United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
MEDRIC AYCHE, ET AL.
PATRICIA JOYCE, ET AL.
TRICHE MILAZZO, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is the Magistrate Judge's Report and
Recommendation relating to motions to dismiss filed by
Defendants Matt Claus (Doc. 29) and Patricia Joyce (Doc. 35).
Plaintiffs failed to file their objections to the Report and
Recommendation within the extended time that the Court
allowed, but the Court considers them nonetheless.
Accordingly, the Court reviews the Report and Recommendation
de novo. Considering the entire record, the Court
adopts the Report and Recommendation with the following
Plaintiffs' objections, they argue that their complaint
for defamation does allege that the stigma created by the
defamation was associated with the infringement of a
federally protected interest. Plaintiffs point to two alleged
infringements: that Plaintiff Medric Ayche was allegedly shot
by third parties acting on the belief that the defamatory
statements were true and that the defamatory statements were
associated with searches of Plaintiffs' property. Even
assuming that such deprivations are sufficiently connected to
the defamation, neither concern a federally-protected
interest. As to the former, Plaintiffs' complaint fails
to allege that the shooters were acting on behalf of or in
concert with the state and therefore fails to allege the
deprivation of a right protected by §
the latter, Plaintiffs' complaint does not allege that
the searches violated a federally-protected right. Plaintiffs
do not allege that the searches took place without a warrant
or lacked probable cause. Instead, Plaintiffs appear to
allege that the searches failed to produce any evidence and
to seek compensation for property seized and damaged during
the searches. No federal right protects against unsuccessful
searches. Furthermore, Plaintiffs have not alleged that they
have either exhausted state processes available to seek
compensation for damaged property or that resort to state
processes would be inadequate. Therefore Plaintiffs have
failed to state a claim for the deprivation of due
process. Because Plaintiffs fail to state a claim
for the violation of a federally-protected right associated
with the alleged defamation, Plaintiffs fail to state a claim
for defamation actionable under § 1983.
respect to their claims against Defendant Patricia Joyce,
Plaintiffs' additional allegations detailed in their
objections to the Report and Recommendation still fail to
state a claim. Plaintiffs allege that Joyce signed search
warrants knowing that they lacked probable cause and that
Joyce was conspiring with Defendant Claus to injure
Plaintiffs based on her personal connection to the case.
Judicial immunity extends even to intentional acts that lie
within the judicial function. Because Plaintiffs'
allegations against Defendant Joyce are for acts performed in
her judicial function, Plaintiffs' claims are barred by
absolute judicial immunity.
Magistrate Judge, pursuant to power to screen complaints
filed in forma pauperis, also recommended that the
remainder of Plaintiffs' complaint be dismissed for the
failure to make any specific factual allegations against
Defendants Leon James, Curtis Johnson, Adrian Thompson,
Randall Kuhn, and Newell Normand. In their objections,
Plaintiffs attempt to clarify their claims, but do not add
any particular factual allegations. The bare assertion that a
defendant lied or failed to train his subordinates is
insufficiently specific to state a claim under §
1983. Accordingly, Plaintiffs still fail to
state claims against the remaining Defendants.
foregoing reasons, the Court hereby approves the Report and
Recommendation of the United States Magistrate Judge and
adopts it as its opinion in this matter with the additional
reasons as set forth above.
IT IS ORDERED that the motions to dismiss
filed by Matt Clauss and Patricia Joyce, Rec. Docs. 29 and
35, are GRANTED and that the claims against
those defendants are DISMISSED WITHOUT
IS FURTHER ORDERED that the claims against Leon
James, Curtis Johnson, Adrian Thompson, Randall Kuhn, and
Newell Normand are DISMISSED WITHOUT
PREJUDICE pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) for failure to state a claim on which
relief may be granted.
See Geter v. Fortenberry, 849
F.2d 1550, 1557 (5th Cir. ...