United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lafayette Division
JOSEPH LARRY MOREAU, JR.
ST. LANDRY PARISH FIRE DISTRICT NO. 3, ET AL.
WHITEHURST MAG. JUDGE.
A. DOUGHTY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
a lawsuit filed by Plaintiff Joseph Larry Moreau, Jr.
(“Moreau”) against St. Landry Fire Protection
District No. 3 (“District 3”) and the seven
individual members of the Board of Commissioners. Moreau
brought suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, contending
that his civil rights were violated because he was terminated
in retaliation for exercising his First Amendment rights.
November 9, 2018, Defendant Ryan Chachere's
(“Chachere”) filed a Motion for Summary Judgment
[Doc. No. 21]. Chachere, a member of the Board of
Commissioners, moved the Court to dismiss all claims against
him because he did not attend the Board of Commissioners
meeting when the members voted to terminate Moreau. Moreau
opposed the Motion for Summary Judgment by filing an
affidavit under Fed.R.Civ.p. 56(d). [Doc. No. 23]. The Court
agreed with Moreau that summary judgment was premature and
ruled as follows: “Chachere's Motion for Summary
Judgment [Doc. No. 21] is DENIED at this time, subject to
re-urging once appropriate discovery has been
conducted.” [Doc. No. 30, p. 5].
3, 2019, Chachere filed the pending Motion for Summary
Judgment [Doc. No. 39] in which he asserts that discovery has
been conducted and the discovery deadline has now passed.
Therefore, he re-urges his right to summary judgment.
29, 2019, Moreau filed a Response to the pending Motion for
Summary Judgment which states, “Plaintiff, Larry
Moreau, does not oppose Defendant Ryan Chachere's Motion
for Summary Judgment, R. Doc. 39”. [Doc. No. 52].
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
about January 8, 2018, the Vermillion Parish School Board
(“the School Board”) held a meeting during which
a Vermillion Parish school teacher attempted to question the
members about a potential raise for the superintendent. The
School Board had a police officer remove the teacher from the
meeting. She was handcuffed and taken to jail.
wife is a school teacher, and a friend of his commented on
Moreau's Facebook page about the incident. Moreau
responded as follows:
[A]ll of this going on with this poor teacher being treated
so unfairly makes one thing perfectly clear. . . These
“boards” everywhere, ruled by good old boy
politics need to be dissolved ASAP..!! We have the same exact
problem at our fire department . . . A board of clueless
idiots making the decisions that affect many including the
very employees that actually do the job.. It's a joke . .
[. . .]. I hope this teacher makes them pay...and pay big
[Doc. No. 1, ¶ 12].
March 20, 2018, the Board of Commissioners voted to terminate
Moreau. On or about March 21, 2018, the Board of
Commissioners notified Moreau that it had terminated his
employment with District 3 because of his “disparaging
remarks” about the Board of Commissioners on Facebook.
contends that Moreau was present at the meeting and, thus,
knows that Chachere was not present and did not vote on his
termination. Chachere further contends that he was unable to
attend the March 20, 2018 meeting due to the death of a
friend's father; that prior to the meeting he did not
speak with anybody about participating in the deliberation
regarding Moreau's discipline; that he did not talk to
anybody about what disciplinary action, if any, should be
taken against Moreau; that he in no way participated in the
decision to terminate Moreau; and after the meeting he did
not speak to any of the other BOC members regarding their
termination of Moreau or their reasons for doing so.