United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lafayette Division
EDWARD LITTLE, ET AL.
THOMAS FREDERICK, ET AL.
PATRICK J. HANNA MAG. JUDGE
A. DOUGHTY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is a Motion for Summary Judgment [Doc. No.
133] filed by Defendant Thomas Frederick
(“Frederick”) and a Motion for Partial Summary
Judgment [Doc. No. 140] filed by Plaintiffs Edward Little
(“Little”) and Sheila Ann Murphy
(“Murphy”). The motions are fully briefed.
See [Doc. Nos. 149, 150& 154].
following reasons, the motions are DENIED.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
and Murphy brought this lawsuit against Frederick,
Commissioner of the Fifteenth Judicial District Court, and
Judge Kristian Earles, Chief Judge of the Fifteenth Judicial
was arrested on June 3, 2017, on a charge of felony theft and
detained in the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center. The
following day, Frederick determined probable cause for his
arrest and set his bail as a $3, 000 secured bond. Little
could not afford to pay that amount remained incarcerated
until June 10, 2017.
was arrested on February 3, 2018, on a charge of felony
possession of narcotics and two related misdemeanors. She was
detained at the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center.
Frederick determined probable cause for Ms. Murphy's
arrest and set her bail as a $2, 500 secured bond. She then
appeared via closed-circuit television at ¶ 72-hour
hearing before Frederick, during which he affirmed the bond
amount. Murphy could not afford that amount of bond and
remained incarcerated until February 10, 2018.
makes the initial bail determinations for all arrestees in
Lafayette, Vermillion, and Acadia Parishes. Before February
2018, a bail schedule governed the release of certain
misdemeanor offenses, meaning that Lafayette Parish
Sheriff's deputies would refer to a predetermined list of
bond amounts, organized by offense, to determine the
conditions of an arrestee's pretrial release. The most
recent bail schedule was ordered by Judge Earles in 2013.
February 2018, the judges of the Fifteenth Judicial District
issued an en banc order rescinding the previous schedule and
replacing it with an order requiring the Sheriff to
automatically release with a summons all persons arrested on
certain misdemeanor charge unless it was their third arrest
within six months. All other misdemeanor arrestees were to
have their bonds set in the same manner as felony arrestees.
August 2018, the en banc order was revised to list all
misdemeanor charges for which there would not be an automatic
release with a summons, directing the Sheriff to release all
others unless it was their third arrest within six months.
All persons arrested for the misdemeanors listed on the order
would have their bonds set in the same manner as felony
general, the parties do not dispute Frederick's past and
current procedures for setting bond amounts. However,
Plaintiffs contend that Frederick does not take the financial
conditions of arrestees into account, while Frederick denies
this contention and further points out that, with regard to
felony bonds, he does not have the authority to reduce those
October 26, 2018, Frederick filed a Motion for Partial
Summary Judgment [Doc. No. 133]. Although the motion was
filed only by Frederick, he moves for partial summary