United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS
L. C. FELDMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is the defendants' motion for judgment on the
pleadings, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c),
or in the alternative, motion for summary judgment. For the
following reasons, the motion is GRANTED.
officers arrested a sex worker after an undercover officer
had solicited her services. She alleges that the officers
assaulted her and violated her Fourth amendment rights during
the arrest. This litigation follows.
Guillot met a man online. She was soliciting her services as
a sex worker on a site dedicated to such activities. Guillot
spoke to the man, Detective Castro, for several days on the
phone. She was unaware that Castro was a police officer. They
agreed to meet at Guillot's home on June 24, 2016, where
Castro would receive one-half hour of Guillot's services
at the rate of $150. When Castro arrived at Guillot's
home, she greeted him at her front door, dressed only in a
towel, and was smoking marijuana. Castro gave her $150 in
authorized vice funds. Shortly thereafter, Detectives Abadie,
Meetze, and Olivier entered Guillot's residence, and
searched her home. Guillot was arrested for, and later
charged with, prostitution in violation of La. R.S. 14:82,
and possession of marijuana in violation of La. R.S.
40:966(C).She pled guilty to prostitution and no
contest to possession of marijuana on October 12, 2016.
sued Detectives Castro, Meetz, and Abadie on June 23, 2017
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In her complaint, she states
that when she greeted Castro at the door in a towel, she
excused herself to go get dressed. According to Guillot, he
asked her to see what was underneath the towel, and squeezed
her breast without permission. When the other officers
entered her home, they searched her room without her
permission. She states that they made her remove her towel so
she was completely naked and watched her get dressed before
they took her to the police station, despite her requests
that they call a female officer. She also states that she was
not read her Miranda rights until after she was
handcuffed. Guillot alleges that she was sexually assaulted,
that the police effectuated an illegal search and seizure,
forcibly entered her home, failed to inform her of her
Miranda rights, and watched her get dressed naked.
She alleges that as a result, she has experienced
post-traumatic stress disorder, extreme depression, and panic
attacks, and seeks $2 million in damages.
defendants moved for a judgment on the pleadings, pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c), and in the alternative
for summary judgment, pursuant to Rule 56, on June 12, 2018.
Local Rule 7.5 of the Eastern District of Louisiana requires
that memoranda in opposition to a motion be filed eight days
prior to the noticed submission date, which was June 27,
2018. The plaintiff failed to submit an opposition, but
because she is a pro se claimant, the Court
continued the submission date, and ordered her to submit a
memorandum in opposition by July 17, 2018. The plaintiff
opposed the motion on July 16, 2018.
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) permits any party to move for a
judgment on the pleadings, provided the motion is made early
enough to avoid delaying trial. A court may grant a Rule
12(c) motion only if the pleadings evince no disputes of
genuine material fact and questions of law alone remain.
Great Plains Trust Co. v. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
& Co., 313 F.3d 305, 312 (5th Cir. 2002)(citations
omitted). Courts should thus adhere to the same standard in
reviewing a 12(c) motion as they do in reviewing motions to
dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), accepting all well-pleaded facts
as true and drawing all factual inferences in favor of the
non-movant. See id. at 313 n.8; Thompson v. City
of Waco, Texas, 764 F.3d 500, 502 (5th Cir. 2014)
(citing Doe ex rel. Magee v. Covington Cnty. Sch. Dist.
ex rel. Keys, 675 F.3d 849, 854 (5th Cir. 2012)(en
banc)); Doe v. Myspace, Inc., 528 F.3d 413, 418 (5th
Cir. 2008); 5C Charles Alan Wright & Arthur R. Miller,
Federal Practice and Procedure § 1368 (3d ed. 2004).
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.'” Gonzalez v. Kay, 577 F.3d 600, 603
(5th Cir. 2009)(quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009))(internal quotation marks omitted).
“Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to
relief above the speculative level, on the assumption that
all the allegations in the complaint are true (even if
doubtful in fact).” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)(citations and footnote
omitted). “A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678 (“The plausibility standard is not akin to a
‘probability requirement,' but it asks for more
than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted
unlawfully.”). “Where a complaint pleads facts
that are merely consistent with a defendant's liability,
it stops short of the line between possibility and
plausibility of entitlement to relief.” Id. at
679 (internal quotations omitted) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S.
just like when it reviews a motion to dismiss under Rule
12(b)(6), when reviewing a Rule 12(c) motion, “a
district court ‘must consider the [pleadings in their]
entirety, as well as other sources ordinarily examined when
ruling on Rule 12(b)(6) motions to dismiss, in particular,
documents incorporated into the complaint by reference, and
matters of which a court may take judicial notice.”
Funk v. Stryker Corp., 631 F.3d 777, 783 (5th Cir.
2011)(quoting Tellabs, Inc. v. Makor Issues & Rights,
Ltd., 551 U.S. 308, 322 (2007)).
1983, which was enacted pursuant to Congress's authority
to enforce the Fourteenth Amendment, prohibits interference
with federal rights under color of state law.
Rendell-Baker v. Kohn, 457 U.S. 830, 838 (1982). It
creates a private right of action for violations of
federally-secured rights under color of state law:
Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance,
regulation, custom, or usage, of any State..., subjects, or
causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or
other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the
deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured