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LaVergne v. Vaughn

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

March 21, 2019

BRANDON S. LAVERGNE #424227, ET AL.
v.
MICHAEL VAUGHN, ET AL.

          NOTICE

          RICHARD L. BOURGEOIS, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

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

         In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), you have fourteen (14) days after being served with the attached Report to file written objections to the proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law and recommendations 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 of the Magistrate Judge which have been 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

         This matter comes before the Court the Motion for Summary Judgment of the remaining Defendants in this case, Bruce Dodd and Michael Vaughn (R. Doc. 78). This Motion is opposed. See R. Docs. 101 and 102.

         Pro se plaintiff[1], Brandon Lavergne, an inmate incarcerated at the Louisiana State Penitentiary (“LSP”), Angola, Louisiana, filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Michael Vaughn, Seth Smith, Darrell Vannoy, Leslie Dupont, Joe Jones, William Richardson, Megan Shipley, George Heard, Cindy Vannoy, Lindsey Metz, Delvin Turner and Bruce Dodd. Pursuant to prior Rulings in this case, all of the plaintiffs' claims have been dismissed except the claim that defendants Michael Vaughn and Bruce Dodd violated their constitutional rights by imposing a mail block in February of 2016. The plaintiffs' pertinent allegations as to the remaining claim are as follows:

         In October of 2015, the plaintiff was notified by the visitation officer that his daughter, Bethany, was going to be removed from his visitor list unless he sent her a visitation form after she turned 15. Since, due to a no contact order, the plaintiff could not send anything to the mother of his daughter (his former wife Lainey Martinez), he filed a grievance (LSP-2015-3283) which was denied.

         In December of 2015, the plaintiff learned that his daughter had not been living with his former wife since 2014. Instead, she had been residing in a group home in Mississippi. On February 3, 2016, the plaintiff wrote a letter to the staff of the group home asking for permission to contact his daughter. The plaintiff's ex-wife contacted the prison regarding the letter on or about February 8, 2016. On or about February 12, 2016, in alleged retaliation for the plaintiff's filing of a prior suit, defendant Michael Vaughn, with the approval of defendant Bruce Dodd, placed the plaintiff on a “total mail block, ” which prohibited the plaintiff from sending or receiving any mail, including religious or legal mail. The block also prohibited the plaintiff from receiving J-PAY e-mails.

         On February 16, 2016, defendant Vaughn issued a disciplinary report wherein he claimed that the plaintiff had been verbally advised in 2012 that he was not to have any contact with the Martinez family. The plaintiff asserts that he was not informed to not have any contact with the Martinez family, rather the plaintiff was told not to contact Lainey Martinez.

         On February 17, 2016, the plaintiff wrote a second letter to the staff of the group home requesting written permission to contact his daughter. On the same date, defendant Vaughn issued a second disciplinary report.

         The plaintiff was brought before a disciplinary board on February 19, 2016. The plaintiff requested that a copy of his February 3, 2016 letter to the group home be produced, and the board agreed. The report was sent back to defendant Vaughn in order for a copy of the letter to be produced.

         On February 20, 2016, the plaintiff was brought before a disciplinary board regarding the disciplinary report issued on February 17, 2016. The plaintiff informed the board that he had not received a copy of the report, and the board deferred the hearing. On February 22, 2016, the plaintiff was brought before a new disciplinary board who found no reason for the February 3, 2016 letter to be produced and refused to allow the plaintiff to question defendant Vaughn. The plaintiff was found guilty and sentenced to 12 weeks loss of store and transfer to the Camp J management program.

         On February 23, 2016, the plaintiff was brought before a disciplinary board for the February 17, 2016 disciplinary report. The plaintiff's requests for a copy of the letter, a copy of the disciplinary report, a copy of a no contact request from the group home, and to question defendant Vaughn were refused. The plaintiff was found guilty and was again sentenced to the Camp J management program.

         The plaintiff appealed the disciplinary convictions, and his appeals were rejected by based upon false information. The plaintiff then filed a grievance on February 25, 2016 concerning the mail block. On April 25, 2016, a First Step response was issued denying the plaintiff's request ...


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