United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lafayette Division
MAURICE HICKS, JR., CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
the Court is a Motion to Dismiss filed by James LeBlanc
(“LeBlanc”), individually, as Secretary of the
Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections
(“the Department”), Perry Stagg
(“Stagg”), in his official capacity as Assistant
Deputy Secretary for Adult Services for the Department, and
Angela Griffin (“Griffin”), in her official
capacity as Assistant Deputy Secretary for Adult Services for
the Department (hereinafter collectively referred to as the
“State Defendants”). See Record Document
26. The State Defendants contend that the Plaintiffs'
claims should be dismissed pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6). See id. For the
reasons which follow, the Motion to Dismiss is
GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN
three plaintiffs, Joseph Babineaux, Jr., Moses Arceneaux, and
Mark Austin (hereinafter collectively referred to as
“the Plaintiffs”), filed suit alleging that their
constitutional rights under both the United States
Constitution and the Louisiana Constitution were violated
because they were incarcerated beyond their release dates.
See Record Documents 1, 8 and 31. They assert claims
for violation of their federal due process rights pursuant to
the Fourteenth Amendment, violation of their state due
process rights pursuant to Article 1, Section 2 of the
Louisiana Constitution, as well as state law claims for false
imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional
distress. See id. The Plaintiffs also seek
declaratory relief and money damages. See id.
The Rule 12(b)(1) Standard.
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) allows parties to seek
dismissal of a case on the ground that the court lacks
subject matter jurisdiction over the action. When a defendant
files a Rule 12(b)(1) motion, the plaintiff, as the party
asserting federal jurisdiction, bears the burden of
establishing that the court has jurisdiction. See New
Orleans & Gulf Coast Ry. Co. v. Barrois, 533 F.3d
321, 327 (5th Cir. 2008). When a party challenges the
court's subject matter jurisdiction based only on the
complaint, it is a “facial attack, ” and the
court scrutinizes the pleadings, taking the allegations as
true, to determine whether the claimant has sufficiently
alleged subject matter jurisdiction. Menchaca v. Chrysler
Credit Corp., 613 F.2d 507, 511 (5th Cir. 1980).
“A case is properly dismissed for lack of subject
matter jurisdiction when the court lacks the statutory or
constitutional power to adjudicate the case.” Home
Builders Ass'n of Miss., Inc. v. City of Madison,
143 F.3d 1006, 1010 (5th Cir. 1998), quoting Nowak v.
Ironworkers Local 6 Pension Fund, 81 F.3d 1182, 1187 (2d
Cir. 1996). “When a Rule 12(b)(1) motion is filed in
conjunction with other Rule 12 motions, the court should
consider the Rule 12(b)(1) jurisdictional attack before
addressing any attack on the merits.” Ramming v.
United States, 281 F.3d 158, 161 (5th Cir. 2001)
The Rule 12(b)(6) Standard.
8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires that
a pleading contain “a short and plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
The standard for the adequacy of complaints under Rule
8(a)(2) is now a “plausibility” standard found in
Bell Atlantic Corporation v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544,
127 S.Ct. 1955 (2007), and its progeny. Under this standard,
“[f]actual 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).” Id. at 555-56, 127 S.Ct.
at 1965 (citations omitted). If a pleading only contains
“labels and conclusions” and “a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action, ” the
pleading does not meet the standards of Rule 8(a)(2).
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct.
1937, 1949 (2009) (citation omitted).
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) allows parties to seek
dismissal of a pleading for failure to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted. In deciding a Rule 12(b)(6)
motion to dismiss, a court generally “may not go
outside the pleadings.” Colle v. Brazos Cnty.,
Tex., 981 F.2d 237, 243 (5th Cir. 1993) (citation
omitted). However, a court may rely upon “documents
incorporated into the complaint by reference  and matters
of which a court may take judicial notice” in deciding
a motion to dismiss. Dorsey v. Portfolio Equities,
Inc., 540 F.3d 333, 338 (5th Cir. 2008) (citation
omitted); see Fed.R.Evid. 201. Additionally, courts
must accept all allegations in a complaint as true. See
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 127 S.Ct. at 1965.
motion to dismiss is “viewed with disfavor and is
rarely granted.” Turner v. Pleasant, 663 F.3d
770, 775 (5th Cir. 2011), quoting Harrington v. State
Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 563 F.3d 141, 147 (5th Cir.
2009). Dismissal is appropriate only if the complaint fails
to plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that
is plausible on its face.” Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 570, 127 S.Ct. at 1974. To satisfy this standard, the
complaint must provide more than conclusions, but it
“need not contain detailed factual allegations.”
Colony Ins. Co. v. Peachtree Constr., Ltd., 647 F.3d
248, 252 (5th Cir. 2011). However, it must allege enough
facts to move the claim “across the line from
conceivable to plausible.” Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 570, 127 S.Ct. at 1974. Determining whether the
plausibility standard has been met is “a
context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to
draw on its judicial experience and common sense.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679, 129 S.Ct. at 1950.
Section 1983 Suits: Individual Capacity and Official Capacity
42, United States Code, Section 1983 authorizes the assertion
of a claim for relief against a person who, acting under the
color of state law, allegedly violated the claimant's
rights under federal law. See 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
In Section 1983 suits, government officials may be sued in
either their individual or official capacities. A claim
against a state or municipal official in his official
capacity “generally represent[s] only another way of
pleading an action against an entity of which an officer is
an agent.” Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. 159,
165, 105 S.Ct. 3099, 3105 (1985) (citation omitted).
Individual or personal capacity suits “seek to impose
personal liability upon a government official for actions he
takes under color of state law.” Id. (citation
Sovereign Immunity/Jurisdictional Analysis.
Stagg and ...