions of his deputy,
Officer Reeves. (Docs. 1, 63). In addition, Plaintiff
asserts state law claims against Sheriff Ard for vicarious
liability, false arrest and false imprisonment, and
negligence in failing to properly train and supervise his
officers. (Doc. 63 at ¶¶ 48-51).
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."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 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 All. 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).
Plaintiffs § 1983 Official Capacity Claims
municipalities [and government officials] cannot be held
liable under section 1983 by virtue of the doctrine of
respondeat superior, they are subject to such liability where
official custom or policy is involved in the injury."
O'Quinn v. Manuel, 773 F.2d 605, 608 (5th Cir.
1985) (citing City of Oklahoma City v. Tuttle, All
U.S. 808, 817 (1985)); see also Monell v. Dep't. of
Soc. Servs. of City of New York, 436 U.S. 658, 691-94
(1978). Specifically, municipal liability under § 1983
"requires proof of three elements: a policymaker; an
official policy; and a violation of constitutional rights
whose moving force is the policy or custom."
Piotrowski v. City of Houston, 237 F.3d 567, 578
(5th Cir. 2001) (internal quotation marks omitted). The
policymaker must have actual or constructive knowledge of the
official policy or custom. Pineda v. City of
Houston, 291 F.3d 325, 328 (5th Cir. 2002).
Sheriff Ard In His Official Capacity
officials, such as Sherriff Ard, may be held liable in their
official capacity under § 1983. As stated above, a
plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant is a
policymaker who has actual or constructive knowledge of an
official policy or custom, and that there was a violation of
constitutional rights whose moving force is the policy or
custom. Pineda, 291 F.3d at 328 (citing
Piotrowski, 237 F.3d at 578). Sheriff Ard argues
that Plaintiff has not identified an official policy, which
was the moving force behind any constitutional violation in
this case. (Doc. 69-1 at p. 8). Sheriff Ard asserts that
Plaintiff merely makes conclusory allegations of practices or
customs. (Id.). Plaintiff argues that his complaint
"contains enough factual matter to raise a ...