Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Jackson v. Roche

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

January 22, 2019

LIONEL JACKSON # 108969
v.
ALVIN ROCHE, ET AL.

          NOTICE

          ERIN WILDER-DOOMES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Please take notice that the attached Magistrate Judge's Report has been filed with the Clerk of the U.S. District Court.

         In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), you have 14 days after being served with the attached report to file written objections to the proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendations set forth therein. Failure to file written objections to the proposed findings, conclusions and recommendations within 14 days after being served will bar you, except upon grounds of plain error, from attacking on appeal the unobjected-to proposed factual findings and legal conclusions accepted by the District Court.

         ABSOLUTELY NO EXTENSION OF TIME SHALL BE GRANTED TO FILE WRITTEN OBJECTIONS TO THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE=S REPORT.

         MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

         Before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss (“Motion”) filed on behalf of Defendants Alvin Roche, Jr., Robert Lofton, Jimmy Kuhn, Sheryl Ranatza, and Jim Wise.[1] The Motion is opposed by Plaintiff Lionel Jackson.[2] For the following reasons, the undersigned recommends that the Motion be denied.

         I. Background

         Pro se Plaintiff, an inmate at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, Angola, Louisiana, filed the present action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Alvin Roche, Jr., Robert Lofton, Jimmy Kuhn, Sheryl Ranatza, and Jim Wise (“Defendants”).[3] In short, Plaintiff alleges the retroactive application of parole guidelines violated the United State's Constitution's “prohibitions against ex post fact [sic] laws, and denied him due process in the parole hearing procedure.”[4] Plaintiff filed suit on May 23, 2017. Defendants have filed the instant Motion asserting Plaintiff's § 1983 claims are prescribed.

         II. Law and Analysis

         On a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6), the Court “must accept as true all of the factual allegations contained in the Complaint.”[5] Further, “[a] document filed pro se is ‘to be liberally construed' ... and ‘a pro se Complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'”[6] Generally, when deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Court will not consider matters outside the pleadings, except those matters of which the Court takes judicial notice.[7]

         In the instant Motion, Defendants' only argument for dismissal is that Plaintiff's claims are prescribed. Although a defendant asserting a defense under Louisiana law normally has the burden of establishing the elements of the defense, the burden of proof shifts to the plaintiff to show that the limitations period has been interrupted or tolled when the face of the Complaint reflects that more than a year has passed since the complained of events.[8] Accordingly, this Court must first determine whether it is evident on the face of the Complaint that Plaintiff's claims are prescribed.

         There is no federal statute of limitations for actions brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. It is well established that federal courts borrow the forum state's general personal injury limitations period.[9] In Louisiana, § 1983 claims must be filed within the one-year prescriptive period applicable to delictual actions.[10] Although Louisiana law governs the limitations period and the tolling exceptions, federal law governs when a cause of action accrues.[11] Under federal law, a cause of action accrues “when the plaintiff knows or has reason to know of the injury which is the basis of the action.”[12]

         Plaintiff raises three ex post facto challenges: 1) a 2010 change to the number of votes needed for Plaintiff to obtain parole (an increase from 3 to 5 votes for the crimes of violence against a peace officer); 2) a 2012 change that gives victims the right to testify via letters that neither the prisoner nor the attorney can review; and 3) a 1995 change that includes a victims' rights advocate on the parole board.[13] Defendants argue that Plaintiff's claims are prescribed because Plaintiff “admits in his Complaint that he was first aware that he was allegedly injured by the . . . changes to parole laws on August 10, 2015, ”[14] however, Plaintiff does not specifically make such an admission.

         While Plaintiff admits he had a parole proceeding on August 10, 2015, it is not clear from the face of the Complaint, as amended, whether Plaintiff knew or had reason to know that the changes to the parole process that form the basis for his ex post facto challenges applied in that proceeding. For example, though Plaintiff states that he appeared before a five-member parole committee panel in 2015, the Complaint, as amended, does not provide any details about that hearing. Plaintiff does not indicate the manner in which voting occurred or the number of individuals who voted for and against his parole.[15] If Plaintiff only received notification of the outcome or if he did not receive at least three votes in favor of parole at his 2015 hearing, he would not necessarily have had reason to know of the facts giving rise to his first ex post facto challenge. There are also no facts regarding whether victims' letters were considered by the parole board or if a victims' ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.