Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Hamilton v. City of Baton Rouge

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

February 28, 2018

RAYMOND HAMILTON
v.
CITY OF BATON ROUGE, ET AL.

          NOTICE

          ERIN WILDER-DOOMES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Please take notice that the attached Magistrate Judge's Report has been filed with the Clerk of the U.S. District Court.

         In accordance with 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1), you have 14 days after being served with the attached report to file written objections to the proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendations set forth 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 accepted by the District Court.

         ABSOLUTELY NO EXTENSION OF TIME SHALL BE GRANTED TO FILE WRITTEN OBJECTIONS TO THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT.

         REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

         Before the court is a FRCP Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss (the “Motion to Dismiss”)[1]filed by defendants, the City of Baton Rouge, Chief Dabadie, and Officer Brent Delcambre (collectively, “Defendants”). Plaintiff, Raymond Hamilton (“Plaintiff”) has filed two oppositions.[2] For the reasons set forth herein, the undersigned RECOMMENDS[3] that the Motion to Dismiss[4] be DENIED.

         I. Background

         Plaintiff alleges that he was falsely arrested and imprisoned on July 20, 2014. On October 6, 2014 a Bill of Information was filed in the state district court charging Plaintiff with attempted second degree murder, illegal use of weapons or dangerous instrumentalities, and aggravated battery (felony).[5] Following two continuances, [6] Plaintiff was arraigned on November 3, 2014.[7]On August 3, 2016, Plaintiff pled guilty to one count of illegal use of a weapon.[8]

         On August 26, 2015, [9] Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, filed a Complaint Under the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (the “Complaint”) alleging that Officer Delcambre violated Plaintiff's constitutional rights by subjecting him to a false arrest and false imprisonment on July 20, 2014 without probable cause.[10] On February 19, 2016, Defendants filed the instant Motion to Dismiss.[11]Defendants assert that Plaintiff's Complaint should be dismissed “because the matter filed is prescribed on its face.”[12] Specifically, Defendants contend that “a section 1983 action generally accrues when a plaintiff ‘knows or has reason to know of the injury which is the basis of this action, '”[13] and that because Plaintiff filed his Complaint more than one year after the July 20, 2014 arrest, his claims are prescribed.[14] In opposition to the Motion to Dismiss, Plaintiff contends that he did not obtain information regarding “the exact nature of the charges and documented proof of that which is the subject” of this civil action until after a state court motion hearing and discovery on February 19, 2015.[15]

         II. Law and Analysis

         A Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss 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). In order to survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a pleading's language, on its face, must demonstrate that there exists plausibility for entitlement to relief. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 557 (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 v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009) (citation omitted). In determining whether it is plausible that a pleader is entitled to relief, a court does not assume the truth of conclusory statements, but rather looks for facts which support the elements of the pleader's claim. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557. Factual assertions are presumed to be true, but “labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action” alone are not enough to withstand a 12(b)(6) motion. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. “‘A Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim is an appropriate method for raising a statute of limitations defense.'” Dugas v. City of Ville Platte, Civil Action No. 6:17-00337, 2017 WL 6521660, at * 4 (W.D. La. Nov. 11, 2017) (quoting Mann v. Adams Realty Co., Inc., 556 F.2d 288, 293 (5th Cir. 1977)). See also, Jones v. Alcoa, Inc., 339 F.3d 359, 367-368 (5th Cir. 2003).

         “There is no federal statute of limitations for actions brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. It is well established that federal courts borrow the forum state's general personal injury limitations period.” Jackson v. Johnson, 950 F.2d 263, 265 (5th Cir. 1992). See also, Harris v. Hegmann, 198 F.3d 153, 156 (5th Cir. 1999) (“Federal courts borrow state statutes of limitations to govern claims brought under section 1983.”); White v. Gusman, 347 Fed.Appx. 66, 67 (5th Cir. 2009) (unpublished) (“The prescriptive period for a claim brought under §1983 is provided by the law of the state in which the claim arose.”). Under Louisiana law, the prescriptive period for Plaintiff's claim is one year. White, 347 Fed.Appx. at 67 (citing La. C.C. art. 3492); Dugas, 2017 WL 6521660, at * 5 (“Section 1983 claims are best characterized as personal injury actions; therefore, federal courts borrow the forum state's law governing the prescription of personal injury claims. In Louisiana, personal injury claims are governed by Civil Code Article 3492, which provides for a one-year prescriptive period.”). See also, Wallace v. Kato, 549 U.S. 384, 387 (2007) (“Section 1983 provides a federal cause of action, but in several respects relevant here federal law looks to the law of the State in which the cause of action arose. This is so for the length of the statute of limitations: It is that which the State provides for personal-injury torts.”).

         Although the prescriptive period for § 1983 claims is determined via state law, “the accrual date of a §1983 cause of action is a question of federal law that is not resolved by reference to state law.” Wallace, 549 U.S. at 388. See also, Harris, 198 F.3d at 156-157 (“Although federal courts look to federal law to determine when a civil rights action accrues, state law supplies the applicable limitations period and tolling provisions.”). Under the usual rule, “a section 1983 action generally accrues when a plaintiff ‘knows or has reason to know of the injury which is the basis of the action.'” Harris, 198 F.3d at 157 (citing Jackson, 950 F.2d at 265). However, “[a] specific rule applies with regard to the commencement of the prescriptive period for a Section 1983 claim based on false arrest allegations.” Dugas, 2017 WL 6521660, at * 6.[16] The Supreme Court has held that “the statute of limitations upon which a § 1983 claim seeking damages for a false arrest in violation of the Fourth Amendment, where the arrest is followed by criminal proceedings, begins to run at the time the claimant becomes detained pursuant to legal process.” Wallace, 549 U.S. at 396. In Wallace, the Court explained that “[t]he running of the statute of limitations on false imprisonment is subject to a distinctive rule - dictated, perhaps, by the reality that the victim may not be able to sue while he is still imprisoned: ‘Limitations begin to run against an action for false imprisonment when the alleged false imprisonment ends.'” Id. at 389. See also, White, 347 Fed.Appx. at 67-68 (explaining that “‘[l]imitations begin to run against an action for false imprisonment when the alleged false imprisonment ends.'”) (citing Wallace); Mapes v. Bishop, 541 F.3d 582, 584 (5th Cir. 2008) (“The ‘statute of limitations upon a § 1983 claim seeking damages for a false arrest in violation of the Fourth Amendment, where the arrest is followed by criminal proceedings, begins to run at the time the claimant becomes detained pursuant to legal process.'”). “[A] false imprisonment ends once the victim becomes held pursuant to such process-when, for example, he is bound over by a magistrate or arraigned on charges.” Wallace, 549 U.S. at 389.

         In Spriggs v. Wiley, Civil Action No. 11-316, 2012 WL 1143842 (M.D. La. April 4, 2012), this court found plaintiff's complaint involving allegations of false imprisonment arising under the Fourth Amendment and 42 U.S.C. §1983 untimely pursuant to the rule set forth in Wallace. There, plaintiff had been arrested on September 24, 2009, arraigned on January 19, 2010, and formally released from custody on May 11, 2010. Id. at * 1. Defendants asserted that Spriggs' May 11, 2011 suit was untimely, and Spriggs argued that his one year period for bringing his suit began to run on the date he was formally released from custody. Id. at * 2. Noting that, pursuant to Wallace, “a special rule governs the running of false imprisonment actions, ” the court explained that the limitations period for a false imprisonment claim “begins to run ‘when the allegedly false imprisonment ends'” and that “because false imprisonment theory is premised on ‘detention without legal process, a false imprisonment ends once the victim becomes held pursuant to such process….'” Id. at * 3 (citing Wallace). Further, this court explained that “[l]egal process generally begins, and thus the false imprisonment tolling begins, at arraignment.” ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.