ROGER D. MAGEE, Plaintiff-Appellant,
WALTER P. REED, in his official capacity as District Attorney for Washington Parish; WALTER P. REED, in his personal capacity; JERRY WAYNE COX, Defendants-Appellees.
Opinion Filed Date -January 9, 2019
from the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Louisiana
STEWART, Chief Judge, DENNIS, and WILLETT, Circuit Judges.
D. Magee appeals the dismissal of his wrongful imprisonment,
free speech retaliation, and procedural due process claims
against Walter P. Reed (District Attorney for Washington
Parish, Louisiana) and Jerry Wayne Cox (a minister in
Franklinton, Louisiana). We conclude that the district court
erred by (1) relying on Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S.
477 (1994), to dismiss Magee's wrongful imprisonment and
free speech retaliation claims, and (2) resolving a genuine
dispute of material fact at the summary judgment stage to
dismiss Magee's due process claim. Accordingly, we
REVERSE the district court's dismissal and REMAND for
2010 and 2012, Magee informed the FBI about Cox and
Reed's unlawful business dealings, including tax fraud.
After learning of Magee's conversations with the FBI, Cox
threatened Magee, claiming that Reed was "ex-FBI"
and had "t[aken] care of it." Cox also told Magee
that if he ever came to Louisiana, Reed would
"handle" him. Two years later, in 2014, Magee
traveled to Louisiana and was soon arrested for failure to
pay child support. During his 101-day incarceration, Magee
made many requests for bail through both his family and
criminal defense counsel but was refused due to a "DA
Hold," a type of hold both parties agree is not
recognized by law. Magee's eventual release was
conditioned on his agreement to plead guilty to failure to
pay child support and to resisting an officer.
after his release, Magee received a phone call from Cox's
daughter asking if he intended to "pursue this
any further." Taking the question as a reference to his
cooperation with the FBI, Magee told her he was
First Amended Complaint alleged various violations of his
rights-both under the U.S. Constitution and under Louisiana
tort law- against assorted defendants. Some claims went to
trial while others were dismissed. Reed and Cox each filed
motions to dismiss all claims against them under Rule
12(b)(6), or, in the alternative, under Rule 12(c) or Rule
56. The district court granted both motions, dismissing all
only claims before us are Magee's § 1983 claims
against Reed (in both his official and personal capacities)
for false imprisonment, free speech retaliation, and
procedural due process violations, and against Cox for free
Standard of Review
review dismissals under Rule 12(b)(6) and 12(c) de novo.
Lampton v. Diaz, 639 F.3d 223, 225 (5th Cir. 2011);
Johnson v. Johnson, 385 F.3d 503, 529 (5th Cir.
2004). And the standard for dismissal under Rule 12(c) is the
same as under Rule 12(b)(6): "To survive a motion to
dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face." Edi ...