Alex et al v. St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff's Office et al
ORDER AND REASONS granting 58 Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim. The Plaintiffs' claims against Governor Edwards are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. Signed by Judge Susie Morgan on 4/11/2017. (clc) Modified on 4/11/2017 to edit text. (clc).
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
SHAWANDA NEVERS ALEX, ET AL.,
ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST
PARISH SHERIFF’S OFFICE, ET AL.,
ORDER AND REASONS
Before the Court is a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a
claim filed by Governor John Bel Edwards.1 The motion is opposed.2 For the following
reasons, the motion to dismiss is GRANTED.
Plaintiffs allege claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Governor John Bel Edwards,
among a variety of state and federal officials.3 There is no mention of Governor Edwards
in the Plaintiffs’ complaint except to list him as a defendant.4 In their opposition to
Governor Edwards’ motion to dismiss, the Plaintiffs contend they seek relief under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 because they “sent by certified mail asking Governor John Bel Edwards for
help with constitutional and statutory violations” and he “ignored the plaintiff’s [sic]
formal complaints.”5 Plaintiffs seek monetary relief from all named defendants.
To the extent the Plaintiffs sue Governor Edwards in his official capacity, state
officials in their official capacities are not “persons” subject to suit under Section 1983
with respect to claims for monetary compensation.6 Because a Section 1983 claim against
R. Doc. 58.
R. Doc. 64.
3 R. Doc. 7-1.
4 See id. at 1.
5 R. Doc. 64 at 2, 5.
6 Will v. Mich. Dep’t of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989); Stotter v. Univ. of Tex., 508 F.3d 812, 821 (5th
a state official in his official capacity for monetary damages is actually a claim against the
State itself, such a claim is barred by the Eleventh Amendment.7 Accordingly, Plaintiffs’
Section 1983 claims against Governor John Bel Edwards in his official capacity for
monetary relief must be dismissed.
To the extent the Plaintiffs bring a Section 1983 claim against Governor Edwards
in his individual capacity, Plaintiffs have not alleged Governor Edwards was personally
involved in any of the alleged acts or omissions upon which their claims are based. Neither
do Plaintiffs allege Governor Edwards had knowledge of any alleged acts or omissions. To
hold Governor Edwards liable, Plaintiffs must establish that he was “personally involved
in the acts causing the deprivation of [the Plaintiffs’] constitutional rights or that a causal
connection exists between an act of [Governor Edwards] . . . and the alleged constitutional
violation.”8 Plaintiffs do not allege, and therefore fail to establish, that Governor Edwards
was personally involved in any acts causing the deprivation of their constitutional rights
or that a causal connection exists between any act of Governor Edwards and the alleged
constitutional violations. Accordingly, Plaintiffs’ claims against Governor John Bel
Edwards in individual capacity must be dismissed.
To the extent the Plaintiffs bring a claim against Governor Edwards for supervisory
liability, Plaintiffs also fail to state a claim for relief. The Plaintiffs have not identified any
subordinate or employee of Governor Edwards to establish any basis for supervisory
liability. Further, “[o]fficials acting in a supervisory role may only be held liable under §
1983 if they either (1) affirmatively participate in acts that cause a constitutional
deprivation or (2) implement unconstitutional policies that causally result in the
Williams v. Thomas, 169 Fed. App’x 285, 286 (5th Cir. 2006).
Douthit v. Jones, 641 F.2d 345, 346 (5th Cir. 1981).
plaintiff's injury.”9 Because the Plaintiffs do not identify a subordinate of the Governor
and fail to allege a particular custom, usage, or policy for which the Governor might be
constitutionally liable, Plaintiffs fail to state a claim for relief for supervisory liability
under Section 1983. Accordingly, Plaintiffs’ claims against Governor Edwards for
supervisory liability under Section 1983 must be dismissed.
IT IS ORDERED that Governor John Bel Edwards’ motion to dismiss10 is
GRANTED. The Plaintiffs’ claims against Governor Edwards are DISMISSED WITH
New Orleans, Louisiana, this 11th day of April, 2017.
_____ ____ _______ _ _________
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Thompson v. Johnson, 348 F. App’x 919, 921 (5th Cir. 2009) (citing Mouille v. Live Oak, 977 F.2d 924,
929 (5th Cir. 1992); see also Monell v. Dep’t of Social Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 691–95 (1978).
10 R. Doc. 58.
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?