United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
RULING AND ORDER
A. JACKSON JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
the Court is the Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc.
29) filed by Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel
Edwards and Tangipahoa Parish Sheriffs Office Deputies Joseph
Caminita and Alexander Zebrick. No. opposition was filed. For
the reasons that follow, the Motion (Doc.
29) is GRANTED.
U.S.C. § 1983 suit arises from a struggle between an
intoxicated man and law enforcement officers. (Doc. 29-1 at
¶¶ 1-13). After drinking liquor for several hours,
Plaintiff Daniel Newton awoke at his father's home.
(Id. at ¶ 1). Plaintiff began arguing with his
father, and someone called the police. (Id. at
¶ 5). Deputies Caminita and Zebrick responded to the
call around midnight. (Id.).
Deputies Caminita and Zebrick arrived at Plaintiffs
father's home, Plaintiffs father told them that he wanted
Plaintiff to leave the property. (Id. at ¶ 6).
Deputy Caminita and Plaintiff got into Plaintiffs
father's truck, and Deputy Caminita drove Plaintiff off
the property. (Id. at ¶ 7). Deputy Zebrick
followed in a police car. (Id. at ¶ 8).
Deputies Caminita and Zebrick dropped Plaintiff off.
(Id. at ¶ 9). No. one recalls where.
(Id. at ¶ 9). Before leaving Plaintiff, Deputy
Caminita advised him not to drive the truck. (Id. at
¶ 11). Plaintiff does not recall the events that
followed. (Id. at ¶ 12).
12:45 A.M., Louisiana State Trooper Erin Williams received a
dispatch call about an abandoned truck in a ditch. (Doc. 31-2
at ¶ 9). Trooper Williams arrived at the scene about ten
minutes later. (Id. at ¶ 10). Plaintiff arrived
at the scene five minutes later; he began arguing with
Trooper Williams about whether the truck would be towed.
(Id. at ¶ 17). Trooper Williams then gave
Plaintiff a field sobriety test. (Id. at ¶ 25).
Plaintiff passed. (Id.).
the test, the argument escalated. (Id. at ¶
34). Trooper Williams and Plaintiff began to fight.
(Id.). Trooper Williams brought Plaintiff to the
ground, arrested Plaintiff, and charged Plaintiff with
resisting arrest, driving without a license, careless
operation, and driving without insurance. (Id. at
¶ 43). This lawsuit followed.
sued Sheriff Edwards, Deputy Caminita, and Deputy Zebrick for
constitutional violations under § 1983. (Doc. 12).
Plaintiff alleges deliberate-indifference claims against
Deputies Caminita and Zebrick and a failure-to-train claim
against Sheriff Edwards. (Id.), Plaintiff also
alleges negligence claims against all Defendants .
Defendants move for summary judgment. (Doc. 29). Defendants
argue that they are entitled to qualified immunity on
Plaintiffs individual-capacity federal-law claims. (Doc. 29-2
at p. 12). And Plaintiffs state-law claims should be
dismissed, Defendants argue, because the undisputed facts in
the record show that Defendants acted reasonably under the
Court will enter summary judgment in Defendants' favor if
Defendants show that there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and that they are entitled to judgment as a
matter of law. Fed. R. ClV. P. 56(a). The Court cannot grant
summary judgment just because Defendants' motion is
unopposed; Defendants must point to the absence of a material
factual dispute. Hetzel v. Bethlehem Steel Corp., 50
F.3d 360, 362 n.3 (5th Cir. 1995). In deciding if they have
done so, the Court views facts and draws reasonable
inferences in Plaintiffs favor. Vann v. City of
Southaven, Miss., 884 F.3d 307, 309 (5th Cir. 2018).
Because Plaintiff failed to file a response, Defendants'
properly-supported assertions of fact are undisputed. FED. R.
Civ. P. 56(e)(2).