United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lafayette Division
JEREMY RAYE DESHOTEL, ET AL.
PAYPAL, INC., ET AL.
Michael J. Juneau, Judge
MEMORANDUM RULING AND ORDER
B. WHITEHURST, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
before the Court are several motions, as follows: (1) Motion
to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim [Doc. 11], filed by
Paypal, Inc. and Ashley Weres; (2) Motion to Dismiss Penalty,
Punitive or Exemplary Damages [Doc. 16], filed by Caleb David
Lege and the City of Scott; (3) Motion to Dismiss for Failure
to State a Claim [Doc. 17] filed by Caleb David Lege and the
City of Scott; (4) Motion to Sever, Motion to Transfer,
and Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim [Doc. 20]
filed by CardCash Exchange, Inc.; and Motion to Amend/Correct
[Doc. 46] filed by the plaintiffs.
review of the numerous briefs filed in connection with the
pending motions, the plaintiffs' Motion to Amend will be
GRANTED, and all other pending motions will be DENIED at this
time, subject to the right of the movants to re-file their
motions to dismiss once the Amended Complaint is filed into
the record, all as set forth below.
action arises out of the arrests of the plaintiffs on money
laundering activities. On September 26, 2016, defendant Caleb
David Lege prepared affidavits and warrants for the
plaintiffs' arrests after defendant PayPal, Inc.
contacted the Scott Police Department to investigate possible
money laundering and illegal transmission of monetary funds
by the plaintiffs in connection with their company, Giftopia,
LLC. PayPal had received a complaint from another defendant,
CardCash, claiming that CardCash had sent $80, 000 to
Giftopia to purchase gift cards using PayPal's financial
services, but had not received all of the purchased
merchandise from Giftopia. Plaintiffs' bank accounts had
shown that they had withdrawn the funds from CardCash and
used the funds to purchase gold and silver bars on ebay. In
preparing the affidavits for the plaintiffs' arrests,
Lege relied on information from multiple sources, including
CardCash and PayPal, as well as Capital One bank statements
and PayPal account transactions.
Duplantier of the Fifteenth Judicial District Court ordered
warrants for the plaintiffs' arrests after considering
the affidavits and evidence presented to him. Following the
issuance of the warrants, Lege obtained search warrants from
Judge Duplantier to search the plaintiffs' residence and
vehicles. The City of Scott thereafter seized steroids,
hypodermic syringes, and firearms from the locations
searched. On September 28, 2016, the City of Scott arrested
the plaintiffs at their home in Louisiana for illegal
transmission of monetary funds, money laundering, a
transaction involving the proceeds of criminal activity, as
well as additional drug-related and weapons offense charges.
The charges for illegal transmission of monetary funds and
money laundering were ultimately refused, while plaintiff
Jeremy Deshotel pled guilty to possession of Schedule II
narcotics and possession of drug paraphrenalia All charges
against Courtney Deshotel were refused.
result of their arrests and the charges brought against them,
the plaintiffs filed the instant lawsuit on March 23, 2019,
claiming they suffered damages, and alleging claims of false
imprisonment, malicious prosecution, and seeking punitive
damages. The plaintiffs also assert a claim of detrimental
reliance against CardCash. All claims are alleged under the
Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments, as well as
Louisiana state law.
defendants have filed several motions to dismiss, a motion to
sever, and a motion to dismiss the claim for punitive
damages. The most recent motion filed is the plaintiffs'
Motion to Amend their Complaint, which is opposed by all of
the defendants. A review of the motion, however, shows that
granting this motion may streamline not only the claims
before the Court, but the arguments of the defendants for
Law and Analysis
Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a) provides that “[t]he
court should freely give leave [to amend a pleading] when
justice so requires.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2).
“Whether leave to amend should be granted is entrusted
to the sound discretion of the district court....  Rule
15(a) requires the trial court to grant leave to amend
freely, and the language of this rule evinces a bias in favor
of granting leave to amend.” Lyn-Lea Travel Corp.
v. Am. Airlines, Inc., 283 F.3d 282, 286 (5th Cir.
instant case, the Court finds that the granting of the motion
to amend will promote the efficient use of judicial
resources. The proposed amended complaint seeks to correct
factual errors and clarify the plaintiffs' causes of
action. To the extent that the proposed amended complaint
clarifies the legal claims of the plaintiffs, moots portions
of the motions that have been filed by the defendants, and
fosters a streamlining of the remaining objections of the
defendants, the filing of an amended complaint is a welcome
procedural development at this juncture. Moreover, there has
been no demonstrated bad faith or undue delay in the
plaintiffs' request to amend. Discovery has not been
completed, no motions for summary judgment have been filed,
and the case has not progressed to the point that an amended
complaint will prejudice any party. Finally, with respect to
the issue of futility of the amendment, the Court notes that
the manner in which the issues have been briefed in this
matter has been less than helpful to the Court. By permitting
the amendment, the Court is not suggesting that the amended
claims cannot be the subject of a properly filed and briefed
motion to dismiss. However, considering the early stage of
the litigation and the other considerations set forth in this
ruling, the Court is hopeful that allowing the amendment will
streamline any remaining issues that can be properly briefed
once the Amended Complaint is filed. Under these
circumstances, the Court concludes that the motion for leave
to amend the complaint should be granted.
foregoing reasons, the plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to
File First Amended Complaint [Doc. 46] is GRANTED.
Furthermore, it is ORDERED that the Motion to Dismiss for
Failure to State a Claim [Doc. 11], Motion to Dismiss
Penalty, Punitive or Exemplary Damages [Doc. 16], Motion to
Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim [Doc. 17], and Motion to
Sever, Motion to Transfer, and Motion to Dismiss for Failure
to State a Claim [Doc. 20] are hereby DENIED ...