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Lewis v. Landry

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lafayette Division

September 24, 2019

CLARENCE D. LEWIS
v.
JEFF LANDRY, ET AL

          DOUGHTY JUDGE

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          PATRICK J. HANNA UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Before the Court, on referral from the district judge, is a Motion To Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint filed by Defendants Keith A. Stutes and Michele Billeaud [Rec. Doc. 4]. Plaintiff Clarence Lewis did not oppose the instant motion. For the reasons provided below, IT IS RECOMMENDED that the motion be GRANTED and that all claims against Stutes and Billeaud be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.

         I. Factual Background

         Plaintiff, Clarence Lewis[1], filed the instant lawsuit in the 15th Judicial District Court, Parish of Lafayette, against Attorney General Jeff Landry, District Attorney Keith Stutes, Assistant District Attorney Michell Billeaud, and Nancy Rogers. All parties that were properly served agreed to removal of the state court proceeding from the 15th Judicial District Court to this Court.[2" name="FN2" id= "FN2">2]

         Plaintiff alleges that Stutes and Billeaud violated his 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th and 14thAmendment rights through their illegal detention and conviction of plaintiff on unsubstantiated charges and that these acts contributed to the wrongful death of his mother. [Rec. Doc. 1-2, p. 3] The conviction referred to is a September 22, 2011 conviction arising from plaintiff's guilty plea in the matter of State of Louisiana v. Clarence David Lewis, Criminal Docket No. CR-130950 in the 15th Juridical District court, on charges of forcible rape and home invasion, for which he is currently serving a fifteen (15) year sentence at the Raymond Laborde Correctional Center in Cottonport, Louisiana. [Rec. Doc. 4-1, pp. 1-2]

         II. Law and Analysis

         A. Standard of Review - Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6)

         When considering a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under F.R.C.P. Rule 12(b)(6), the district court must limit itself to the contents of the pleadings, including any attachments and exhibits thereto. Collins v. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, 224 F.3d 496');">224 F.3d 496, 498 (5th Cir.2000); U.S. ex rel. Riley v. St. Luke's Episcopal Hosp., 355 F.3d 370, 375 (5th Cir.2004). When reviewing a motion to dismiss, a district court may also consider “documents incorporated into the complaint by reference, and matters of which a court may take judicial notice.” Funk v. Stryker Corp., 631 F.3d 777, 783 (5th Cir.2011), citing Tellabs, Inc. v. Makor Issues & Rights, Ltd., 551 U.S. 308, 322 (2007).

         The court must accept all well-pleaded facts as true and view them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. In re Katrina Canal Breaches Litigation, 495 F.3d 191, 205 (5th Cir.2007) (internal quotations omitted) (quoting Martin K. Eby Constr. Co. v. Dallas Area Rapid Transit, 369 F.3d 464, 467 (5th Cir.2004)); Baker v. Putnal, 75 F.3d 190, 196 (5th Cir.1996). However, conclusory allegations and unwarranted deductions of fact are not accepted as true, Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Sales v. Avondale Shipyards, 677 F.2d 1045, 1050 (5th Cir. 1982) (citing Associated Builders, Inc. v. Alabama Power Company, 2d 97');">505 F.2d 97, 100 (5th Cir. 1974)); Collins v. Morgan Stanley, 224 F.3d at 498. Courts “are not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Papasan v. Allain, 265');">478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986)).

         To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the plaintiff must plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic, 127 U.S. at 570. The allegations must be sufficient “to raise a right to relief above the speculative level, ” and “the pleading must contain something more . . . than . . . a statement of facts that merely creates a suspicion [of] a legally cognizable right of action.” Id. at 555 (quoting 5 C. Wright & A. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 1216, pp. 235- 36 (3d ed. 2004)). “While a complaint . . . does not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds of his entitlement to relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Id. (citations, quotation marks, and brackets omitted; emphasis added). See also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 2');">556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). If the plaintiff fails to allege facts sufficient to “nudge[ ][his] claims across the line from conceivable to plausible, [his] complaint must be dismissed.” Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 127 U.S. at 570.

         A claim meets the test for facial plausibility “when the plaintiff pleads the factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. “[D]etermining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief . . . [is] a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.” Id. at 679. Therefore, “[t]he complaint (1) on its face (2) must contain enough factual matter (taken as true) (3) to raise a reasonable hope or expectation (4) that discovery will reveal relevant evidence of each element of a claim.” Lormand v. U.S. Unwired, Inc., 565 F.3d 228, 257 (5th Cir.2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 127 U.S. at 556). See also In Re Southern Scrap, 541 F.3d 584, 587 (5th Cir.2008). With these precepts in mind, the Court considers the Plaintiff Lewis' Complaint.

         B. Analysis

         a. Plaintiff fails to state factual allegations to ...


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