United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division
PEREZ-MONTES MAG. JUDGE.
DRELL JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
the court are cross motions for summary judgment filed by
defendants, Deputy Sheriff Chase Linzay ("Linzay")
and Rapides Parish Sheriff William Earl Hilton
("Hilton") and plaintiff Danny Lachney
("Lachney). (Docs. 47 and 53, respectively).
lawsuit arises out of events that took place on October 20,
2015 at Rapides Parish Detention Center III
("DCIII"). It was on that date that Lieutenant Jay
Patrick Slayter, an investigator and intelligence officer in
the corrections department of the Rapides Parish Sheriffs
Department, received information that two knives were hidden
by DCIII inmates somewhere in the dormitories and a specific
inmate was targeted.
Slayter requested and received permission to use both Special
Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) and Corrections Emergency Response
Team (CERT) deputies to assist in the search for the knives.
Members of SWAT and CERT gathered near DCIII. The teams
dressed in tactical and riot gear and received information
from Lt. Slayter that they would search certain DCIII
dormitories for the two missing knives. The teams made their
way to the dormitories they were to search. Linzay was
assigned to the dormitory that housed Lachney.
to Lachney, he was incarcerated at DCIII for the purpose of
serving a 20-day sentence on a charge of public
intoxication. He was seated on his assigned bunk, a top
rack, when he noticed deputies gathering by the main entrance
to his dormitory. He heard the officers yelling but
couldn't make out the commands. He was scared of being
shot so he put his hands up and remained seated on his top
bunk. As Linzay approached, he told Lachney to get down.
Lachney acknowledged the command, came off of the top bunk,
and lawnded on the floor in a forward leaning position.
Linzay advanced on Lachney, turned his weapon around, and
struck Lachney on the top of the head with the butt of the
shotgun. Lachney suffered a large, open gash which required
hospital attention and eight staples to close.
evidence of the event shows the deputies enter the dorm and
inmates make their way to the floor. In the back, right
corner of the dorm, Lachney remains seated on his top bunk.
Although the video is grainy, he appears to raise his hands
and then come off of his bunk and then Linzay approaches.
Once Lachney comes off of his bunk, he disappears from view -
blocked by other bunk beds that obstruct the video view.
filed suit against Linzay in his personal and official
capacities for use of excessive force pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 and battery under Louisiana state law. He also
filed suit against Sheriff Hilton in his official capacity
for failing to establish and/or enforce policies to
investigate wrongdoing by his deputies, the administration of
punishment, and inmate grievance procedures.
contends Lachney cannot state a claim for excessive force and
even if he can, Linzay is entitled to qualified immunity.
Sheriff Hilton asserts he is not liable in his official
capacity as Lachney fails to show that any policy, practice,
custom, or training was inadequate or that anyone was
deliberately indifferent to adopting a policy, practice,
custom, or training, or that the inadequate policy, practice,
custom, or training resulted in Lachney's injury.
Defendants further claim Lachney cannot establish a claim for
the violation of his due process rights nor is he entitled to
contends Linzay intentionally used force and that force was
both excessive and deadly. Thus, he says Linzay violated his
Eight Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual
LAW AND ARGUMENT
Summary Judgment Standard
"shall grant summary judgment if 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(a). A dispute of material fact is genuine is
the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party. See Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). "[W]e
consider all evidence in the light most favorable to the
party resisting the motion." Seacor Holdings, Inc.
v. Commonwealth Ins. Co, 635 F.3d 675, 680
(5th Cir.2011) (internal citations omitted). It is
important to note that the standard ...