United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
PEOPLE'S WORKSHOP, INC. ET AL.
FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY, ET AL.
RULING AND ORDER
W. deGRAVELLES JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT MIDDLE
DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
the Court is a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings pursuant
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“Rule”) 12(c)
filed on behalf of The Town of Clinton; the Board of Aldermen
for the Town of Clinton; Lori Ann Bell; and Russ Hicks
(“Town Defendants”). (“Motion, ” Doc.
55). Plaintiffs People's Workshop, Inc. and individuals
purporting to represent themselves and a class of people
similarly situated (“Plaintiffs”) have filed an
Opposition. (Doc. 61). The Town Defendants have filed a Reply
in further support of the Motion. (Doc. 62).
reasons discussed below, the Motion is granted, but
Plaintiffs will be given leave to amend.
August 2016, Louisiana experienced historic flooding, causing
the President to declare a state of emergency. (Doc. 1 at 6).
Plaintiffs allege that, upon the declaration of emergency,
the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”)
was required to provide people whose homes were rendered
uninhabitable or inaccessible with various forms of disaster
assistance on a non-discriminatory basis. (Id. at
14). The Complaint generally claims that FEMA and its
representatives, both federal and local, have failed to
provide adequate flood relief to Plaintiffs. (Id. at
14-15). For example, Plaintiffs maintain that FEMA and its
representatives have failed to provide temporary housing,
failed to provide local group sites for FEMA trailers,
provided Governor Edwards with erroneous information in
connection with providing FEMA flood relief, and failed to
properly assess damages. (Id. at 2-3).
allege four causes of action. The first is for failure to
provide temporary housing assistance in violation of the
Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance
Act (the “Stafford Act”). (Id. at
18-19). The second is for failing to provide temporary
housing assistance in violation of Plaintiffs' due
process rights. (Id. at 20-21). The third is for
“denials and delays of temporary housing
assistance” in violation of the nondiscrimination
provisions of the Stafford Act. (Id. at 21). The
final cause of action is for violating Plaintiffs' due
process rights and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
(Id. at 23). Plaintiffs' prayer for relief
requests the following:
1. FEMA will ensure that all eligible applicants for
Temporary Housing Assistance who have applied for such
assistance receive it within a reasonable period of time.
2. For a Preliminary and Permanent Injunction restraining
DEFENDANTS to provide to persons who submitted applications
for Temporary Housing Assistance but have been subsequently
denied, Temporary Housing Assistance.
3. For a Preliminary and Permanent Injunction restraining
DEFENDANTS from having a trailer groupsite outside of the
Town of Clinton.
4. For a Preliminary and Permanent Injunction restraining the
East Feliciana Police Jury from forming a Private Task
Recovery Committee with public funds which does not include a
representative from local agencies and residents of the
community which represent a fair and adequate depiction of
the Town of Clinton.
5. For a Preliminary and Permanent Injunction prohibiting the
East Feliciana Chamber of Commerce from receiving and
overseeing FEMA funds (resources) because they are agencies
that do not meet the requirements associated with the
6. FURTHER PRAY THAT FEMA will set up trailer sites in the
Town of Clinton and utilize the property available and
provided by Feliciana Housing ...