Jones et al v. Gusman et al
ORDER AND REASONS ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS 1674 . ORDERED that the report and recommendation of the United States Magistrate Judge is approved, and the Court adopts it as its opinion in this matter. FURTHER ORDERED that Sheriff Hutson& #039;s 1650 MOTION to Stay pending appeal re 1648 Order denying motion to terminate all orders regarding the construction of the Phase III jail is denied and Sheriff Hutson's objections are overruled. Signed by Judge Lance M Africk on 11/15/2023.(Reference: 12-859)(ko)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
LASHAWN JONES ET AL.
MARLIN N. GUSMAN ET AL.
ORDER & REASONS
Before the Court is Orleans Parish Sheriff Susan Hutson’s (“Sheriff Hutson”)
“motion 1 to stay all orders regarding the construction of the Phase III jail, pending
Sheriff Hutson’s appeal of this Court’s September 8, 2023 Order & Reasons denying
Sheriff Hutson’s Motion to Terminate.” The United States Magistrate Judge (the
“Magistrate Judge”) has provided a report and recommendation (the “R&R”), 2
recommending that Sheriff Hutson’s motion be denied. 3
Sheriff Hutson now objects 4 to the report and recommendation. Specifically,
Sheriff Hutson argues in her conclusory and unsupported objections that (1) the R&R
applied the incorrect legal standard because Sheriff Hutson was “not required to show
a substantial likelihood of success on the merits”; (2) the R&R erred in finding that
Sheriff Hutson will not be irreparably harmed absent a stay; (3) the R&R erred in
finding that the harm to the other parties caused by a stay justifies denying the
motion to stay; and (4) the R&R erred in finding that the public interest weighs
R. Doc. No. 1650.
R. Doc. No. 1674.
3 Id. at 10.
4 R. Doc. No. 1675.
against a stay. 5 The plaintiffs and the United States filed responses 6 to the Sheriff’s
The Magistrate Judge applied the correct legal standard in assessing the first
Hilton v. Braunskill, 481 U.S. 770 (1987), factor. Sheriff Hutson suggests that
“Plaintiffs, the United States, and [the] Magistrate Judge did not address” the
“serious legal question” presented by her appeal. In reality, the plaintiffs, the United
States, and the Magistrate Judge all considered the alleged “serious legal
question[.]” 7 As the R&R explained, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
has held that, “in the mine run of appeals, likelihood of success remains a
prerequisite, and a presentation of a substantial case . . . alone is not sufficient.” 8
However, “[i]n a limited subset of cases, a movant need only present a substantial
case on the merits if (1) a serious legal question is involved and (2) the balance of the
equities weighs heavily in favor of granting the stay.” 9
The Magistrate Judge rightly found that Sheriff Hutson has not shown that a
“serious legal question” is involved in her appeal. 10 Even if this case did present a
“serious legal question[,]” Sheriff Hutson would need to show that “the balance of the
equities weighs heavily in favor of granting the stay.” As the R&R makes clear, Sheriff
Id. at 2.
R. Doc. Nos. 1677, 1679.
7 R. Doc. No. 1625 (plaintiffs’ response), at 12–15; R. Doc. No. 1662 (United States’
response), at 5–6; R. Doc. No. 1674 (R&R), at 3–5.
8 R. Doc. No. 1674, at 3 (quoting Texas Democratic Party v. Abbott, 961 F.3d 389, 397
(5th Cir. 2020)).
9 Id. (quoting Texas Democratic Party, 961 F.3d at 397).
10 Id. at 3–5.
Hutson has not made this showing. Accordingly, the Magistrate Judge correctly
applied the “likelihood of success” standard rather than the “substantial case on the
merits” standard. Regardless, Sheriff Hutson is not entitled to a stay under either
standard for the reasons set forth in the R&R.
Having considered and rejected Sheriff Hutson’s remaining objections,
IT IS ORDERED that the report and recommendation 11 of the United States
Magistrate Judge is approved, and the Court adopts it as its opinion in this matter.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Sheriff Hutson’s motion 12 is DENIED and
Sheriff Hutson’s objections 13 are OVERRULED.
New Orleans, Louisiana, November 15, 2023.
LANCE M. AFRICK
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
R. Doc. No. 1674.
R. Doc. No. 1650.
13 R. Doc. No. 1675.
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