United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
RULING AND ORDER
A. JACKSON, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.
the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (Doc.
78) Plaintiff's claims as barred by Heck v.
Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994). For the reasons that
follow, in addition to those stated in Court on the record on
November 27, 2018, the Motion to Dismiss (Doc.
78) is construed as a Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(c) motion for judgment on the pleadings and is
an excessive-force case. (Docs. 13). Plaintiff Layne Aucoin
is an inmate who was incarcerated at Dixon Correctional
Institute in Jackson, Louisiana. (Id.). He sued
Lieutenant Andrew Cupil and Master Sergeant Reginald
Robinson, guards at Dixon Correctional Institute, alleging
they sprayed him with mace and then kicked and punched him
when he was restrained. (Id.). On the morning of
trial, Defendants invoked Heck and moved to dismiss
incident happened on August 24, 2015. (Doc. 13 at ¶ 5).
That morning, Plaintiff was an inmate on suicide watch at
Dixon Correctional Institute. (Id. at ¶ 7).
Around 11:00 A.M., Plaintiff placed a paper cup over a video
camera in his prison cell to see if anyone was watching him.
(Id.). Plaintiff alleges that Master Sergeant
Robinson and Lieutenant Cupil then “snuck up” on
him in his cell, sprayed him with mace, and beat him after he
had been restrained. (Id. at ¶ 8). Plaintiff
sued Defendants for negligence and for using excessive force
against him in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Docs. 1,
after the incident, Dixon Correctional Institute issued two
disciplinary reports against Plaintiff. (Docs. 33-13,
33-14). The reports charged Plaintiff with “defiance,
” “aggravated disobedience, ” and
“destruction of property” for his conduct on the
morning of August 24, 2015. (Doc. 33-13). According to the
reports, Plaintiff disobeyed Master Sergeant Robinson's
direct orders to uncover the camera in Plaintiff's cell,
spat on Master Sergeant Robinson, and yelled expletives at
both Defendants. (Docs. 33-13, 33-14). The reports reflect
that the Dixon Correction Institute held disciplinary
hearings on the charges on September 2, 2015 and September 4,
2015, and that Plaintiff was found guilty of two counts of
“defiance, ” two counts of “aggravated
disobedience, ” and one count of “property
destruction.” (Id.). The reports also reflect
that Plaintiff's disciplinary convictions resulted in his
loss of 30 days of good-time credit. (Id.).
Defendants move to dismiss Plaintiff's claims under
Heck. (Doc. 78). Defendants contend that
Plaintiff's claims are barred by Heck because
success on the claims would imply the invalidity of
Plaintiff's disciplinary convictions. (Doc. 78-1 at p.
4). Plaintiff disagrees. (Doc. 79). He argues that Heck
does not apply because his suit does not challenge his
disciplinary convictions or his loss of good-time
may move for judgment on the pleadings after the pleadings
are closed but early enough not to delay trial. Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(c). Entry of judgment on the pleadings is proper if the
material facts are not in dispute and the Court can render
judgment on the merits by looking to the substance of the
pleadings and any judicially noticed facts. Linicomn v.
Hill, 902 F.3d 529, 533 (5th Cir. 2018).
Court must dismiss Plaintiff's suit if judgment in his
favor would necessarily imply the invalidity of the prison
disciplinary convictions that resulted in his loss of 30 days
of good-time credit. Heck, 512 U.S. at 487; Clarke
v. Stalder, 154 F.3d 186, 189 (5th Cir. 1998) (en banc)
(a “conviction” under Heck includes
“a ruling in a prison disciplinary proceeding that
results in a change to the prisoner's sentence, including
the loss of good-time credits”).
succeed on his excessive-force claim, Plaintiff would have to
show that Defendants used force against him
“maliciously and sadistically to cause harm.”
Hudson v. McMillian, 503 U.S. 1, 7 (1992).
prison disciplinary proceedings found that Lieutenant Cupil
sprayed Plaintiff with a one-second burst of a chemical agent
only after Plaintiff (1) disobeyed direct orders to come to
the bars of his cell to be restrained; (2) spat on Master
Sergeant Robinson's face; (3) attempted to flood his
prison cell by placing his gown in the toilet; (4) yelled
expletives in response to Lieutenant Cupil's ...