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Miley v. Ard
United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
November 15, 2018
JASON ARD AND UNKNOWN DOE
RULING AND ORDER
W. deGRAVELLES UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
the Court is the Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendant Jason
Ard, Sheriff of Livingston Parish, Louisiana
(“Ard”). (Doc. 5). It is opposed by Plaintiff
Christopher Miley (“Miley” or
“Plaintiff”). (Doc. 9). Ard filed a reply. (Doc.
15). For the reasons which follow, the motion (Doc. 5) is
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation (Doc. 28),
which was adopted by this Court (Doc. 30), sets out the
pertinent factual background and procedural history.
Christopher Miley (“Plaintiff”) initiated this
civil rights action in state court, naming as the sole
defendants “Deputy Doe” and Jason Ard, in his
official capacity as Sheriff of Livingston Parish. (R. Doc.
1-2 at 4-6, “Petition”). Plaintiff alleges that
he was arrested by Deputy Doe for simple battery on August
10, 2016, repeatedly told Deputy Doe that “the wrong
guy” had been arrested, and was sent to jail for three
days. (Petition ¶¶ 3-5). Plaintiff alleges that he
was then released on bond and, prior to his arraignment,
filed motions indicating that he was “not the right
Christopher Miller.” (Petition ¶ 6). Plaintiff
alleges that he “was falsely arrested and imprisoned by
the Defendants because the Defendants failed to properly
investigate this matter” and they were reckless in the
investigation of this crime, leading to wrongly accusing an
innocent man of a crime when they knew or should have known
that Plaintiff was not the suspect.” (Petition
¶¶ 8-9). Plaintiff further alleges that on the
first day of trial the States' eyewitness, upon seeing
Plaintiff, stated that the State had “the wrong man,
” and, as a result, the state prosecutor dismissed all
charges against Plaintiff on March 14, 2017. (Petition ¶
12). The instant action was filed on or about March 5, 2018.
(R. Doc. 1-2).
Based on the foregoing, Plaintiff alleges that the
“Defendant's actions amount to willful indifference
to the Plaintiff's federally protected rights to be free
from unreasonable seizures of his person under [42 U.S.C.
§ 1983].” (Petition ¶ 13).
Plaintiff asserts that the foregoing “acts also amount
to violation of federal and state law for false arrest and
false imprisonment. (Petition ¶ 14). Plaintiff seeks to
recover various damages, including general damages for
“deprivation of his Fourth Amendment rights” and
“Damage to his reputation, including causing worldwide
publication of his arrest for battery.” (Petition
On March 29, 2018, Sheriff Ard removed the action on the
basis that the Court has federal question jurisdiction over
Plaintiff's federal claims asserted under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. (R. Doc. 1).
On April 23, 2018, Sheriff Ard filed a motion to dismiss,
asserting that Plaintiff's claims for false arrest and
false imprisonment have prescribed. (R. Doc. 5). In
opposition to the motion to dismiss, Plaintiff sought leave
to amend the pleadings to allege a due process claim under
the Fourteenth Amendment, a malicious prosecution claim, and
to identify Deputy Doe. (R. Doc. 9).
On May 30, 2018, the undersigned held a telephone status
conference and stayed discovery in light of the pending
motion to dismiss. (R. Doc. 14).
On June 11, 2018, the district judge held a telephone status
in which Plaintiff conceded that his false imprisonment and
false arrest claims had prescribed, and the district judge
ordered Plaintiff to file a motion for leave to file an
amended complaint as requested in his opposition to the
motion to dismiss. (R. Doc. 19). That same day, Plaintiff
filed his “Motion to File Amended Complaint” in
which he represented that the district judge granted leave to
file an amended complaint. (R. Doc. 20). In opposition,
Sheriff Ard argued that the district judge did not grant
leave to amend, and instead ordered Plaintiff to file a
motion seeking leave to amend. (R. Doc. 21 at 1). Sheriff Ard
also opposed the motion on the basis that Plaintiff's
original claims are prescribed, the new claims cannot related
back to those prescribed claims, and the new claims are
otherwise futile for failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted. (R. Doc. 21).
On July 6, 2018, the district judge referred the foregoing
motion to the undersigned, specifically noting that the Court
“did not grant Plaintiff leave to amend his complaint
in the June 11, 2018 status conference” and rather
“allowed Plaintiff to file a motion asking for leave to
amend the complaint, which could be taken up and decided
after briefing.” (R. Doc. 22). That same day, Plaintiff
filed his Request for Leave of Court to File First Amended
Civil Rights Complaint, which did not add any substantive
arguments in support of amendment. (R. Doc. 23). In
opposition, Sheriff Ard referred back to the arguments raised
in opposition to Plaintiff's Motion to File Amended
Complaint. (R. Doc. 24). Plaintiff then filed a Reply in
which he argues, for the first time, that his original
petition also contained causes of action for malicious
prosecution and defamation. (R. Doc. 27 at 1). Among other
things, Plaintiff argues that the claims asserted in his
proposed amended complaint relate back to his
“defamation” claim under Rule 15(c) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and that he should
otherwise be granted leave to identify Deputy Doe. (R. Doc.
27 at 2-5).
Magistrate Judge recommended that Plaintiff's Motion to
File Amended Complaint be denied. (Doc. 28). This Court
agreed and overruled Plaintiff's Objection to it. (Doc.
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