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Badeaux v. Hurricane Hole Management, LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

December 10, 2018

RALPH BADEAUX
v.
HURRICANE HOLE MANAGEMENT, LLC, ET AL.

         SECTION “B” (5)

          ORDER

         NATURE OF THE MOTION AND RELIEF SOUGHT

         Defendants Town of Grand Isle, Grand Isle Police Department, and Euris Dubois filed a motion for summary judgment in their favor and the dismissal of plaintiff's claims against them.[1] Rec. Doc. 60. Plaintiff filed an untimely partial response. Rec. Doc. 64.

         For the reasons discussed below, IT IS ORDERED that the motion for summary judgment is GRANTED and plaintiff's claims against defendants Town of Grand Isle, Grand Isle Police Department, and Euris Dubois be dismissed.

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff's claims against Officer John Doe 1 and Officer John Doe 2 are DISMISSED.

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Plaintiff filed a complaint against defendants, alleging excessive force in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth amendments. Rec. Doc. 1. Plaintiff alleges that he was attacked and beaten by the Superintendent of the Hurricane Hole and a group of five unidentified males, outside of the Hurricane Hole in Grand Isle, Louisiana where he was conducting a waste pickup for his employer, Pelican Waste Disposal on May 18, 2016. Rec. Doc. 1 at 4. Plaintiff asserts two police officers then arrived and joined in on the assault, and that Officer John Doe 1 pointed a firearm at him during the assault. Id. at 6. Plaintiff claims that defendants were acting pursuant to the custom and practice of the Defendant City, Defendant Chief and police department in permitting officers to use excessive force against individuals. Id. at 8. Plaintiff asserts that defendants violated 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by depriving him of his Fourth and Fourteenth amendment rights under color of law. Id. at 9. Defendants filed an answer denying plaintiff's claims and providing affirmative defenses. Rec. Docs. 28, 39.

         Defendants filed the instant summary judgment motion asserting that plaintiff failed to state a claim for which relief may be granted because plaintiff cannot identify an individual who has caused him actionable harm. Rec. Doc. 60 at 1. Defendants also argue that plaintiff has failed to establish a valid Monell claim for municipal liability and that Euris Dubois is entitled to the protections of qualified immunity. Id. Plaintiff filed an untimely partial response opposing the portion of defendants' summary judgment motion that seeks relief on behalf of the Officer John Doe defendants, stating that defendants do not represent the Doe defendants and therefore a summary judgment motion is not the proper procedure to seek relief on their behalf. Rec. Doc. 64.

         PARTIES' CONTENTIONS

         Defendants Town of Grand Isle, Grand Isle Police Department, and Euris Dubois assert that plaintiff cannot prove that they are liable to him for any violations of his constitutional rights as there is no evidence that a fight took place on the day identified by plaintiff, that plaintiff was injured on that day, or that Euris Dubois or any employee of Grand Isle participated in any fight with plaintiff. Rec. Doc. 60-1 at 3. Defendants also state that the Grand Isle Police Department is not a legal entity capable of being sued and therefore claims against it are impossible as a matter of law and should be dismissed. Id. at 4. Additionally, defendant Euris Dubois, chief of the Grand Isle police department, asserts that he is entitled to the protections of qualified immunity and claims against him must be dismissed. Id. at 5.

         Plaintiff's untimely partial response opposes the portion of defendants' motion that seeks to dismiss claims on behalf of the John Doe officers. Plaintiff argues that defendants have no right to seek relief on behalf of the Doe defendants and that the naming of fictitious defendants is not sanctioned by federal jurisprudence. Rec. Doc. 64.

         LAW AND ANALYSIS

         Summary judgment is appropriate when “the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)). A genuine issue of material fact exists if the evidence would allow a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the nonmoving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986).

         When the movant bears the burden of proof, it must “demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact” using competent summary judgment evidence. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323. But “where the non-movant bears the burden of proof at trial, the movant may merely point to an absence of evidence.” Lindsey v. Sears Roebuck & Co., 16 F.3d 616, 618 (5th Cir. 1994). When the movant meets its burden, the burden shifts to the non-movant, who must show by “competent summary judgment evidence” that there is a ...


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