Joseph v. New Orleans City, et al
ORDER AND REASONS: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Plaintiff's 29 Motion for Partial Summary Judgment is DENIED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants' 30 Motion to Dismiss Monell Claims Pursuant to Rule 12(c) and Motion for Summary Judgm ent on All Claims is GRANTED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff's 42 U.S.C. 1983 claims against the Defendants are DISMISSED, with prejudice. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff's state law claims against the Defendants are DISMISSED, without prejudice. Signed by Judge Wendy B Vitter on 5/18/2023. (mmv)
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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
CITY OF NEW ORLEANS, ET AL.
SECTION: D (4)
ORDER AND REASONS
Before the Court is a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment filed by the
Plaintiff, Trina Joseph,1 and a Motion to Dismiss Monell Claims Pursuant to Rule
12(c) and Motion for Summary Judgment on All Claims filed by the Defendants, the
City of New Orleans, NOPD Officer Tomeka Anderson, NOPD Sergeant James N.
Kjellin, NOPD Officer Latrell Washington,2 and Shaun Ferguson.3 Both Motions are
opposed.4 The Defendants have filed a Reply in support of their Motion.5 The CrossMotions for Summary Judgment are fully briefed. After careful review of the parties’
memoranda, the record, and the applicable law, the Court GRANTS the Defendants’
Motion to Dismiss and Motion for Summary Judgment and DENIES the Plaintiff’s
Motion for Partial Summary Judgment.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
This is a civil rights action concerning the adequacy of the arrest warrant
affidavit for Plaintiff Trina Joseph (“Plaintiff”) for the alleged September 21, 2021
R. Doc. 29.
Detective Latrell Washington Boutte was mistakenly referred to as Latrell Washington in Plaintiff’s
First Amended Complaint. Washington is Detective Boutte’s maiden name. See R. Doc. 30-6,
Deposition of Latrell Boutte (“Boutte Depo.”), at 5:7–24.
3 R. Doc. 30.
4 R. Doc. 31 (Plaintiff’s Opposition); R. Doc. 32 (Defendants’ Opposition).
5 R. Doc. 38.
Case 2:22-cv-01333-WBV-KWR Document 46 Filed 05/18/23 Page 2 of 44
theft of the personal property of her son-in-law, Miguel Bailey (“Bailey”).6
September 15, 2021, an arrest warrant was issued for Bailey on a charge of
misdemeanor domestic abuse for Bailey’s alleged abuse of his wife, Nikki Joseph
(“Joseph”), the daughter of Plaintiff.7 A few days later, on September 20, 2021, Officer
Tomeka Anderson (“Officer Anderson” or “Anderson”), a Senior Police Officer of the
New Orleans Police Department (“NOPD”), along with several other NOPD officers,
responded to a call concerning a dispute at the New Orleans home of Bailey and
Joseph.8 NOPD officers arrested Bailey pursuant to the outstanding warrant for
domestic violence charges and took him into custody where he would remain until
September 22, 2021.9
After Bailey was released from jail on September 22, 2021, Bailey called NOPD
to escort him into his house so that he could retrieve his property from his residence,
in compliance with the terms of Joseph’s domestic protective order.10
Anderson responded to the call and arrived at Bailey’s home to escort him as he
collected his belongings.11 Shortly after Officer Anderson arrived, Bailey informed
Officer Anderson that several of his belongings had been stolen by the Plaintiff,
including several pairs of tennis shoes, his personal documents, a laptop, and a
Bailey initially told Officer Anderson that he had seen Plaintiff
See R. Doc. 30-4, Affidavit for Arrest Warrant for Trina Joseph (“Joseph Affidavit”), at pp. 6–7.
See R. Doc. 29-5, Affidavit for Arrest Warrant for Miguel Bailey.
8 See R. Doc. 32-3, Deposition of Officer Tomeka Anderson (“Anderson Depo.”), at 39:2–25.
9 See id. at 41:10–17. See generally R. Doc. 29-7, Body Camera Footage from Arrest of Miguel Bailey on
September 20, 2021 (“Bailey Arrest Video”).
10 See R. Doc. 32-3, Anderson Depo., at 44:14–25, 45:1–14.
11 See id.
12 R. Doc. 29-13, First Segment of Body Camera Footage from Officer Anderson on September 22, 2021
(“First Anderson Video”), at 5:50–6:50.
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entering his home the day before on his phone via video from the Ring camera system
located on his front door.13
As Officer Anderson entered Bailey’s home, Bailey
pointed out the mount on the front door for the Ring camera.14 Although no Ring
camera was on the mount at the time, what appears to be a Ring camera can be seen
on the mount less than forty eight hours before in the officer body camera footage
from the September 20, 2021 arrest of Bailey.15
Officer Anderson entered the
residence and asked Bailey to confirm that his items were missing.16 Bailey then
proceeded to show Officer Anderson where he normally kept the items.17 Officer
Anderson watched as Bailey unsuccessfully conducted a search of his residence for
the missing items.18
Officer Anderson then returned to her vehicle to call Nikki Joseph, Bailey’s
estranged wife, and ask her if she knew anything about Bailey’s missing items.19
Joseph denied having any knowledge of the whereabouts of her husband’s property
and also informed Officer Anderson that she was missing several items as well.20
Following that call, Officer Anderson contacted NOPD Detective Latrell Boutte
(“Detective Boutte”) and informed her of the situation and of the possible theft.21
Officer Anderson then spoke with a different person at NOPD and stated that she
believed that Bailey’s claim that he personally saw Plaintiff stealing his things on his
Id. at 6:10.
Id. at 7:28.
15 See R. Doc. 29-7, (“Bailey Arrest Video”), at 4:00.
16 R. Doc. 29-13, First Anderson Video, at 8:05.
17 Id. at 8:45.
19 Id. at 12:30–19:45.
20 Id. at 17:50–19:45.
21 Id. at 20:30–21:57.
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phone was “questionable” because Bailey was incarcerated at the time of the
incident.22 Officer Anderson then left the scene for a short time.23
By the time Officer Anderson returned to Bailey’s residence, Detective Boutte
had already arrived on the scene and was questioning Bailey inside of his home.24
When Detective Boutte mentioned issuing an arrest warrant for Plaintiff, Officer
Anderson explained that such a warrant would be inappropriate because she had not
yet seen any of the claimed video evidence.25 Bailey then explained that while he was
in jail, his sister, Brandi Morton (“Morton”), had possession of his phone and was the
one who saw the Ring camera footage of Plaintiff entering Bailey’s home. 26 Officer
Anderson and Detective Boutte instructed Bailey to contact his sister and tell her to
come to Bailey’s residence so that she could be interviewed by the officers.27
While waiting for Morton to arrive, Officer Anderson called Plaintiff to ask her
about Bailey’s accusations that she had stolen the items.28 Plaintiff did not answer.29
Officer Anderson then called Nikki Joseph, Bailey’s estranged wife and Plaintiff’s
daughter, again to tell her that she had tried to contact her mother, Plaintiff, and
asked Joseph to reach out to Plaintiff to inform her of the situation.30
Id. at 24:30.
The first segment of Officer Anderson’s body camera footage, R. Doc. 29-13, ends at time stamp
18:54:43. The second segment, R. Doc. 29-14, picks up at time stamp 19:03:24.
24 R. Doc. 29-14, Second Segment of Body Camera Footage from Officer Anderson on September 22,
2021 (“Second Anderson Video”), at 1:45.
25 Id. at 6:15.
26 Id. at 6:24.
27 Id. at 6:20–6:58.
28 Id. at 8:57–10:27.
29 Id. at 10:15.
30 Id. at 11:33–13:21.
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Anderson then further communicated with NOPD personnel regarding the situation
and had Bailey list all of the items that he believed he was missing.31
A short while later, Bailey’s sister, Morton, arrived on the scene.32 Morton
explained that she possessed Bailey’s phone while he was in jail and that she was
paying attention for Ring camera alerts notifying that someone was at the front door
because Bailey was expecting a package in the mail.33 Morton stated that sometime
between one and two in the afternoon of the previous day—September 21, 2021—she
saw Plaintiff appear on the Ring camera at the front door of Bailey’s residence
carrying Bailey’s tennis shoes.34 Morton identified Plaintiff by name.35 Morton then
told Officer Anderson that she saw Plaintiff go in and out of Bailey’s house numerous
times carrying boxes and bags.36 According to Morton, Plaintiff was wearing a hat, a
dark-colored shirt, and shorts.37
After speaking with Morton, Officer Anderson
advised that she intended to seek a warrant for Plaintiff’s arrest.38
At approximately 7:44 p.m. that same day, Officer Anderson called Plaintiff
once again—successfully reaching her this time—and told Plaintiff that she had been
seen on camera removing Bailey’s items from his residence.39 Plaintiff denied the
accusations, claiming that she had never gone to the house, that Bailey was trying to
Id. at 24:10–29:10.
Id. at 31:50.
33 Id. at 34:10–34:22.
34 Id. at 34:30–34:43; 35:00.
35 Id. at 34:24; 35:41.
36 Id. at 35:05–35:15.
37 Id. at 35:48–35:58.
38 Id. at 37:16.
39 Id. at 40:54–41:20.
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frame her, and that she had been with a lawyer at the time of the alleged theft.40
Although Plaintiff offered to give Officer Anderson the contact information of the
lawyer that she was allegedly meeting with, Plaintiff did not provide the name of the
attorney or the location of the attorney’s office.41 Plaintiff further advised that she
had been at Children’s Hospital earlier in the day and then had gone straight to her
lawyer’s office after that.42 Officer Anderson then asked Plaintiff if she could recall
what she was wearing the day prior.43 Plaintiff repeatedly refused to answer Officer
Anderson’s question, instead demanding that Officer Anderson tell Plaintiff what
Plaintiff had been wearing.44 After several minutes of back and forth, Plaintiff finally
claimed that she had been wearing black pants, a black and gold shirt, and curlers in
her hair.45 Plaintiff also mentioned that she had been at Whole Foods Market the
day prior.46 Officer Anderson concluded the conversation by telling Plaintiff that she
would be in contact with her supervisor about whether a warrant would issue for the
Less than a half hour later, Officer Anderson called Plaintiff once more.48
Although this call was not recorded on Officer Anderson’s body camera, a partial
recording of the call was made by Plaintiff.49 During this conversation, Plaintiff spoke
Id. at 41:20–43:15; 43:30.
Id. at 43:20.
42 Id. at 44:00.
43 Id. at 44:38; 45:38.
44 Id. at 44:40–49:30.
45 Id. at 49:31.
46 Id. at 50:29.
47 Id. at 50:40.
48 Plaintiff alleges that Officer Anderson called her at approximately 8:20 p.m. See R. Doc. 29-4,
Declaration of Trina Joseph, at ¶ 32.
49 R. Doc. 29-12; R. Doc. 30-6, Deposition of Trina Joseph (“Joseph Depo.”), at 94:1–4.
Case 2:22-cv-01333-WBV-KWR Document 46 Filed 05/18/23 Page 7 of 44
with Officer Anderson about how her daughter, Nikki Joseph, had recently lost her
truck on the side of the road and how Plaintiff had been driving around looking for
the car.50 Plaintiff once again denied having taken any of Bailey’s property from his
residence.51 Officer Anderson explained that Plaintiff “would have to have [her]
lawyer or whoever [she] was with to vouch for [her]” as to her alibi.52 Officer Anderson
also explained that “[i]t’s just your word against the witness’ word and everybody
After the subsequent call with Plaintiff, Officer Anderson began drafting the
Affidavit for Arrest Warrant for Plaintiff.54
Officer Anderson spoke with her
supervisor, Sergeant James Kjellin (“Sergeant Kjellin”) about the matter.55 Sergeant
Kjellin, as per his duties as Officer Anderson’s supervisor, reviewed and approved the
affidavit.56 In the affidavit, Officer Anderson stated that there was probable cause to
believe that Plaintiff had committed felony theft in violation of La. R.S. 14:67 on
September 21, 2021.57
Officer Anderson’s affidavit included the following
On Wednesday, September 22, 2021, Officer Tomeka
Anderson met with Brandy Morton (B/F [dob redacted]).
Ms. Morton informed Officer Anderson that on Tuesday,
September 21, 2021, at about 1PM, she observed Ms. Trina
Joseph (B/F [dob Redacted]), on the Ring doorbell camera
entering the residence at [redacted] Inwood Ave. Ms.
Morton used her brothers’ [sic] cell phone to live stream the
R. Doc. 29-12 at 0:00–0:30.
Id. at 2:18.
52 Id. at 2:26–2:30.
53 Id. at 4:15–4:18.
54 R. Doc. 30-4, Joseph Affidavit, at pp. 6–7.
55 R. Doc. 32-3, Anderson Depo., at 68:7–8.
56 See R. Doc. 30-4, Joseph Affidavit, at p. 7; R. Doc. 32-3, Anderson Depo., at 22:18–23.
57 See R. Doc. 30-4, Joseph Affidavit, at p. 6.
Case 2:22-cv-01333-WBV-KWR Document 46 Filed 05/18/23 Page 8 of 44
footage. Ms. Morton observe [sic] Ms. Joseph exit the home
with several of her brothers [sic] shoe boxes and bags of his
personal items. Ms. Morton was able to identify Ms.
Joseph by name and stated she had on a dark colored shirt
with black shorts.
The property located at [redacted] Inwood belonged to Mr.
Miguel Bailey and his wife, Nikki Joseph.
Anderson met with Mr. Joseph [sic] and conducted a walk
through of the residence to locate his property but to no
avail. Officer Anderson reached out to Ms. Nikki Joseph
about the property which was missing from the residence
and stated she didn’t know anything about Mr. Bailey’s
At 9:19 PM on September 22, 2021, Orleans Parish Magistrate Commissioner
Robert Blackburn signed the warrant for the arrest of Plaintiff.59 On October 20,
2021, Plaintiff turned herself in on the warrant.60 The charges against Plaintiff were
subsequently refused by the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office.61
On May 13, 2022, Plaintiff filed suit against Defendants Anderson, NOPD
Officer 1,62 and Sergeant Kjellin under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged violations of her
rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States
Constitution, and state law claims against those same Defendants for false arrest,
wrongful/malicious prosecution, and intentional infliction of emotional distress and
claims under the Louisiana Constitution.63 Plaintiff also asserted a § 1983 Monell
cause of action against Defendants City of New Orleans and Superintendent Shaun
Id. at pp. 6–7.
Id. at pp. 7–8.
60 See R. Doc. 29-19 at p. 2; R. Doc. 30-6, Joseph Depo., at 104:6–8.
61 See R. Doc. 29-20.
62 In her First Amended Complaint, Plaintiff replaced all references to “NOPD Officer 1” with “NOPD
Officer Latrell Washington.” See R. Doc. 19. As noted earlier, see n. 2, the correct name is Latrell
63 R. Doc. 1 at ¶¶ 38, 40.
Case 2:22-cv-01333-WBV-KWR Document 46 Filed 05/18/23 Page 9 of 44
Ferguson for the alleged violations of Plaintiff’s constitutional rights in addition to
state law claims for negligent hiring, failure to train, and respondeat superior against
those same Defendants.64 Plaintiff later filed a First Amended Complaint making
minor corrections to her first complaint.65
The Defendants answered both of
Plaintiff’s complaints, denying the allegations and affirmatively invoking the defense
of qualified immunity.66
In Plaintiff’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, Plaintiff contends that
judgment should be entered in her favor as to her § 1983 claim against Officer
Anderson for false arrest and liability under Franks for violation of her Fourth
Amendment rights.67 Plaintiff does not move for summary judgment on any of her
other claims against any other Defendant. Plaintiff argues that the undisputed facts
show that Officer Anderson “failed to include substantial exculpatory information
that was known to her in the affidavit she prepared when applying for an arrest
warrant for the Plaintiff.”68 According to Plaintiff, had Officer Anderson included
certain allegedly exculpatory details in her affidavit for arrest warrant, probable
cause would not have existed to issue the warrant.69 Specifically, Plaintiff points to
Officer Anderson’s alleged failure to include certain information concerning the
reliability of Bailey and Morton as witnesses and details regarding Plaintiff’s claimed
alibi defense.70 The Defendants filed a response in opposition to Plaintiff’s motion,
Id. at ¶¶ 39, 41–42.
R. Doc. 19.
66 R. Doc. 10; R. Doc. 23.
67 R. Doc. 29.
68 R. Doc. 29 at p. 1.
70 See R. Doc. 29-1 at pp. 20–21.
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making the same arguments as they did in their own Motion for Summary Judgment,
The Defendants filed as one motion a Motion to Dismiss Monell Claims
Pursuant to Rule 12(c) and Motion for Summary Judgment on All Claims.72 In
support of Defendants’ Rule 12(c) Motion, the Defendants contend that Plaintiff fails
to sufficiently allege a § 1983 cause of action against a municipality under Monell v.
New York City Department of Social Services73 because Plaintiff fails to demonstrate
that the City of New Orleans exhibited “deliberate indifference to the rights of
persons with whom the police come into contact.”74 In response, Plaintiff concedes
that she has no valid Monell claim against the City of New Orleans or Superintendent
Ferguson and that the claims against those parties should be dismissed.75 The Court
therefore focuses on the remainder of Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment.
In their Motion for Summary Judgment, the Defendants seek dismissal of all
claims, both state and federal, against all Defendants.76 The Defendants contend
that Plaintiff’s § 1983 claim fails as a matter of law because there was probable cause
for her arrest and because the Defendants did not omit material information from the
warrant affidavit for Plaintiff’s arrest so as to trigger liability under Franks v.
Delaware.77 Plaintiff’s Franks claim fails, Defendants allege, because even if the
purportedly exculpatory information had been included in the affidavit, there would
See R. Doc. 32.
R. Doc. 30.
73 436 U.S. 658 (1978).
74 See R. Doc. 30-1 at pp. 4–7.
75 See R. Doc. 31 at p. 1.
76 See R. Doc. 30-1 at p. 2.
77 See id. at pp. 13–16; 438 U.S. 154 (1978).
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still have been probable cause to believe that Plaintiff had committed an offense.78
Defendants also argue that Plaintiff has presented no evidence suggesting that the
Defendants acted with the requisite malintent to warrant liability under Franks.79
Accordingly, Defendants maintain that they are entitled to qualified immunity due
to Plaintiff’s failure to demonstrate a violation of her constitutional rights.80 Because
Plaintiff cannot demonstrate a violation of her Fourth Amendment rights,
Defendants also contend that they are entitled to summary judgment on Plaintiff’s
state law claims.81
Alternatively, the Defendants argue that this Court should
decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s state law claims
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c) if the Court chooses to dismiss Plaintiff’s federal
Plaintiff opposes the Defendants’ Motion, providing much of the same
argument in response as she does in her own Motion for Summary Judgment.83
Plaintiff concedes that her claims against Detective Boutte should be dismissed but
opposes summary judgment as to her claims against the other Defendants.84 Plaintiff
contends that there is a genuine factual dispute concerning what Officer Anderson
told her supervisor, Sergeant Kjellin, before he approved Officer Anderson’s
affidavit.85 Plaintiff argues that the accounts of Officer Anderson and Sergeant
See R. Doc. 30-1 at pp. 13–16
See id. at p. 18.
80 See id. at pp. 16–18.
81 See id. at pp. 19–21.
82 See id. at p. 21.
83 R. Doc. 31.
84 See id. at p. 1.
85 See id.
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Kjellin differ as to what information Officer Anderson provided to Sergeant Kjellin
before the warrant was issued.86 According to Plaintiff, this factual dispute precludes
summary judgment as to Sergeant Kjellin.87 As to the merits of her § 1983 claims
and state claims, Plaintiff again argues that the Defendants omitted material
information from the warrant affidavit in violation of the Fourth Amendment under
the holding of Franks.88
In their Reply, Defendants argue that Plaintiff’s opposition relies on facts
irrelevant to the probable cause analysis and unknown to the Defendants at the time
of the affidavit.89 Defendants contend that Plaintiff’s arguments that she is not guilty
of the crime misses the mark as the relevant inquiry is whether the Defendants had
probable cause for her arrest.90 Defendants maintain that none of the information
that was omitted from the affidavit would undermine probable cause.91 Finally, the
Defendants take issue with Plaintiff’s characterization of Sergeant Kjellin’s
testimony and attempt to create a factual dispute where none exists.92
Summary judgment is appropriate under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56
“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.”93 A dispute is “genuine” if it is
See id. at pp. 23–25.
88 See id. at pp. 14–23.
89 R. Doc. 38.
91 See id. at pp. 4–7.
92 See id. at p. 7.
93 Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247 (1986).
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“real and substantial, as opposed to merely formal, pretended, or a sham.”94 Further,
a fact is “material” if it “might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing
law.”95 When assessing whether a genuine dispute regarding any material fact exists,
the Court considers “all of the evidence in the record but refrain[s] from making
credibility determinations or weighing the evidence.”96
While all reasonable
inferences must be drawn in favor of the nonmoving party, a party cannot defeat
summary judgment with conclusory allegations, unsubstantiated assertions or “only
a scintilla of evidence.”97 Instead, summary judgment is appropriate if a reasonable
jury could not return a verdict for the nonmoving party.98
If the dispositive issue is one on which the moving party will bear the burden
of proof at trial, the moving party “must come forward with evidence which would
entitle it to a directed verdict if the evidence went uncontroverted at trial.”99 The
non-moving party can then defeat summary judgment by either submitting evidence
sufficient to demonstrate the existence of a genuine dispute of material fact or by
“showing that the moving party’s evidence is so sheer that it may not persuade the
reasonable fact-finder to return a verdict in favor of the moving party.”100 If, however,
the nonmoving party will bear the burden of proof at trial on the dispositive issue,
Bazan ex rel. Bazan v. Hidalgo Cnty., 246 F.3d 481, 489 (5th Cir. 2001) (citing Wilkinson v. Powell,
149 F.2d 335, 337 (5th Cir. 1945)).
95 Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 248.
96 Delta & Pine Land Co. v. Nationwide Agribusiness Ins. Co., 530 F.3d 395, 398–99 (5th Cir. 2008)
97 Id. (quoting Little v. Liquid Air Corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th Cir. 1994)) (internal quotation marks
98 Id. at 399 (citing Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 248).
99 International Shortstop, Inc. v. Rally’s, Inc., 939 F.2d 1257, 1264–65 (5th Cir. 1991).
100 Id. at 1265.
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the moving party may satisfy its burden by merely pointing out that the evidence in
the record is insufficient with respect to an essential element of the nonmoving
party’s claim.101 The burden then shifts to the nonmoving party who must go beyond
the pleadings and, “by her own affidavits, or by the ‘depositions, answers to
interrogatories, and admissions on file,’ designate ‘specific facts showing that there
is a genuine issue for trial.’”102 “When there is video evidence in the record, courts
are not bound to accept the nonmovant’s version of the facts if it is contradicted by
the video.”103 However, “a court should not discount the nonmoving party’s story
unless the video evidence provides so much clarity that a reasonable jury could not
believe his account.”104
“A qualified immunity defense alters the usual summary judgment burden of
proof.”105 “Once an official pleads the defense, the burden then shifts to the plaintiff,
who must rebut the defense by establishing a genuine fact issue as to whether the
official’s allegedly wrongful conduct violated clearly established law.” 106 However,
when considering a qualified immunity defense, the court must still view the evidence
in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and draw all inferences in the
nonmoving party’s favor.107
See Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322–23.
Id. at 324 (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e)).
103 Crane v. City of Arlington, No. 21-10644, 2022 WL 4592035, at *4 (5th Cir. Sept. 30, 2022) (citing
Harris v. Serpas, 745 F.3d 767, 771 (5th Cir. 2014)).
104 Darden v. City of Fort Worth, 880 F.3d 722, 730 (5th Cir. 2018) (citing Ramirez v. Martinez, 716
F.3d 369, 374 (5th Cir. 2013)).
105 Brown v. Callahan, 623 F.3d 249, 253 (5th Cir. 2010).
107 Rosado v. Deters, 5 F.3d 119, 122–23 (5th Cir. 1993).
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The Court begins by addressing the threshold summary judgment inquiry of
whether a genuine dispute of material fact exists. In her Motion, Plaintiff contends
that there are no disputed facts regarding Officer Anderson and that only a “strictly
legal question [is] presented to the Court.”108 Defendants concur, stating that this
case presents no conflicting factual accounts or any disputed factual issues.109
Somewhat puzzlingly, in her response to Defendants’ Motion, Plaintiff argues for the
first time that a factual dispute exists as to Sergeant Kjellin.110 According to Plaintiff,
Sergeant Kjellin’s account of what information he knew at the time he approved the
warrant affidavit differs from what Officer Anderson alleged that she told Sergeant
Kjellin.111 To the extent that there is a dispute as to exactly what information Officer
Anderson relayed to Sergeant Kjellin, the Court finds that factual dispute to be
immaterial. As the Court explains below, none of the information known to Officer
Anderson and omitted from the warrant affidavit negates a finding of probable cause
were it to be added to the affidavit. Thus, whether or not Officer Anderson informed
Sergeant Kjellin of the full extent of this omitted information is irrelevant because
the Plaintiff still cannot carry her burden to prove liability under Franks. Because
this factual dispute would not “affect the outcome of the suit under the governing
law,”112 the Court finds there to be no genuine dispute of material fact in this matter.
R. Doc. 29-1 at p. 1.
See R. Doc. 32 at p. 14; see also R. Doc. 30-1 at p. 2.
110 See R. Doc. 31 at pp. 1, 23–25.
111 See id. at pp. 23–25.
112 Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 248.
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At the heart of the matter, the dispute in this case centers on whether the undisputed
facts support a finding of probable cause for Plaintiff’s arrest or not, a purely legal
A. Section 1983 Claims
Title 42 U.S.C. § 1983 creates a damages remedy for the violation of federal
constitutional or statutory rights under color of state law.
Specifically, § 1983
Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance,
regulation, custom, or usage, of any State . . . subjects, or
causes to be subjected, any . . . person within the
jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights,
privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and
laws, shall be liable to the party injured.113
Because § 1983 merely provides a remedy for designated rights without creating any
substantive rights, “an underlying constitutional or statutory violation is a predicate
to liability.”114 To establish § 1983 liability, the plaintiff must establish the following
three elements: (1) deprivation of a right secured by the United States Constitution
or federal law; (2) by a state actor; (3) that occurred under color of state law.115
As a defense to § 1983 claims, government officials may invoke qualified
immunity, which shields “government officials performing discretionary functions . . .
from liability for civil damages insofar as their conduct does not violate clearly
established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would
42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Harrington v. Harris, 118 F.3d 359, 365 (5th Cir. 1997) (citation omitted).
115 Victoria W. v. Larpenter, 369 F.3d 475, 482 (5th Cir. 2004) (citation omitted).
Case 2:22-cv-01333-WBV-KWR Document 46 Filed 05/18/23 Page 17 of 44
have known.”116 “Qualified immunity balances two important interests—the need to
hold public officials accountable when they exercise power irresponsibly and the need
to shield officials from harassment, distraction, and liability when they perform their
duties reasonably.”117 The Supreme Court has made clear that qualified immunity
functions as an immunity from suit, rather than a mere defense to liability.118 “[T]he
qualified immunity standard ‘gives ample room for mistaken judgments’ by
protecting ‘all but the plainly incompetent or those who knowingly violate the law.’”119
“This means that even law enforcement officials who reasonably but mistakenly
commit a constitutional violation are entitled to immunity.”120 Once the government
official asserts the defense of qualified immunity, the burden shifts to the plaintiff to
negate the defense.121
To overcome a claim of qualified immunity, a plaintiff must demonstrate: (1)
that the official violated a statutory or constitutional right; and (2) that the right was
“clearly established” at the time of the challenged conduct.122 Put differently, a
government official’s liability “generally turns on the ‘objective legal reasonableness’
of the action . . . assessed in light of the legal rules that were ‘clearly established’ at
the time it was taken.”123 It is within the district courts’ discretion to decide which
Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 818 (1982).
Pearson v. Callahan, 555 U.S. 223, 231 (2009).
118 Id. at 237 (quoting Mitchell v. Forsyth, 472 U.S. 511, 526 (1985) (internal quotation marks omitted)).
119 Brumfield v. Hollins, 551 F.3d 322, 326–27 (5th Cir. 2008) (quoting Mendenhall v. Riser, 213 F.3d
226, 230 (5th Cir. 2000)).
120 Bazan, 246 F.3d at 488 (quoting Glenn v. City of Tyler, 242 F.3d 307, 312 (5th Cir. 2001) (internal
quotation marks omitted)).
121 Collier v. Montgomery, 569 F.3d 214, 217 (5th Cir. 2009) (citation omitted).
122 Ashcroft v. al-Kidd, 563 U.S. 731, 735 (2011) (citation omitted).
123 Anderson, 483 U.S. at 639.
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of the two prongs of the qualified immunity analysis should be addressed first in light
of the circumstances in the particular case.124
Because a plaintiff’s failure to
demonstrate a violation of their constitutional rights ends the qualified immunity
inquiry, the Court first addresses whether the Plaintiff has demonstrated that the
Defendants violated her right against unreasonable seizure under the Fourth
1. Franks Liability
Plaintiff contends that Officer Anderson, Detective Boutte,126 and Sergeant
Kjellin violated her Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable seizure by
omitting material exculpatory information from the arrest warrant affidavit,
precluding review by the magistrate judge of all facts material to the existence of
probable cause for her arrest. Plaintiff argues that probable cause to arrest her would
not have existed had Officer Anderson included certain allegedly exculpatory details
in her warrant affidavit.
Normally, under the independent intermediary doctrine, “if facts supporting
an arrest are placed before an independent intermediary such as a magistrate or
grand jury, the intermediary’s decision breaks the chain of causation for false arrest,
insulating the initiating party.”127 That is, police officers are generally not liable
Pearson, 555 U.S. at 236.
See Lytle v. Bexar Cnty., 560 F.3d 404, 410 (5th Cir. 2009) (“If we determine that the alleged conduct
did not violate a constitutional right, our inquiry ceases because there is no constitutional violation for
which the government official would need qualified immunity.”).
126 In her response to Defendants’ Motion, Plaintiff concedes that her claims against Detective Boutte
should be dismissed. See R. Doc. 31 at p. 1.
127 Terwilliger v. Reyna, 4 F.4th 270, 281 (5th Cir. 2021) (quoting Cuadra v. Houston Indep. Sch. Dist.,
626 F.3d 808, 813 (5th Cir. 2010)).
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under a theory of unreasonable seizure or false arrest where a third-party
intermediary determines that probable cause exists to support an arrest. However,
“the chain of causation remains intact if it can be shown that the deliberations of that
intermediary were in some way tainted by the actions of the defendant.”128 Under
the holding of Franks v. Delaware,129 the chain of causation remains intact if a law
enforcement officer “knowingly and intentionally, or with reckless disregard for the
truth,” either includes a false material statement in a warrant application or omits
material facts from a warrant application.130
Because “[t]here is, of course, a
presumption of validity with respect to the affidavit supporting the search
warrant[,]”131 Franks cautions that mere “[a]llegations of negligence or innocent
mistake” on the part of the affiant officer “are insufficient” to demonstrate a Franks
Accordingly, a plaintiff alleging a Franks violation for a material omission in a
warrant application must demonstrate (1) that the officer’s omission was knowing
and intentional or reckless and not merely negligent and (2) that the omitted facts
are material to a finding of probable cause.133 “To determine whether facts omitted
from a warrant affidavit are material to the determination of probable cause, courts
Id. (quoting Cuadra, 626 F.3d at 813).
438 U.S. 154 (1978).
130 Id. at 155; Terwilliger, 4 F.4th at 281 (explaining that Franks extends to material omissions).
131 Franks, 438 U.S. at 171.
133 See, e.g., Kohler v. Englade, 470 F.3d 1104, 1113 (5th Cir. 2006); United States v. Cronan, 937 F.2d
163, 165 (5th Cir. 1991).
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ordinarily insert the omitted facts into the affidavit and ask whether the
reconstructed affidavit would still support a finding of probable cause.”134
Probable cause is a “‘practical, nontechnical conception’ that deals with ‘the
factual and practical considerations of everyday life on which reasonable and prudent
men, not legal technicians, act.’”135 It “exists when the totality of the facts and
circumstances within a police officer’s knowledge at the moment of arrest are
sufficient for a reasonable person to conclude that the suspect had committed or was
committing an offense”136 and it turns “on the assessment of probabilities in
particular factual contexts—not readily, or even usefully, reduced to a neat set of
legal rules.”137 To determine probable cause, “courts must look to the ‘totality of the
circumstances’ and decide ‘whether these historical facts, viewed from the standpoint
of an objectively reasonable police officer’ demonstrate ‘a probability or substantial
chance of criminal activity.’”138 Probable cause “is not a high bar”139 and means a
“fair probability,” i.e., “something more than a bare suspicion,”140 that a crime has
been committed. The Court addresses the second element, whether the omitted facts
are material to a finding of probable cause, before addressing the first element,
whether the Officer’s omissions were knowing and intentional or reckless and not
Kohler, 470 F.3d 1113 (citing United States v. Martin, 615 F.2d 318, 328 (5th Cir. 1980)).
Maryland v. Pringle, 540 U.S. 366, 370 (2003) (quoting Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213, 232 (1983)).
136 Haggerty v. Texas Southern University, 391 F.3d 653, 655–56 (5th Cir. 2004) (quoting Glenn, 242
F.3d at 313.
137 Pringle, 540 U.S. at 371 (quoting Gates, 462 U.S. at 232).
138 Terwilliger, 4 F.4th 270 (quoting District of Columbia v. Wesby, 138 S. Ct. 577, 586, 588 (2018))
139 Wesby, 138 S. Ct. at 586 (quoting Kaley v. United States, 571 U.S. 320, 338 (2014)).
140 United States v. Garcia, 179 F.3d 265, 269 (5th Cir. 1999).
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The Omissions are Not Material to a Finding of Probable Cause.
Plaintiff does not contend that Officer Anderson’s affidavit itself lacks probable
cause or contains any false allegations.141 Accordingly, the Court starts with the
baseline assumption that the affidavit as it exists supports a finding of probable
cause.142 It is the Plaintiff’s burden to demonstrate that any omitted details or
information, if included in the affidavit, would negate a finding of probable cause.
The allegedly exculpatory facts omitted from the affidavit fall roughly into two
different categories: information concerning the motives and credibility of the
complaining witnesses—Bailey and Morton—and Plaintiff’s alibi defense. Plaintiff
argues that Officer Anderson’s affidavit failed to include (1) necessary background
information about Bailey’s arrest on September 20, 2021 for alleged domestic violence
against Nikki Joseph, (2) Bailey’s relationship to Plaintiff (i.e., that plaintiff is
Bailey’s mother-in-law), (3) that Bailey initially claimed to have personally seen the
Plaintiff on video taking his things, (4) that Officer Anderson saw a mount for the
Ring camera on the front door but did not see the Ring camera itself, (5) that Plaintiff
claimed to have been wearing black pants and not shorts the previous day, as Morton
claimed, (6) that Officer Anderson spoke on the phone with Plaintiff twice and that
Plaintiff denied the allegations and provided an alibi defense that she was meeting
with a lawyer at the time of the alleged theft, and (7) that Nikki Joseph had lost one
A facially deficient warrant affidavit is challenged under Malley v. Briggs, 475 U.S. 335 (1986).
See Kohler, 470 F.3d at 1114 (“[I]t is clear that Franks itself was confined to providing a mechanism
for challenging a search warrant that was not supported by probable cause but that, due to the
inclusion of deliberately falsified allegations in the warrant affidavit, appeared to be supported by
Case 2:22-cv-01333-WBV-KWR Document 46 Filed 05/18/23 Page 22 of 44
of Plaintiff’s cars the day prior on September 21, 2021 and had been acting
erratically.143 As the Court explains below, none of these omitted details would
negate probable cause for the arrest of Plaintiff had they been included in Officer
Anderson’s Affidavit for Arrest Warrant.
Accordingly, Plaintiff’s Franks claim
necessarily fails as a matter of law.
a. The Defendants did not omit material information regarding
Bailey or Morton.
Plaintiff claims that Officer Anderson’s failure to include certain background
information about Bailey and his relationship to Plaintiff negates probable cause
because, had it been included, it would have demonstrated a motive for Bailey to try
to frame Plaintiff for the theft.144 That is, according to Plaintiff, had the magistrate
judge known that Bailey had just been released from jail on domestic violence charges
against Plaintiff’s daughter, an inference would naturally have arisen that Bailey
was trying to “get back” at Plaintiff, rendering Bailey’s account unreliable. Plaintiff
also claims that Bailey’s sister, Morton, is, by extension, also unreliable and
untrustworthy as a witness.145 In sum, Plaintiff contends that had information
regarding the connection between Bailey and Plaintiff been included in the affidavit,
probable cause would have been lacking because the credibility of Bailey and Morton
would be called into doubt and the magistrate judge could have concluded that Bailey
had a motive to fabricate the charges.
See R. Doc. 29-1 at pp. 17–19; R. Doc. 31 at pp. 21–23.
See R. Doc. 29-1 at pp. 20–22; R. Doc. 31 at pp. 22–23.
145 See R. Doc. 29-1 at pp. 20–22; R. Doc. 31 at pp. 22–23 (“Obviously, both Bailey and his sister, who
was naturally taking his side, had a motive based on his arrest and the other domestic disputes to try
to get back at Nikki and her family, including the Plaintiff.”).
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Plaintiff’s argument goes much too far and relies on rank speculation. As
stated in the affidavit, Officer Anderson walked through Bailey’s residence to locate
his property “to no avail.”146 From that information, it is certainly reasonable to
conclude that Bailey was not fabricating the entirety of his allegation. Further,
Plaintiff’s daughter, Bailey’s estranged wife, confirmed to the investigating officer
that property was missing.
That Bailey potentially harbored a grudge against
Plaintiff does not negate the probable cause established by Morton’s positive
identification of Plaintiff, who she knew, as the individual she witnessed entering
and exiting Bailey’s home with his possessions. Further, without more, any grudge
held by Bailey does not necessarily translate to a grudge held by his sister to the point
where she would voluntarily lie to law enforcement as to what she witnessed.
Plaintiff summarily states that Bailey’s sister “was also a biased witness, given her
relationship to her brother and the ongoing disputes between Bailey’s family and the
Plaintiff’s family.”147 Plaintiff provides no information that the sister was involved
in any dispute between the families, nor does Plaintiff provide any further
information to support that the sister was biased. Officer Anderson was entitled to
determine the credibility of Morton. “[T]he police should be permitted to assume that
they are dealing with a credible person in the absence of special circumstances
suggesting that such might not be the case.”148 “An ordinary citizen’s eyewitness
account of criminal activity and identification of a perpetrator is normally sufficient
See R. Doc. 30-4, Joseph Affidavit, at p. 6.
R. Doc. 29-1 at p. 20.
148 United States v. Burbridge, 252 F.3d 775, 778 (5th Cir. 2001) (quoting United States v. Fooladi, 703
F.2d 180, 183 (5th Cir. 1983)).
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to supply probable cause to stop the suspect,”149 unless “there is an apparent reason
for the officer to believe that the eyewitness was lying, did not accurately describe
what he had seen, or was in some fashion mistaken regarding his recollection of the
confrontation.”150 None of Plaintiff’s cited case law is to the contrary. The possible
bias151 that Bailey may have had to frame Plaintiff is in no way comparable to the
unreliability of the witness in Richardson v. Serpas,152 relied on by Plaintiff, which
involved an officer’s omission from a warrant affidavit that the sole witness to a
possible arson was an eight-year-old boy with “a history of starting fires and hearing
voices telling him to do so.”153
Further, that Bailey had been arrested and incarcerated for domestic violence
against Plaintiff’s daughter makes it plausible to infer that Plaintiff herself had a
motive to steal Bailey’s property as a way to get back at Bailey for his harm to
Moreover, Plaintiff’s possible familiarity with Bailey’s
residence, and Plaintiff’s knowledge that Bailey would not be in the house at the time
because he was in jail, could further strengthen a finding of probable cause. Further,
that Morton was personally familiar with Plaintiff makes her identification of
Plaintiff on video by name (as stated in the affidavit154) more reliable because it
makes it more likely that Morton would have been able to accurately recognize
Id. (citing J.B. v. Washington County, 127 F.3d 919, 930 (10th Cir. 1997); Gramenos v. Jewel
Companies, Inc., 797 F.2d 432, 439 (7th Cir. 1986)).
150 Id. (quoting Ahlers v. Schebil, 188 F.3d 365, 370 (6th Cir. 1999)).
151 As an aside, Plaintiff provides no explanation as to why Morton and Bailey would have a motive to
frame Plaintiff as opposed to Joseph, the person directly responsible for landing Bailey in jail.
152 Richardson v. Serpas, No. CIV.A. 11-2911, 2012 WL 1899410 (E.D. La. May 24, 2012) (Barbier, J.).
153 Id. at *7.
154 See R. Doc. 30-4, Joseph Affidavit, at p. 6.
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Plaintiff. When the Court includes that information in the Affidavit and considers
the Affidavit with the added information, the integrity of the Affidavit remains and
probable cause still exists.
Next, Plaintiff contends that Officer Anderson failed to include certain
information regarding the Ring camera footage from her affidavit—namely, that
Bailey changed his story about personally viewing the footage of Plaintiff entering
his house and that Officer Anderson never saw the Ring camera or the footage
itself.155 When Officer Anderson first spoke with Bailey on September 22, 2021, he
claimed that he had seen Plaintiff entering his house and taking his property via the
Ring camera feed on his phone.156 Later, in conversation with Officer Anderson and
Detective Boutte, Bailey advised that his sister, Morton, had been in possession of his
phone while he was in jail and she was the one who had seen Plaintiff on video.157
Plaintiff contends that had Officer Anderson mentioned the alleged inconsistency in
Bailey’s story in her affidavit, probable cause would have been negated.158
The Court disagrees. Plaintiff ignores that Officer Anderson did not rely on
Bailey’s account in her affidavit; rather, Officer Anderson included the information
that she received directly after interviewing Morton herself.
As stated in the
Ms. Morton informed Officer Anderson that on Tuesday,
September 21, 2021, at about 1PM, she observed Ms. Trina
Joseph (B/F [dob Redacted]), on the Ring doorbell camera
entering the residence at [redacted] Inwood Ave. Ms.
See R. Doc. 31 at pp. 19–20, 22–23; R. Doc. 29-1 at pp. 17–20.
R. Doc. 29-13, First Anderson Video, at 6:10.
157 R. Doc. 29-14, Second Anderson Video, at 6:24.
158 See R. Doc. 31 at pp. 19–20, 22; R. Doc. 29-1 at pp. 17–20.
Case 2:22-cv-01333-WBV-KWR Document 46 Filed 05/18/23 Page 26 of 44
Morton used her brothers’ [sic] cell phone to live stream the
footage. Ms. Morton observe [sic] Ms. Joseph exit the home
with several of her brothers [sic] shoe boxes and bags of his
personal items. Ms. Morton was able to identify Ms.
Joseph by name and stated she had on a dark colored shirt
with black shorts.159
Whether or not Bailey’s story was inconsistent does not negate the probable cause
established by Officer Anderson’s investigation and interview with Morton and her
independent account of what she witnessed. Moreover, it was well within Officer
Anderson’s discretion to consider Bailey’s credibility and determine whether she
believed that the inconsistencies in his story were the result of honest mistake or
miscommunication, on the one hand, or of deceit, on the other. There is no
requirement that an officer include every single scrap of information known to them
in a warrant affidavit, especially where they, in good faith, adjudge information to be
immaterial or irrelevant.160 Had Officer Anderson never spoken with Morton and
instead relied solely upon Bailey’s account, Plaintiff’s argument might hold more
water. But that is not what happened here.
As for Officer Anderson’s omission that she did not personally see a Ring
camera on the front door of Bailey’s residence, the Court finds that probable cause
would not be negated by the inclusion of such information. Officer Anderson observed
the mount on the front door where Bailey claimed the Ring camera had been attached
R. Doc. 30-4, Joseph Affidavit, at p. 6.
See United States v. Colkley, 899 F.2d 297, 303 (4th Cir. 1990) (“[A] requirement that all potentially
exculpatory evidence be included in an affidavit . . . would perforce result in perniciously prolix
affidavits that would distract police officers from more important duties and render the magistrate’s
determination of probable cause unnecessarily burdensome.”).
Case 2:22-cv-01333-WBV-KWR Document 46 Filed 05/18/23 Page 27 of 44
at the time of the theft.161 Moreover, Morton stated that she was monitoring Bailey’s
Ring camera on the date in question and personally witnessed Plaintiff enter Bailey’s
residence multiple times.162 Morton was further able to specify the clothing that
Plaintiff was wearing and the approximate time that she received the Ring
notification.163 Officer Anderson included these details in her warrant affidavit.164
Further, when Officer Anderson mentioned to Nikki Joseph that her mother,
Plaintiff, had been seen on camera entering the Inwood residence, Joseph did not in
any way deny that a Ring camera was present on her property.165 In sum, given the
eyewitness testimony that a Ring camera was present and turned on at the time of
the alleged theft and Officer Anderson’s observation of the mount for a Ring camera,
probable cause would not be negated by including a statement that Officer Anderson
did not personally the Ring camera. Whatever doubts that may be cast on Morton’s
account by Officer Anderson’s inability to confirm that Bailey’s front door was
equipped with a Ring camera pale in comparison to the substantial evidence included
in the affidavit that there was, in fact, a Ring camera on the door at the time of the
alleged theft. Including the omitted information would not negate probable cause.
Plaintiff also contends that Officer Anderson should have included in her
warrant affidavit that Plaintiff’s account of what she was wearing at the time of the
alleged theft differed from Morton’s description of what Plaintiff was wearing. 166
R. Doc. 29-13, First Anderson Video, at 7:28; R. Doc. 32-3, Anderson Depo., at 54:16–19.
R. Doc. 29-14, Second Anderson Video, at 34:10–35:15.
163 Id. at 34:30–35:58.
164 See R. Doc. 30-4, Joseph Affidavit, at pp. 6–7.
165 R. Doc. 29-13, First Anderson Video, at 17:50–19:45; R. Doc. 29-14, Second Anderson Video, at
166 See R. Doc. 29-1 at pp. 18, 20; R. Doc. 31 at p. 20.
Case 2:22-cv-01333-WBV-KWR Document 46 Filed 05/18/23 Page 28 of 44
Morton claimed that she saw Plaintiff wearing a dark colored shirt and shorts while
Plaintiff claimed that she was wearing a black and gold top with pants that day.
Officer Anderson did not include Plaintiff’s claim that she was wearing pants the
But reconstructing the warrant affidavit to include such omitted
information does not negate probable cause. After all, Morton identified Plaintiff by
name and claimed to have watched Plaintiff repeatedly enter and exit Bailey’s home.
This is not a case of identification of a stranger. Morton knew Plaintiff. Morton’s
description of Plaintiff’s shirt color also corresponds to the color top Plaintiff claims
to have been wearing. Even if Plaintiff’s self-serving account of her clothing from the
previous day was included in the affidavit, probable cause would still be present.
There is no genuine dispute—indeed, no dispute at all—that when interviewed,
Morton claimed to have seen Plaintiff, who she knew, entering and leaving Bailey’s
house with boxes of property. Plaintiff’s attempt to inflate her claim of what she had
been wearing into a material omission fails.
b. Officer Anderson did not Omit Material Information Regarding
Plaintiff’s Claimed Alibi Defense.
Plaintiff maintains that had Officer Anderson included Plaintiff’s denial of the
accusations against her and her claimed alibi defense in the warrant affidavit,
probable cause would not have been met.167 According to Plaintiff, probable cause is
negated if the reconstructed warrant affidavit includes Plaintiff’s protestation of
innocence and assertion that that she was at her lawyer’s office at the time of the
alleged theft. This argument is unsubstantiated and misconstrues both the probable
See R. Doc. 29-1 at pp. 18–21; R. Doc. 31 at pp. 12, 19, 23.
Case 2:22-cv-01333-WBV-KWR Document 46 Filed 05/18/23 Page 29 of 44
cause requirement and Franks.
Probable cause “requires only a probability or
substantial chance of criminal activity.”168 That Plaintiff denied the charges against
her has little bearing on the probable cause analysis because her denial neither
negates the evidence in the affidavit nor even cast doubts on that evidence. “A
suspect’s declaration of innocence does not vitiate probable cause.”169 The upshot of
Plaintiff’s argument is that probable cause can be negated whenever a suspect denies
the allegations against them.170 To state the proposition is to refute it. This is not
the law for a reason: the absurdity is apparent.
As for Plaintiff’s alibi defense, the Court finds Officer Anderson’s omission of
that information to be immaterial to a finding of probable cause.
It is hardly
surprising that a person accused of a crime denies the allegations against them and
claims to have been elsewhere at the time of the alleged offense. Including Plaintiff’s
claim that she met with her attorney and stopped for lunch at Whole Foods Market
at the time of the theft in the reconstructed warrant affidavit does not negate
probable cause. Had Officer Anderson included Plaintiff’s uncorroborated story in
her affidavit, the affidavit would still support a finding of probable cause given, inter
alia, Morton’s eyewitness testimony placing Plaintiff, who she knew, at the scene of
the crime entering and exiting the house with boxes of property. That is, under the
Loftin v. City of Prentiss, Mississippi, 33 F.4th 774, 780 (5th Cir. 2022) (quoting Gates, 462 U.S. at
169 Id. at 782; accord Hinkle v. Beckham Cnty. Bd. of Cnty. Comm’rs, 962 F.3d 1204, 1221 (10th Cir.
2020) (citation omitted) (“[A] soon-to-be arrestee’s bare proclamations of innocence do not” dissipate
170 Cf. id. at 781 (“[A] soon-to-be arrestee’s naked assertion of self-defense under these circumstances
does not vitiate probable cause. Otherwise, every suspect for a litany of violent crimes could avoid, or
delay, arrest by simply proclaiming self-defense.”).
Case 2:22-cv-01333-WBV-KWR Document 46 Filed 05/18/23 Page 30 of 44
totality of the circumstances, there is probable cause to believe that Plaintiff
committed an offense. Probable cause is not a conclusive finding of a suspect’s
guilt.171 That a suspect may be telling the truth and is not guilty beyond a reasonable
doubt does not invalidate the probable cause that existed for their arrest. Plaintiff
cites no jurisprudence—and the Court has found none—to support Plaintiff’s
proposition that probable cause is negated where a suspect provides an
uncorroborated alibi. Such a rule would both incentivize suspects to falsify alibi
defenses and disincentive law enforcement officers from communicating with
suspects prior to seeking an arrest warrant.
Plaintiff’s proposition would see
criminals set free not from any blunder of the constable but due to the quick thinking
of the suspect.172
Plaintiff’s more fundamental error is assuming that, under Franks, an affiant
must state every potentially exculpatory detail known to the affiant. Plaintiff, in
effect, asks this Court to import the requirements of Brady v. Maryland173 into the
Brady and its progeny require a prosecutor to disclose to a
defendant all material exculpatory evidence;174 implicit in the holding of Brady is that
suppression of such evidence deprives a defendant of a fair trial.175 The purpose of
See Wesby, 138 S. Ct. at 588 (“As we have explained, ‘the relevant inquiry is not whether particular
conduct is “innocent” or “guilty,” but the degree of suspicion that attaches to particular types of
noncriminal acts.’” (quoting Gates, 462 U.S. at 244)).
172 See People v. Defore, 242 N.Y. 13, 21 (1926) (opinion of the Court by Cardozo, J.) (“The criminal is
to go free because the constable has blundered.”).
173 373 U.S. 83 (1963).
174 See id. at 87; United States v. Agurs, 427 U.S. 97, 112–13 (1976); United States v. Bagley, 473 U.S.
667, 678 (1985).
175 See Agurs, 427 U.S. at 104 (“A fair analysis of the holding in Brady indicates that implicit in the
requirement of materiality is a concern that the suppressed evidence might have affected the outcome
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the Brady rule is “to ensure that a miscarriage of justice does not occur.” 176 Insofar
as Brady is concerned with the requirements of due process and ensuring the
correctness of a guilty verdict at trial, it makes little sense to graft Brady’s trialfocused requirements onto the warrant application process which is concerned with
probable cause under the Fourth Amendment, not reasonable doubt. At the warrant
stage, a magistrate judge is not making an affirmative finding of a suspect’s guilt;
rather, the magistrate is concerned only with whether probable cause exists to effect
an arrest and answer a charge.177 Further, the omission of potentially exculpatory
information in a warrant application does not carry the same consequences as
depriving a criminal defendant of exculpatory materials at trial does. This is in no
way to say that an affiant may omit exculpatory information that, if included, would
negate probable cause. Instead, the Court notes that Franks and Brady are premised
on different grounds and that liability under Franks is not coterminous with the
requirements of Brady.
Moreover, negating probable cause is not equivalent to
introducing reasonable doubt or “undermin[ing] confidence in the outcome of the
trial;”178 the former requires a greater showing than the latter.179
argument “potentially opens officers to endless conjecture about investigative leads,
of the trial.”); see also Bagley, 473 U.S. at 678 (“[S]uch suppression of evidence amounts to a
constitutional violation only if it deprives the defendant of a fair trial.”).
176 Bagley, 473 U.S. at 676.
177 See Wesby, 138 S. Ct. at 588 (“As we have explained, ‘the relevant inquiry is not whether particular
conduct is “innocent” or “guilty,” but the degree of suspicion that attaches to particular types of
noncriminal acts.’” (quoting Gates, 462 U.S. at 244)).
178 Bagley, 473 U.S. at 678.
179 That there exists a reasonable doubt as to a suspect’s guilt does not mean that probable cause does
not exist for an arrest.
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fragments of information, or other matter that might, if included, have redounded to
To the extent that Plaintiff argues that Officer Anderson had an affirmative
duty to investigate Plaintiff’s claimed alibi prior to seeking a warrant for her arrest,
the Court finds no support for such a requirement. Plaintiff spends much of her
briefing arguing that she was not granted an opportunity to come to the station and
provide corroboration for her alibi prior to the issuance of the arrest warrant.181 But
whether or not the Defendants provided Plaintiff such an opportunity does not affect
the probable cause determination. Indeed, the Supreme Court has explained that
“probable cause does not require officers to rule out a suspect’s innocent explanation
for suspicious facts.”182 As the Fourth Circuit has noted, requiring police officers to
include all potentially exculpatory evidence in a warrant affidavit “would place an
extraordinary burden on law enforcement officers who might have to follow up and
include in a warrant affidavit every hunch and detail of an investigation in the futile
attempt to prove the negative proposition that no potentially exculpatory evidence
had been excluded.”183 Moreover, such an obligation imposes potentially crippling
delays at a time when speed in obtaining an arrest warrant might be of the essence.
Requiring officers to investigate a suspect’s claimed alibi necessitates spending
Colkley, 899 F.2d at 301.
See R. Doc. 31 at pp. 15–19.
182 Wesby, 138 S. Ct. at 588; accord Panetta v. Crowley, 460 F.3d 388, 395–96 (2d Cir. 2006) (“[A]n
officer’s failure to investigate an arrestee’s protestations of innocence generally does not vitiate
183 Colkley, 899 F.2d at 303.
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resources in a possibly futile attempt to prove the innocence of a suspect at a stage
where only probable cause is required for a warrant to issue.
Such a concern becomes apparent in the case at hand. According to Plaintiff,
Officer Anderson should have affirmatively investigated her alibi defense before
seeking a warrant for her arrest. Plaintiff claims that Officer Anderson should have
“placed calls to NOPD officers stationed at the FJC [Family Justice Center] to confirm
or disprove the Plaintiff’s alibi”184 and suggests that Officer Anderson should have
asked Plaintiff to meet her in person to explain her side of the story.185 In effect,
Plaintiff argues that because she raised an alibi defense, Officer Anderson was
obligated to investigate and disprove Plaintiff’s claims before seeking issuance of a
warrant, despite the existence of probable cause. Plaintiff’s contention is specious.
Imposing a duty on police officers to investigate a suspect’s alibi despite the existence
of probable cause has no basis in Franks or in common sense. Franks, after all,
concerns false allegations or material omissions of information known to the affiant
at the time of the affidavit. Plaintiff’s argument would turn Franks on its head and
render an affiant liable for omitting information unknown to the affiant. The scope
of such liability is limitless. Deputizing law enforcement to serve as defense counsel
and as a suspect’s own private investigator has nothing to do with Franks and no
grounding in law.
Finally, Plaintiff contends that Officer Anderson improperly omitted
information regarding Bailey’s estranged wife Nikki Joseph’s erratic behavior on the
R. Doc. 29-1 at pp. 20–21.
See R. Doc. 31 at pp. 18–19.
Case 2:22-cv-01333-WBV-KWR Document 46 Filed 05/18/23 Page 34 of 44
day of the alleged theft, including losing of her car on the side of the road.186 Plaintiff
suggests that Joseph “was obviously a plausible alternative suspect for the alleged
theft” given her behavior and her access to the property.187 None of this information
has anything to do with the probable cause determination that Plaintiff took property
from Bailey’s residence. That Joseph was behaving erratically and ditched the car
she was driving on the side of the road has no bearing whatsoever on whether Plaintiff
stole Bailey’s property. Moreover, that Joseph had access to the property does not
negate the probable cause determination that it was Plaintiff who took Bailey’s
property. Plaintiff’s argument, in effect, is that had the magistrate judge known of
Joseph’s supposedly erratic behavior, he would have concluded that she, not the
Plaintiff, was the likely thief. The mere possibility that Joseph was the thief—based
solely on a hunch and speculation—does not eliminate probable cause to believe that
Plaintiff was the thief. Again, Officer Anderson heard eyewitness testimony that it
was Plaintiff, not Joseph, who was on video entering the residence and carrying boxes
of Bailey’s property. Plaintiff ignores the facts known to Officer Anderson at the time
of the affidavit and asks the Court to consider irrelevant information about Joseph.
The Court declines to do so and finds that none of this information about Joseph that
was omitted from the affidavit has any relevancy to the probable cause analysis.
Including that information in the Affidavit, the Court finds that probable cause still
existed for the issuance of the warrant.
See R. Doc. 29-1 at p. 20.
R. Doc. 31 at p. 21.
Case 2:22-cv-01333-WBV-KWR Document 46 Filed 05/18/23 Page 35 of 44
At bottom, Plaintiff’s complaints about the sufficiency of the Affidavit for
Arrest Warrant prepared by Officer Anderson amount to little more than trivialities
When considered all together under the totality of the
circumstances, the allegedly exculpatory omissions do not diminish probable cause,
let alone completely negate it. The sum of several zeroes is still zero. Plaintiff has
failed to demonstrate that the Defendants omitted any information that, when added
to a reconstructed affidavit, would negate a finding of probable cause. As such,
Plaintiff’s § 1983 claim for a Franks violation fails as a matter of law.
The Alleged Omissions Were Not Knowingly and Intentionally
Made or Made With Reckless Disregard for the Truth.
Plaintiff has failed to demonstrate that any of the alleged omissions in the
affidavit for her arrest warrant were material in the sense that including them in a
reconstructed affidavit would negate probable cause for her arrest. Consequently,
she cannot demonstrate liability under Franks for Officer Anderson and Sergeant
Kjellin. Plaintiff also fails to prove a Franks violation because Plaintiff has set forth
no information suggesting that either Officer Anderson or Sergeant Kjellin knowingly
and intentionally made any alleged omission or made an omission with reckless
disregard for the truth. To prove reckless disregard for the truth, the Plaintiff must
demonstrate that the Defendants “in fact entertained serious doubts as to the
truth.”188 Unlike in Brady where the good or bad faith of the government is irrelevant
Hart v. O’Brien, 127 F.3d 424, 449 (5th Cir. 1997) (quoting St. Amant v. Thompson, 390 U.S. 727,
Case 2:22-cv-01333-WBV-KWR Document 46 Filed 05/18/23 Page 36 of 44
in determining whether a violation has occurred, 189 Franks liability requires a
showing of purposeful misconduct on the part of the affiant officers.190 As the Franks
Court explained, “[a]llegations of negligence or innocent mistake are insufficient” to
trigger liability.191 The Court is cognizant that “[d]oubtless it will often be difficult
for an accused to prove that an omission was made intentionally or with reckless
disregard rather than negligently unless he has somehow gained independent
evidence that the affiant had acted from bad motive or recklessly in conducting his
investigation and making the affidavit.”192 But the inherent difficulty of such a
showing does not alter Franks’ placement of the burden on the plaintiff to
demonstrate the requisite bad intent of the affiant officer.
Plaintiff has presented a colorable argument that Officer Anderson was, at
most, negligent in not including certain details in her affidavit. The relationship
between Plaintiff and Bailey may arguably have had some probative value, if only to
clarify the nature of the incident. But such hindsight reveals only an oversight on
Officer Anderson’s part, not a deliberate and intentional or reckless omission of the
truth. Indeed, Plaintiff points to nothing in the record to show any intentional or
reckless omission by Officer Anderson. If anything, the record demonstrates the
opposite. For example, when asked during her deposition why she did not include
See Brady, 373 U.S. at 87 (“We now hold that the suppression by the prosecution of evidence
favorable to an accused upon request violates due process where the evidence is material either to
guilt or to punishment, irrespective of the good faith or bad faith of the prosecution.” (emphasis added)).
190 See Franks, 438 U.S. at 168 (“The requirement that a warrant not issue ‘but upon probable cause,
supported by Oath or affirmation,’ would be reduced to a nullity if a police officer was able to use
deliberately falsified allegations to demonstrate probable cause[.]”); id. at 171 (“There must be
allegations of deliberate falsehood or of reckless disregard for the truth[.]”).
192 Martin, 615 F.2d at 329.
Case 2:22-cv-01333-WBV-KWR Document 46 Filed 05/18/23 Page 37 of 44
information that Bailey changed his story about seeing Plaintiff on video at his
residence, Officer Anderson explained:
[W]hen you conduct an investigation, from when he say
[sic] he saw to when he said his sister saw, it was unclear
if he spoke with his sister prior to talking with me, to where
his sister told him the facts of what she saw to where he
said “I saw.” It was unclear, so I did not include that.193
An officer is entitled to judge the credibility of those before them and to include only
those details and facts that they find, in their reasonable judgment, to be relevant to
an affidavit.194 Officer Anderson’s explanation for why she chose not to include
Bailey’s change in story suggests that she considered the discrepancy in his story and
ultimately found that discrepancy to be immaterial or irrelevant.195 There is nothing
whatsoever to suggest any malicious deliberate concealment of facts or reckless
disregard for the truth by Officer Anderson.
Similarly, as for Officer Anderson’s omission of Plaintiff’s claimed alibi,
Plaintiff fails to make any argument that such omission was anything more than
negligent or an innocent mistake. Officer Anderson explained that she chose not to
include such details in her affidavit because she was unable to verify any of Plaintiff’s
R. Doc. 32-3, Anderson Depo., at 51:24–25, 52:1–5.
Cf. Hart, 127 F.3d at 443 (“[W]e find that a reasonably competent police officer would have thought
that the statement had sufficient internal indicia of reliability to be included in the affidavit without
195 Indeed, Officer Anderson can be heard on video stating that she found Bailey’s story “questionable”
because he was in jail at the time of the theft. See R. Doc. 29-13, First Anderson Video, at 24:30.
Further, Officer Anderson recognized that a warrant for Plaintiff’s arrest would be inappropriate
based solely on Bailey’s account. See R. Doc. 29-14, Second Anderson Video, at 6:15. Not until Officer
Anderson learned that Morton had seen the video did Officer Anderson conclude that a warrant should
issue for Plaintiff’s arrest. The Court emphasizes these facts because they show that Officer Anderson
did consider Bailey’s story contemporaneously with her affidavit but ultimately concluded that Morton
was credible. The facts demonstrate no bad motive or blatant disregard for the truth on Officer
Anderson’s part in not including Bailey’s changed story in her affidavit.
Case 2:22-cv-01333-WBV-KWR Document 46 Filed 05/18/23 Page 38 of 44
allegations and was unable to verify that she was actually speaking with Plaintiff on
the phone.196 Officer Anderson further explained that she “can’t take information
over the phone and just take it at face value without having a person physically come
in and provide whatever documentation that they may have.”197 The Court again
finds that nothing in the record points to Officer Anderson’s omission being the
product of either a deliberate and intentional omission of material facts or a reckless
disregard for the truth. Although the Fifth Circuit has explained that the “requisite
intent may be inferred from an affidavit omitting facts that are ‘clearly critical’ to a
finding of probable cause,”198 for the reasons explained above, none of the omitted
facts regarding Plaintiff’s alibi are critical to the probable cause analysis; accordingly,
the requisite intent cannot be inferred.
Plaintiff fails on both prongs of the Franks analysis as she cannot demonstrate
that any omitted allegedly exculpatory information would negate probable cause were
it to be included in a hypothetical reconstructed warrant affidavit and because she
fails to show that the Defendants acted either knowingly and intentionally or with
reckless disregard for the truth in omitting information from the affidavit. As such,
Plaintiff has failed to prove that the Defendants violated her Fourth Amendment
right against unreasonable seizure. Because no constitutional violation occurred,
Defendants are entitled to summary judgment on their qualified immunity claim.
The Court grants Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment as to Plaintiff’s § 1983
See R. Doc. 32-3, Anderson Depo., at 72:18–25.
Id. at 61:20–23.
198 Cronan, 937 F.2d at 165 (citing Martin, 615 F.2d at 329).
Case 2:22-cv-01333-WBV-KWR Document 46 Filed 05/18/23 Page 39 of 44
claims against Officer Anderson, Detective Boutte, and Sergeant Kjellin and
dismisses those claims with prejudice.
2. Monell Liability
Plaintiff initially brought claims against the City of New Orleans and Shaun
Ferguson alleging § 1983 liability under Monell v. New York City Department of
Social Services199 for exhibiting “a policy, practice, and/or custom of callousness and
reckless disregard for the civil rights of residents like the Plaintiff in their failure to
adequately screen, hire, train, supervise, and/or discipline employees and police
officers.”200 Defendants move to dismiss those claims on the pleadings pursuant to
Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(c).201 In her response to Defendants’ Motion, Plaintiff concedes that
her Monell claim against both the City of New Orleans and Shaun Ferguson should
be dismissed.202 Accordingly, the Court dismisses those claims.
B. State Law Claims
In addition to her claims under § 1983 for violations of Franks v. Delaware,
Plaintiff also alleged violations of Louisiana state law for false arrest,
wrongful/malicious prosecution, and intentional infliction of emotional distress and
violations of Sections 3 and 5 of Article 1 of the Louisiana Constitution of 1974 against
Defendants Officer Anderson, Detective Boutte, and Sergeant Kjellin.203 Plaintiff
436 U.S. 658 (1978).
R. Doc. 19 at ¶ 39.
201 See R. Doc. 30-1 at pp. 4–7.
202 See R. Doc. 31 at p. 1.
203 See R. Doc. 19 at ¶¶ 38, 40. Although Plaintiff included her claim for deprivation of rights under
Article I sections 3 and 5 of the Louisiana Constitution in the same paragraph as her federal § 1983
claims, violations of state constitutional rights are not cognizable under § 1983, which covers only
deprivations of federal statutory and constitutional rights. See, e.g., Monell, 436 U.S. at 700 (“[T]here
can be no doubt that [42 U.S.C. § 1983] was intended to provide a remedy, to be broadly construed,
Case 2:22-cv-01333-WBV-KWR Document 46 Filed 05/18/23 Page 40 of 44
additionally brought state law claims against the City of New Orleans and Shaun
Ferguson for negligent hiring and negligent supervision and claims against the City
of New Orleans on a theory of respondeat superior.204 Plaintiff has since conceded
that her claims against Detective Boutte and Ferguson should be dismissed. 205 The
Defendants move for summary judgment on each of the remaining state law claims,
arguing that Plaintiff’s failure to demonstrate that Defendants violated her Fourth
Amendment rights against unlawful arrest necessarily entails the failure of her state
law claims.206 The Defendants alternatively argue that should the Court dismiss
Plaintiff’s federal § 1983 claims, the Court should decline to exercise supplemental
jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s state claims, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c), and dismiss
those claims without prejudice.207
The “general rule”208 in this Circuit is to decline to exercise supplemental
jurisdiction over state law claims when “the district court has dismissed all claims
over which it has original jurisdiction.”209 “[T]his rule is neither mandatory nor
absolute”210 and is within the discretion of the district court to determine after
considering the factors enumerated in 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c) as well as the common law
factors of “judicial economy, convenience, fairness, and comity.”211 The relevant
against all forms of official violation of federally protected rights.” (emphasis added)). Accordingly, the
Court construes her claims for violations of her state constitutional rights as a separate cause of action.
204 See R. Doc. 19 at ¶¶ 41, 42.
205 See R. Doc. 31 at p. 1.
206 See R. Doc. 30-1 at pp. 19–21.
207 See id. at p. 21.
208 Smith v. Amedisys, Inc., 298 F.3d 434, 446 (5th Cir. 2002) (quoting Batiste v. Island Records, Inc.,
179 F.3d 217, 227 (5th Cir. 1999)).
209 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3).
210 Amedisys, Inc., 298 F.3d at 447 (quoting Batiste, 179 F.3d at 227).
211 Id. at 446 (quoting Batiste, 179 F.3d at 227).
Case 2:22-cv-01333-WBV-KWR Document 46 Filed 05/18/23 Page 41 of 44
statutory factors found in section 1367(c) include “(1) whether the state claims raise
novel or complex issues of state law; (2) whether the state claims substantially
predominate over the federal claims; (3) whether the federal claims have been
dismissed; and (4) whether there are exceptional circumstances or other compelling
reasons for declining jurisdiction.”212
As to the first factor, the Court does not have enough information before it to
definitively determine whether Plaintiff’s state law claims raise any novel or complex
issues of Louisiana law. Neither the Plaintiff nor the Defendants have briefed the
state law claims in much detail. Indeed, neither party has made any arguments as
to Plaintiff’s claims under Sections 3 and 5 of Article 1 of the Louisiana Constitution
of 1974. Given the lack of argument on Plaintiff’s state law claims, the Court finds
that this first factor is neutral.
Next, all of Plaintiff’s federal claims have been dismissed.
Plaintiff’s state law claims necessarily “substantially predominate” over her federal
claims. Both the second and third factors weigh in favor of the Court declining to
exercise jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s state law claims. Lastly, there are no exceptional
circumstances here for declining to exercise supplemental jurisdiction. The fourth
factor, thus, weighs in favor of retaining jurisdiction. In sum, the Court finds that
the § 1367(c) factors weigh in favor of declining to exercise jurisdiction.
The Court next considers the common law factors of judicial economy,
convenience, fairness, and comity.
On balance, these factors favor declining
Enochs v. Lampasas Cnty., 641 F.3d 155, 159 (5th Cir. 2011) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)).
Case 2:22-cv-01333-WBV-KWR Document 46 Filed 05/18/23 Page 42 of 44
supplemental jurisdiction of Plaintiff’s state law claims as well. The judicial economy
factor points in both ways. On the one hand, this case has been pending in this Court
for nearly a year and trial is set to occur shortly. That being said, only minimal
adjudication has taken place thus far and the Court has not considered any other
dispositive motions other than the instant Motions for Summary Judgment.213 As
such, the Court finds that this factor is neutral. Similarly, the Court finds that the
convenience factor is neutral here. This case involves parties and events located in
the New Orleans area. Whether this case is heard in this Court or in Civil District
Court in New Orleans has little effect on the convenience of the parties. As for
fairness, the parties have not indicated any reason why it would be unfair for this
Court to decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s remaining state
law claims. Indeed, Plaintiff did not even address Defendant’s argument that the
Court should refuse to exercise jurisdiction over her state claims. There is nothing
unfair about having a Louisiana state court hear Louisiana state law claims.214
Comity “demands that the ‘important interests of federalism and comity’ be respected
by federal courts, which are courts of limited jurisdiction and ‘not as well equipped
This case is readily distinguishable from Brookshire Brothers Holding v. Dayco Products, Inc.,
where the Fifth Circuit held that the district court abused its discretion in declining to exercise
supplemental jurisdiction over remaining state law claims following the dismissal of the federal
claims. 554 F.3d 595, 601–04 (5th Cir. 2009). In that case, the district court had “decided forty-one
dispositive motions, fourteen Daubert motions, and seven other motions in limine” by the time it chose
to decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction. Alphonse v. Arch Bay Holdings, L.L.C., 618 Fed. App.
765, 770 (5th Cir. 2015) (quoting Brookshire Bros., 554 F.3d at 598). The case “generat[ed] more than
1,300 entries in the district court docket,” and “[t]rial . . . was continued four times.” Id. Here, by
contrast, fewer than fifty docket entries have been generated and the Court has decided only the
motions for summary judgment addressed in this Order. The amount of resources expended by the
Court in the case at bar pale in comparison to the expenditures in Brookshire Brothers.
214 See Enochs, 641 F.3d at 160 (“[I]t was certainly fair to have had the purely Texas state law claims
heard in Texas state court.”).
Case 2:22-cv-01333-WBV-KWR Document 46 Filed 05/18/23 Page 43 of 44
for determinations of state law as are state courts.’” 215 Given that only Plaintiff’s
state claims remain in this suit, the adjudication of which involve questions of
Louisiana law, the Court finds that comity is best served by refusing to exercise
jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s state law claims. Although this Court has spent
considerable time and effort reviewing the record evidence and drafting this Order,
that familiarity with the case does not necessitate that the Court should continue to
exercise jurisdiction over the supplemental claims here. After all, the “‘general rule’
is to decline to exercise jurisdiction over pendent state-law claims when all federal
claims are dismissed or otherwise eliminated from a case prior to trial.”216
Accordingly, the Court finds that consideration of the § 1367(c) factors and the
common law factors weighs in favor of declining to exercise supplemental jurisdiction
over Plaintiff’s remaining state law claims. The Court dismisses those claims without
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Plaintiff’s Motion for Partial Summary
Judgment217 is DENIED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Monell
Claims Pursuant to Rule 12(c) and Motion for Summary Judgment on All Claims 218
Id. (quoting Parker & Parsley Petroleum Co. v. Dresser Indus., 972 F.2d 580, 588–89 (5th Cir. 1992)).
Amedisys, Inc., 298 F.3d at 446–47 (quoting Batiste, 179 F.3d at 227).
217 R. Doc. 29.
218 R. Doc. 30.
Case 2:22-cv-01333-WBV-KWR Document 46 Filed 05/18/23 Page 44 of 44
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff’s 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claims against
the Defendants are DISMISSED, with prejudice.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff’s state law claims against the
Defendants are DISMISSED, without prejudice.
New Orleans, Louisiana, May 18, 2023.
WENDY B. VITTER
United States District Judge
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