United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
JENNIFER FOSTER, ET AL.
MATTHEW JETER, ET AL.
HORNSBY MAGISTRATE Judge
MAURICE HICKS, JR., CHIEF JUDGE.
City of Bossier City (“Bossier”) and Matthew
Jeter (“Jeter”) (collectively
“Defendants”) are before the Court on a Motion to
Dismiss (Record Document 4) pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For the reasons stated
below, Defendants' motion is GRANTED IN
PART and DENIED IN PART.
allege the following facts in their Complaint (Record
Michael Foster (“Foster”) was arrested and taken
to the Bossier City Police station on or about July 13, 2017.
On arrival, Foster was taken to an interrogation room where
he was questioned by Jeter, a narcotics agent with the
Bossier City Police Department. During the questioning, Jeter
offered Foster leniency in exchange for his cooperation as a
confidential informant (“CI”). During their
conversation, Foster spoke “very loudly, ” and
the conversation regarding Foster's cooperation was
overheard by an unnamed third party who was being held in an
was eventually released and allowed to return to his home. A
few days later, Foster was approached by the unnamed third
party who overheard Foster and Jeter at the police station.
He warned Foster that he was in danger for being a
“snitch.” Foster reported this to Jeter, who
advised Foster that he would only receive leniency if he
continued with his agreement to cooperate as a CI. Foster
also reported this to his brother, who, likewise, reported to
his concerns, Foster was officially registered as a CI and
began communicating with several individuals to “set up
buys, ” which could be monitored and recorded by Jeter
and other Bossier City Police officers. As a result of his
cooperation with Defendants, Foster was murdered on or about
September 8, 2017. Plaintiffs, who are survivors of Foster,
filed the current lawsuit on September 7, 2018, asserting
claims against Defendants under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and
Louisiana tort law.
Rule 12(b)(6) Standard
8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governs the
requirements for pleadings that state a claim for relief,
requiring that a pleading contain “a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief.” The standard for the adequacy of complaints
under Rule 8(a)(2) is now a “plausibility”
standard found in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly and
its progeny. 550 U.S. 544, 127 S.Ct. 1955 (2007). Under this
standard, “factual allegations must be enough to raise
a right to relief above the speculative level . . . on the
assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true
(even if doubtful in fact).” Id. at 555-56,
127 S.Ct. at 1965. If a pleading only contains “labels
and conclusions” and “a formulaic recitation of
the elements of a cause of action, ” the pleading does
not meet the standards of Rule 8(a)(2). Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009)
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) allows parties to seek
dismissal of a party's pleading for failure to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted. In deciding a Rule
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a court generally may not
“go outside the pleadings.” Colle v. Brazos
Cty., Tex., 981 F.2d 237, 243 (5th Cir. 1993). However,
a court may rely upon “documents incorporated into the
complaint by reference and matters of which a court may take
judicial notice” in deciding a motion to dismiss.
Dorsey v. Portfolio Equities, Inc., 540 F.3d 333,
338 (5th Cir. 2008). Additionally, courts must accept all
factual allegations in the complaint as true. See
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. at 1949. However,
courts do not have to accept legal conclusions as facts.
See id. A court does not evaluate a plaintiff's
likelihood for success, but instead determines whether a
plaintiff has pleaded a legally cognizable claim. See
U.S. ex rel. Riley v. St. Luke's Episcopal Hosp.,
355 F.3d 370, 376 (5th Cir. 2004). Courts considering a
motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) are only obligated to
allow those complaints that are facially plausible under the
Iqbal and Twombly standard to survive such
a motion. See Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678- 79, 129 S.Ct.
at 1949. If the complaint does not meet this standard, it can
be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief
can be granted. See id. Such a dismissal ends the
case “at the point of minimum expenditure of time and
money by the parties and the court.” Twombly,
550 U.S. at 558, 127 S.Ct. at 1966.