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Waller v. Russell

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

September 25, 2019

THOMAS WAYNE WALLER
v.
SHERIFF JAY RUSSELL, ET AL.

         SECTION P

          TERRY A. DOUGHTY JUDGE

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          KAREN L. HAYES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the undersigned is a “Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law, ” [doc. # 1');">14], filed by Plaintiff Thomas Wayne Waller, a prisoner at Lincoln Parish Detention Center proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, on September 1');">19, 201');">19. Plaintiff filed the instant proceeding on August 26');">6, 201');">19, under 42 U.S.C. § 1');">1983, naming Sheriff Jay Russell, in his official capacity, and Deputy John Doe, in his individual and official capacities, as defendants.[1');">1" name="FN1');">1" id= "FN1');">1">1');">1] For reasons that follow, the Court should deny Plaintiff9;s motion as premature.

         Background

         Plaintiff alleges that, on approximately July 5, 201');">19, at around 2:00 a.m., a deputy with the Ouachita Parish Sheriff9;s Office stopped and detained him without reasonable suspicion or probable cause. [doc. # 1');">1, p. 2]. At the time, Plaintiff, an African American, was walking on Smith Street with a white female “back to her house” in West Monroe, Louisiana. [doc. #s 1');">1, p. 2; 9, p. 1');">1].

         The deputy, who was in a vehicle traveling towards Plaintiff, “crossed the yellow line, brightened his headlights, blinded [Plaintiff], forced [Plaintiff] into a puddle of muddy water, and ordered [Plaintiff] to halt or stop.” [doc. # 1');">1, p. 3');">p. 3]. Plaintiff immediately “put [his] hands in the air so [the deputy] could see [them] and [Plaintiff] wouldn9;t be shot down.” Id. Plaintiff suggests that, before he was identified, he was searched, “handcuffed, detained, and taken into custody for an old FTA warrant out of Lincoln Parish.” [doc. #s 1');">1, p. 3');">p. 3; 6');">6, p. 3');">p. 3].

         Plaintiff claims that the deputy stopped, detained, and searched him “for no apparent reason other than being an African American and walking with a female of the opposite race.” [doc. #s 1');">1, p. 3');">p. 3; 6');">6, p. 4]. Other officers “made offensive remarks as to why [Plaintiff] was with a white female . . . .” [doc. # 6');">6, p. 3');">p. 3].

         Plaintiff was “written a ticket or charge[d] for obstructing the highway which was dismissed by the Judge and [he] was given time served for the other charge attempted or evading arrest, no identification and incorrect name. [sic].” Id. at 4.

         Plaintiff seeks punitive damages, reimbursement for court costs, and $50, 000.00 in compensatory relief. [doc. #s 1');">1, p. 3');">p. 3; 6');">6, p. 5; 1');">12, p. 1');">1]. He also asks the Court to order the Sheriff9;s Office to “implement a racial profiling training program” and to “discontinue these unfair practices.” Id.

         In the instant motion, Plaintiff “moves this Court to render a judgment as a ‘matter of law9; once the discovery of requested video, documents, etc. evidence has been inspected and reviewed by the Court and before presentment to a jury. [sic].” [doc. # 1');">14].

         Law and Analysis

         By moving for judgment as a matter of law, Plaintiff essentially moves for summary judgment. Under Fed.R.Civ.P. 56');">6(a) (emphasis supplied), “The court 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.”).

         “Although [Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56');">6] allows a motion for summary judgment to be filed at the commencement of an action, in many cases the motion will be premature until the nonmovant has had time to file a responsive pleading or other pretrial proceedings have been had. Scheduling orders or other pretrial orders can regulate timing to fit the ...


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