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Speed v. Gautreaux

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

August 26, 2019

ALICIA SPEED, ET AL.
v.
SHERIFF SID J. GAUTREAUX SHERIFF EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH, ET AL.

          ORDER

          RICHARD L. BOURGEOIS, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the Court are Sheriff Wydette Williams' Motion to Dismiss Complaint and Amended Complaint (R. Docs. 48) and Sheriff Sid J. Gautreaux's Motion to Dismiss Complaint and First Amended and Supplemental Complaint. (R. Doc. 50). The motions are opposed. (R. Doc. 51). Sheriff Gautreaux filed a Reply. (R. Doc. 56).

         Also before the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion to Continue. (R. Doc. 52). Sheriff Gautreaux filed an opposition. (R. Doc. 54)

         Also before the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to File Second Amended Complaint. (R. Doc. 58). The deadline for filing an opposition has expired. LR 7(f).

         I. Background

         On November 16, 2018, Alicia Speed and Joe Ducre (“Plaintiffs”) filed this action on behalf of their deceased brother Brian Ducre (“Ducre”), naming as defendants Sid J. Guatreaux in his official capacity as Sheriff of East Baton Rouge Parish, and Wydette Williams in his official capacity as Sheriff of East Carroll Parish. (R. Doc. 1, “Compl.”). Plaintiffs seek recovery under 28 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12181 et seq. (Compl. ¶ 2).

         Plaintiffs allege that Ducre was arrested by the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office on May 14, 2016 for reasons unknown to Plaintiffs. (Compl. ¶ 4). Plaintiffs allege that Ducre was “placed on a transport vehicle and driven to East Carroll Parish Correction Facility” and then, some time later, “transported to the local hospital to receive medical attention.” (Compl. ¶ 6). Plaintiffs allege that the next day he was again placed on a transport vehicle, returned to East Baton Rouge Parish, and then transported to a local hospital in Zachary, Louisiana, where he died. (Compl. ¶ 7). Plaintiffs allege that the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner performed an autopsy on May 17, 2016 determining the cause of death to be homicide. (Compl. ¶ 8). Plaintiffs allege that the autopsy report was signed on July 18, 2016, but was not made available to them until May of 2017. (Compl. ¶ 8). Plaintiffs also allege that they did not receive the death certificate until “sometime after” it was filed on November 16, 2016, and that was the “initial date that the family learned of the manner of death.” (Compl. ¶ 9).

         It appears that Plaintiffs are asserting that Ducre's protected disability under the ADA was schizophrenia. (Compl. ¶ 4). Plaintiffs allege that Defendants violated Ducre's “constitutional rights” by “acting with deliberate indifference” to his disability, falsely arresting him, and “failing to recognize his condition and placing him in an unsafe environment.” (Compl. ¶ 11). Plaintiffs further allege that prior to the filing of this action, Sheriff Gautreaux indicated the fatal injuries occurred in East Carroll Parish and, conversely, Sheriff Williams indicated the fatal injuries occurred in East Baton Rouge Parish. (Compl. ¶ 10).

         The Court entered Plaintiffs' First Amended and Supplemental Complaint (“Amended Complaint”) into the record on April 15, 2019. (R. Doc. 41). The Amended Complaint adds as defendants unidentified Louisiana State Troopers, unidentified transportation companies and drivers, and unidentified inmates. (R. Doc. 41 at 1). It also states that Ducre “was allegedly beaten by an unknown inmate or unknown inmates accompanying him” while in the custody of the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office, the East Carroll Parish Correctional Facility, or during transport. (R. Doc. 41 at 2). The Amended Complaint asserts that the driver of one of the unknown transportation companies “committed breaches of alleged contracts to transport inmate[s] in a safe condition.” (R. Doc. 41 at 2). The Amended Complaint also asserts that the Louisiana State Police “prematurely ended the investigation of Brian Ducre's homicide and failed to disclose of its report and deliver any suspects for possible indictments.” (R. Doc. 41 at 3). Finally, the Amended Petition asserts that Defendants violated Ducre's clearly established due process, liberty interest, and equal protection rights under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. (R. Doc. 41 at 3).

         On April 30, 2019 and May 3, 2019, Sheriff Williams and Sheriff Gautreaux, respectively, filed motions to dismiss the Complaint and Amended Complaint on the basis that Plaintiffs' claims are time barred, Plaintiffs failed to state a claim against them under Section 1983, and Plaintiffs failed to state a claim against them under the ADA. (R. Docs. 48, 50). In opposition, Plaintiffs argue that the doctrine of contra non valenum precludes dismissal based on prescription and that a ten-year prescriptive period applies in light of their breach of contact allegations. (R. Doc. 51). In reply, Sheriff Guatreaux notes that Plaintiffs do not raise any arguments in their opposition with respect to the sufficiency of their Section 1983 and ADA claims. (R. Doc. 56 at 4).

         On May 20, 2019, Plaintiffs filed a “Motion to Continue” seeking the opportunity to conduct discovery pursuant to Rule 56(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for the purposes of identifying all parties and factual information to support their claims and to defeat dismissal. (R. Doc. 52). In opposition, Sheriff Gautreaux argues that the defendants are seeking dismissal pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), which is based on the sufficiency of the allegations in the pleadings, and not summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56. (R. Doc. 54).

         On June 7, 2019, Plaintiffs filed their Motion for Leave to File Second Amended Complaint. (R. Doc. 58). Plaintiffs state that they are seeking amendment to “specifically name Sheriff Gautreaux, in his official capacity as Sheriff of East Baton Rogue Parish and to specifically name Sheriff Wydette Williams, in his official capacity as Sheriff of East Carroll Parish as defendants.” (R. Doc. 58 at 1). Plaintiffs further seek to assert that they are seeking “redress under the Americans with Disabilities Act” based on Ducre's diagnosis of schizophrenia “and other mental disabilities.” (R. Doc. 58 at 1).

         II.

         Law ...


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