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Evans v. Louisiana State

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

June 20, 2018

SYLVESTER L. EVANS, JR., Plaintiff
v.
LOUISIANA STATE, ET AL., Defendants

         SECTION: “E” (3)

          ORDER

          SUSIE MORGAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is a complaint filed by pro se Plaintiff Sylvester L. Evans, Jr.[1]Plaintiff was charged with criminal trespass in Orleans Parish, Louisiana, and now seeks to remove his criminal case to this Court, arguing his arrest violates his civil rights.[2] As removal is not feasible under such circumstances, the Court construes Plaintiff's filing as a claim brought against the State of Louisiana and the New Orleans Police Department (“NOPD”) pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.[3] Plaintiff's complaint was referred to the U.S. Magistrate Judge who issued his Report and Recommendation on May 9, 2018.[4] In his Report and Recommendation, Magistrate Judge Knowles concluded Plaintiff's complaint should be dismissed without prejudice.[5] Plaintiff filed a timely notice of objection on May 24, 2018.[6]

         In his complaint, Plaintiff argues that his civil rights were violated when he called the police and was subsequently arrested.[7] He claims his arrest was the result of prejudice due to his race and religion and now seeks compensation from the State of Louisiana and the NOPD.[8] Magistrate Judge Knowles recommended that Plaintiff's complaint be dismissed for failure to state a claim and for seeking monetary relief from an immune defendant.[9] In his objection to Magistrate Judge Knowles' report, Plaintiff claims he “ha[s] sovereign immunity” and asks that any additional matters in this case be considered in a hearing before the Court.[10]

         According to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), the Court, shall dismiss, sua sponte, “the case at any time if the court determines that -

         (B) the action or appeal-

(i) is frivolous or malicious;
(ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or
(iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.”[11]

         In this case, the NOPD is not an entity against which persons may file suit, [12] and the State of Louisiana is not considered a “person” capable of being sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.[13] Plaintiff's claims against the State of Louisiana are also barred by the Eleventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.[14] Persons cannot file suit against a state in federal court for either monetary damages or injunctive relief, unless a state waives the immunity provided to it by the Eleventh Amendment.[15] As the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has previously explained, “[b]y statute, Louisiana has refused any such waiver of its Eleventh Amendment sovereign immunity regarding suits in federal court.”[16] As neither the State of Louisiana nor the NOPD is capable of being sued by Plaintiff under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Court finds Plaintiffs complaint should be dismissed without prejudice.

         The Court, having considered the record, the applicable law, relevant filings, and the magistrate judge's Report and Recommendation finds the magistrate judge's findings of fact and conclusions of law are correct and hereby approves the United States Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation and ADOPTS it as its opinion in this matter.[17]

         Accordingly;

         CONCLUSION

         IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff Sylvester L. Evans Jr.'s petition against the State of Louisiana and the NOPD be and ...


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