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Campos v. City of Natchitoches

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division

September 24, 2018


          DRELL JUDGE.


          Joseph H.L. Perez-Montes United States Magistrate Judge

         Before the Court is a Motion for Temporary Injunction (Doc. 20) filed by pro se Plaintiff Rogelio David Campos (“Campos”), proceeding in forma pauperis. Campos seeks a temporary injunction against City of Natchitoches Municipal Ordinance 10-58(a)(7). (Doc. 20). Because Campos has not shown immediate and irreparable injury, or that loss or damage will result before Defendants can be heard in opposition, Campos's motion, to the extent it seeks a Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”), should be denied. Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(a), a hearing should be held to consider Campos's request for a preliminary injunction (Doc. 20).

         I. Background

         Campos filed a civil rights complaint (42 U.S.C. § 1983) on April 17, 2018. (Doc. 1). Campos named Defendants City of Natchitoches (“the City”), Mayor Lee Posey (“Posey”) (individually and in his official capacity), Natchitoches Police Chief Micky Dove (“Dove”) (individually and in his official capacity), Sergeant Steven Lester Rachal, Jr. (“Rachal”) (individually and in his official capacity), and the Natchitoches Police Department (“NPD”) (collectively, “Defendants”). (Doc. 1). Campos alleges Defendants willfully violated his First Amendment right to perform lawful photography by harassing, menacing, and arresting him. (Doc. 1). Campos alleges Defendants willfully arrested him a second time, without probable cause, using excessive police force and violating his Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights. (Doc. 1). Campos also alleges Defendants conspired and acted to violate his constitutional rights using a “fake” ordinance designed to violate Due Process protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. (Doc. 1). Campos seeks compensatory damages and equitable relief. (Doc. 1). Campos also seeks punitive damages against Posey, Dove, and Rachal, in their individual capacities. (Doc. 1).

         Specifically, Campos alleges that, on April 14, 2017, at around 3:00 p.m., he photographed a vehicle that had an illegible paper license plate and blackened windows. (Doc. 1). Campos alleges he also photographed the driver of that car when she harassed him. (Doc. 1). Campos alleges he then parked his vehicle on Front Street, when that same vehicle pulled beside him and shouted at him. (Doc. 1). Campos again photographed the driver. (Doc. 1). Campos claims another driver then “blocked” him and shouted at him, so he photographed her and her vehicle. (Doc. 1).

         Around 4:00 p.m., Campos was walking on 2nd Street towards the municipal library and was abruptly stopped by Corporal Johnson (“Johnson”) of the NPD, without reason. (Doc. 1). Campos alleges Private Guin (“Guin”) and Rachal arrived, presumably for “backup.” (Doc. 1).

         Campos states both Rachal and Johnson menaced and taunted him with disparaging remarks and threats. (Doc. 1). Campos further alleges he offered his identification, but Rachal placed him under arrest. (Doc. 1). Campos asserts that it was at that time a woman - the mother of the first driver with whom he had an encounter - walked up and met with Guin and Rachal. (Doc. 1). Campos alleges Rachal made disparaging, derogatory, and defamatory comments to the woman about Campos's mental condition. (Doc. 1). Campos asserts the driver then joined her mother. (Doc. 1). According to Campos, Rachal encouraged both to file a complaint. (Doc. 1).

         Campos alleges he was told his photography was “unlawful” and that a complaint was made against him. (Doc. 1). Campos had to ask several times what he was being charged with, and Rachal replied “disturbing the peace.” (Doc. 1). Rachal drove Campos to the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center. (Doc. 1). Campos waived his Miranda rights. (Doc. 1). Campos further asserts he was booked for “disturbing the peace 10-58(a)(7) NPDC2017040121.” (Doc. 1). On September 27, 2017, he was found not guilty of that offense. (Doc. 1).

         Campos asserts the police have continued to harass him at home because of his photography, and have colluded and conspired to “defraud” him of his constitutional rights using an unconstitutional municipal ordinance. (Doc. 1). Campos asserts Natchitoches Municipal Ordinance 10-58(a)(7) (“Ordinance 10-58(a)(7)”) is vague and overbroad. (Doc. 1). Campos asserts false arrest, excessive force, and other malfeasance violated his constitutional rights. (Doc. 1). Campos asserts Rachal used excessive force against him in the NPD lobby on November 15, 2017, and forced him to sign a document. (Doc. 1). Campos claims Posey, Dove, and Rachal conspired to prevent his photography in public places, using a “fake” and “unlawful” ordinance. (Doc. 1). Campos asserts Monell liability against the City for the “unlawful” municipal ordinance. (Doc. 1).

         Defendants answered, asserting various affirmative defenses. (Docs. 7, 8). NPD filed a Motion to Dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). (Doc. 6). Campos filed a “Motion to Amend/Correct Complaint” (Doc. 12) to remove NPD as a Defendant in the action. Campos's amendment was granted (Doc. 23), and counsel for NPD withdrew their Motion to Dismiss. (Doc. 23).

         Campos now seeks a temporary injunction of Ordinance 10-58(a)(7). (Doc. 20). Defendants oppose Campos's motion. (Doc. 21). Campos replied, asserting he is not moving for a TRO. (Doc. 28). Rather, Campos asserts he seeks to stop the enforcement of the unlawful ordinance. (Doc. 28).

         II. Law and Analysis

         A. To the extent Campos seeks a TRO (Doc. 20), Campos's ...

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