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Naquin v. Sheriffs Dept Calcasieu Parish

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division

July 24, 2018

TIMOTHY R. NAQUIN D.O.C. # 722109
v.
SHERIFFS DEPT CALCASIEU PARISH, ET AL.

         SECTION P

          MEMORANDUM ORDER

          KATHLEEN KAY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the court is a civil rights complaint [doc. 1] filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by plaintiff Timothy R. Naquin, who is proceeding pro se in this matter. Naquin is an inmate in the custody of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections and is currently incarcerated at Raymond Laborde Correctional Center in Cottonport, Louisiana. His complaint relates to events that occurred while he was incarcerated at Calcasieu Correctional Center (“CCC”) in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

         I.

         Background

         Naquin alleges that, while he was on pre-trial detention at CCC following his arrest for a sex offense, he was beaten by other inmates and that employees at the facility failed to protect him from the beating(s). Doc. 1. Specifically, he maintains that that he provided Sheriff Tony Mancuso, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office counsel Robert McCorquodale, Warden Daniel Burkhalter, and Assistant Warden Greg Tete with names of inmates who had threatened him and begged to be placed in protective custody, but that they refused his request and that he remained in custody with the individuals, some of whom participated in one or more brutal beatings later inflicted on him. Id. at 3; see Id. at 12 (description of injuries). Naquin also maintains that, as a result of the beatings, the defendants named herein only placed him on suicide watch and moved him into the aggravated inmate tier, where he was surrounded by inmates who could communicate with those who had beaten him, rather than moving him into protective custody as he had requested. Id. at 9-10, 14. He alleges that the beatings were “ongoing, ” though it is unclear whether they continued after he was moved to the aggravated inmate tier. See Id. at 3. After the beatings, he states, he filed grievances at CCC and he complains that the response was inadequate. Id. at 13-14. He also asserts that defendants named herein have instituted deficient policies which led to his beating, by failing to adequately screen for and segregate sex offenders, flagging him as a sex offender despite the fact that he had not been convicted, tolerating a culture of under-enforcement and under-investigation of violence against sex offenders, and failing to protect inmates who might be targeted because of their race or sexual orientation. See Id. at 7-11. He maintains that the defendants' failure to protect him results in a violation of his rights under the Equal Protection Clause. Id. at 26. Finally, he alleges generally that the defendants “engaged in unfair and deceptive trade practices with regard to the provision of plaintiff's expected medical care, ” and that the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office and other defendants committed misrepresentations, collusion, fraud, and inaction, subjecting him to constitutionally deficient medical care claims. Id. at 25-27.

         Naquin now brings the instant suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state tort law. He seeks declaratory relief, compensatory and punitive damages, and costs and attorney's fees against the above defendants, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office, and two unnamed defendants. Id. at 1-4.

         II.

         Law & Analysis

         A. Frivolity Review

         Naquin has paid the filing fee in this matter. Because he is a prisoner seeking redress from governmental officers, however, his complaint is still subject to screening. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the court shall review all such suits and dismiss any claim that is “frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted” or “seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.” Id. at § 1915A(b).

         A complaint is frivolous if it lacks an arguable basis in law or fact. Gonzalez v. Wyatt, 157 F.3d 1016, 1019 (5th Cir. 1998). A complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted if it is clear the plaintiff cannot prove any set of facts in support of his claim that would entitle him to relief. Doe v. Dallas Indep. Sch. Dist., 153 F.3d 211, 215 (5th Cir. 1998). When determining whether a complaint is frivolous or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, the court must accept the plaintiff's allegations as true. Horton v. Cockrell, 70 F.3d 397, 400 (5th Cir. 1995) (frivolity); Bradley v. Puckett, 157 F.3d at 1025 (failure to state a claim).

         B. Section 1983

         Federal law provides a cause of action against any person who, under the color of law, acts to deprive another person of any right, privilege, or immunity secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States. 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Thus, in order to hold the defendants liable, a plaintiff must allege facts to show (1) that a constitutional right has been violated and (2) that the conduct complained of was committed by a person acting ...


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