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Folse v. Knight

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

June 11, 2018


          SECTION “S” (4)



         This matter was referred to a United States Magistrate Judge to conduct a hearing, including an evidentiary hearing, if necessary, and to submit proposed findings and recommendations for disposition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and (C) and § 1915A, and as applicable, 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c)(1) and (2). On February 6, 2017, the Court conducted a hearing pursuant to Spears v. McCotter, [1] and its progeny, with the plaintiff participated by telephone.[2] Upon review of the entire record, the Court has determined that this matter can be disposed of without an evidentiary hearing.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

         The plaintiff, Brieun Vicha Folse (“Folse”) is an inmate currently incarcerated at the Concordia Parish Correctional Facility in Ferriday, Louisiana.[3] He filed this pro se and in forma pauperis complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against defendants, Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Deputy Robert Knight, Warden Cantrelle Davis of the Lafouche Parish Detention Center, and former Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre seeking damages for the alleged violations of his constitutional rights.

         A. The Complaint

         In his complaint, Folse alleged that in April of 2017, while he was housed in the Lafourche Parish Correctional Center, Deputy Robert Knight entered the vestibule and grabbed and massaged Folse's penis. Folse referenced and attached a copy of his August 17, 2017, Administrative Remedy Procedure (“ARP”) grievance form from the Lafourche Parish Detention Center. On this form, Folse asserted that he was in the vestibule to obtain pages to color when Deputy Knight inappropriately touched him by grabbing his penis. As relief, Folse requested that Deputy Knight be fired and that he be awarded damages and money for his mental and physical stress.

         B. The Spears Hearing

         At the hearing, Folse testified that he is a convicted inmate serving a 10-year prison sentence for being a felon in possession of a firearm. He stated that he will be eligible for parole in 2020.

         Folse also stated that, at the time of the alleged incident, he was a Trustee inmate at the Lafourche Parish Correctional Center. He further testified that, sometime around April 23 to 25, 2017, he entered “the booth” area to retrieve some coloring pages when Deputy Knight[4] suddenly grabbed his penis. Folse stated that, after the incident, he spoke to Deputy Hare and asked what he could do about the incident, but received no advice. He also later spoke with Sergeant Jeff Chamberlain about the incident, but he was still given no instructions.

         Folse indicated that at some point, he learned that Deputy Knight told others that he had heard that Folse had a “shank” on him. Folse claims that, after the incident, he was taken off of Trustee status and shipped to the Catahoula Parish Jail.

         Folse testified that he documented in a black journal everything that occurred with respect to the incident with Deputy Knight. Before he was transferred, sometime between April 23 and 25, 2017, his journal was taken away from him. Folse recalled losing his Trustee status on a Thursday and being transferred to the other jail on a Sunday.

         Folse testified that, on May 14, 2017, he was sent back to the Lafourche Parish Correctional Center for about one week. During that time, he learned that Deputy Knight had been “written up” for other incidents of sexually touching inmates. Folse claimed that he complained to Deputy Harris that his allegations against Deputy Knight had not been investigated. Soon after this, he was transferred several times between the Lafourche Parish Correctional Center and the Catahoula Parish Correctional Center because of pending criminal proceedings. While in Lafourche Parish on June 21, 2017, Sergeant Jeff Chamberlain approached him to take his statement regarding the incident with Deputy Knight. Folse stated that Sergeant Chamberlain allowed him to be placed back on Trustee status.

         Folse testified that he remained on Trustee status in Lafourche Parish until his transfer out on August 9, 2017. He stated that during that time, he drafted an administrative grievance about his allegations against Deputy Knight. Folse claims that after the first step of the administrative process, the prison officials told him the incident was under investigation. He stated that he received no follow-up decisions or information on how to proceed to the second step because he was shipped back to Catahoula Parish.

         Folse further testified that he named Warden Davis and Sheriff Webre as defendants because he felt they failed to assure that steps were taken to investigate the incident with Deputy Knight. Folse stated that he repeatedly wrote to Warden Davis to inform the Warden about the incident, but he did not receive any response. Folse indicated that he felt that Warden Davis knew of the incident, but failed to talk to him about it or look into the situation. Folse also stated that he felt that Sheriff Webre did not take the right steps to check into the situation. Folse conceded, however, that Sheriff Webre may not have known about the incident since he rarely was at the jail.

         Folse also testified that he wanted something done to prevent Deputy Knight from attacking others ...

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