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Derouen v. Hebert

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

December 9, 2019





         Pending before the Court is a Motion for Summary Judgment [Doc. No. 18] filed by Defendant former St. Mary Parish Sheriff Mark Hebert (“Hebert”).[1] Plaintiff Jason Derouen, Sr. (“Derouen”) has filed a memorandum in opposition to the motion. [Doc. No. 24]. Hebert filed a reply memorandum. [Doc. No. 25].

         For the following reasons, the Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART. The Court declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims.


         Late in the evening of January 20, 2017, Derouen was stopped for speeding. Although further facts were not provided, Derouen was arrested for possession of Vyvanse, a controlled substance, and transported to the St. Mary Parish Law Enforcement Center.

         The following morning, his family attempted to bond him out of custody, but could not because there was allegedly a hold on his bond. After learning that he was going to remain in custody, Derouen avers that he had an anxiety attack and started coughing excessively. He was seen by a nurse, who administered Benadryl.

         Derouen avers that he first asked for a medical pod. Then he asked for an insolation pod. Lieutenant Kevin Savoy (“Savoy”)[2] allegedly told Derouen he would take him to a “cool pod” without “problems.” [Doc. No. 24-4, Derouen Aff., ¶ 5]. Savoy placed Derouen in Wolf-B Dorm.

         While walking through the dorm, Derouen noticed that the lights were off. He further avers that, while Savoy was standing in the open doorway to the Wolf-B Dorm, inmates yelled that they did not want any “white boys” in there and threatened to “fuck [Derouen] up.” [Doc. No. 24-4, Derouen Aff., ¶ 6]. (The other inmates in Wolf-B Dorm were African-American, while Derouen is white). Derouen further avers that he asked Savoy to let him out of the dorm “before I have to fight.” Id. at ¶ 7. He avers that Savoy closed the door in his face and then “stood still” and “looked” at Derouen when Derouen “banged on the door to be let out.” Id.

         The inmates then attacked and beat Derouen, and he avers that Savoy was looking through the door. Derouen avers that he then lost consciousness and “regained it as . . . Savoy drug me out of the Wolf-B [Dorm] into the hallway.” Id. at ¶ 10.

         Derouen suffered facial injuries requiring stitches and reconstruction.

         Savoy denies hearing any inmates making statements that they intended to engage in an altercation with Derouen, harm him in any way, or knowing in any way that Derouen was not safe in the dorm. He, in fact, entered the dorm to engage “the inmates attacking Jason Derouen, and assisted in removing him from the dorm to safety.” [Doc. No. 18-10, Savoy Declaration, Exh. C, ¶ 13].

         Following the incident, Lieutenant Thane Dusek (“Dusek”) of the St. Mary Parish Sheriffs Office conducted an investigation.[3] As part of the investigation, Dusek interviewed Derouen and recorded the interview. Dusek declares that he did not find out any information to indicate that there was prior warning of an attack on Derouen.

         The St. Mary Parish Law Enforcement Center has a three-step Administrative Remedy Procedure (“ARP”) which is explained to all inmates. The procedure is found in the facility policy manual and is also written on the ARP grievance forms. Derouen never submitted a grievance about his attack. However, Derouen was released from custody after this incident took place.

         It is the policy of the St. Mary Parish Sheriffs Office that all newly hired Correctional Deputies will be P.O.S.T. certified within one year of hiring. P.O.S.T. is an acronym for Peace Officer Standards and Training and is administered by the Louisiana P.O.S.T. Council. The P.O.S.T. Council consists of three chiefs of police, three sheriffs, two district attorneys, the Superintendent of State Police, the Attorney General, the Executive Director of the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Criminal Justice, and the President of the Louisiana Chapter of the National Constables' Association. The P.O.S.T. Council formulates the training curriculum to train all law enforcement and correctional officers in the state to comply with state and federal training standards and requirements.

         Savoy attended the 249-hour P.O.S.T. training course, completed the course, and was awarded his P.O.S.T. certification on March 11, 2015. Savoy has also completed additional training programs, in-house refresher courses, and obtained P.O.S.T. firearms recertification each year. At the time he was hired by the St. Mary Parish Sheriffs Office, Savoy had several ...

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