United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lafayette Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
B. WHITEHURST UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court, on referral from the district judge, is a Motion
To Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint filed by Defendant Bruce
A. Gaudin (“Gaudin”) [Rec. Doc. 40].
Plaintiff, after dismissal by the State Court in an action
that was pending in the 27th Judicial District Court for the
Parish of St. Landry, State of Louisiana, in Civil Action No.
16-C-0977-A, sought to file this action herein against a
number of parish and state employees, as well as Gaudin, a
private attorney. While neither the Original Complaint [Rec.
Doc. 1] nor the Amended Complaint [Rec. Doc. 11]
specific allegations against Gaudin, an exhibit attached to
the Amended Complaint states:
He first off violated my civil rights and also misused his
power with the judge. I dont [sic] understand why he felt he
had the authority to take my property away. The property
belong to me and being that he lied to the judge that is
considered theft by fraud. And when I went to talk to him
about the mistake he made he said if I pay him he would put
the property back in my name. My daughter Jane paid him $1700
to take the property, and if I have to bring Jane to court I
will be suing her as well to get my property back. I am suing
him for malpractice and pain and suffering. And if he decide
to take it to trial I would like a jury trial.
Rec. Doc. 11-1, p.1.
Law and Analysis
argues, and this Court agrees, that the statement above is
not a sufficient “short and plain statement of the
claim, ” because it does not state what he did to
violate plaintiff's rights. It merely states legal
conclusions that a piece of property that belonged to the
plaintiff was taken by fraud. The complaint contains no
allegations which can support a claim against Gaudin, a
lawyer in private practice, pursuant to §1983. 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 provides for a private right of action for
violations of federally-secured rights under color of state
law. The statute states in pertinent part:
Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance,
regulation, custom, or usage, of any state . . ., subject, 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
by the Constitution and laws . . . shall be liable to the
Thus, in order for a §1983 action to be viable, a
plaintiff must meet three requirements:
1) deprivation of a right secured by the U.S. Constitution or