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Senegal v. Moses

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division

March 28, 2019

COURTNEY SENEGAL
v.
RICKY MOSES, ET AL.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          KATHLEEN KAY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Before the court is an unopposed Motion for Summary Judgment [doc. 82] filed by defendant the City of DeRidder. The matter has been referred to the undersigned for review, report, and recommendation in accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636.

         I.

         Background

         This matter arises from a civil rights and tort action filed by plaintiff Courtney Senegal (“plaintiff”), individually and as administrator of the estate of her husband, Eric Senegal (“decedent”). The suit relates to the decedent's death during the execution of a no-knock search warrant at his home by members of the Beauregard Parish Narcotics Task Force, comprising law enforcement officers from the Beauregard Parish Sheriff's Office and the DeRidder Police Department. See docs. 1, 11, 49 (original and amended complaints). Since that time, the court has granted summary judgment and dismissed all claims against Officer Joshua Stanford and Chief of Police John Gott of the DeRidder Police Department. See docs. 35 & 42 (Gott); docs. 64 & 65 (Stanford). At the respective defendants' unopposed motions, the court certified these judgments as final and immediately appealable pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b), on September 7, 2018 (Stanford), and January 22, 2019 (Gott). Docs. 65, 81. Appeal delays have now run on those judgments and so they are deemed final.

         The only claims asserted against the City of DeRidder (“the City”) are those premised on municipal liability for civil rights violations under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and vicarious liability and negligent hiring and training under state tort law. See doc. 49. The City now moves for summary judgment on these claims. Plaintiff does not oppose the motion and her time for doing so has passed. Accordingly, the motion is regarded as unopposed and is now ripe for review.

         II.

         Summary Judgment Standard

         A court should grant a motion for summary judgment when the movant shows “that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. The party moving for summary judgment is initially responsible for identifying portions of pleadings and discovery that show the lack of a genuine issue of material fact. Tubacex, Inc. v. M/V Risan, 45 F.3d 951, 954 (5th Cir. 1995). The court must deny the motion for summary judgment if the movant fails to meet this burden. Id.

         If the movant makes this showing, however, the burden then shifts to the non-moving party to “set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2511 (1986) (quotations omitted). This requires more than mere allegations or denials of the adverse party's pleadings. Instead, the nonmovant must submit “significant probative evidence” in support of his claim. State Farm Life Ins. Co. v. Gutterman, 896 F.2d 116, 118 (5th Cir. 1990). “If the evidence is merely colorable, or is not significantly probative, summary judgment may be granted.” Anderson, 106 S.Ct. at 2511 (citations omitted).

         A court may not make credibility determinations or weigh the evidence in ruling on a motion for summary judgment. Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Prods., Inc., 120 S.Ct. 2097, 2110 (2000). The court is also required to view all evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and draw all reasonable inferences in that party's favor. Clift v. Clift, 210 F.3d 268, 270 (5th Cir. 2000). Under this standard, a genuine issue of material fact exists if a reasonable trier of fact could render a verdict for the nonmoving party. Brumfield v. Hollins, 551 F.3d 322, 326 (5th Cir. 2008).

         III.

         Application

         A. ...


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