Armstrong v. Ashley, 031119 FED5, 18-30126

Docket Nº:18-30126
Opinion Judge:KURT D. ENGELHARDT, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:ANDREA ARMSTRONG, Executrix of the Estate of Glen Ford, Plaintiff-Appellee v. DON ASHLEY; GARY ALDERMAN; GARY PITTMAN; EVERETT T. RUSHING; BILLY LOCKWOOD, wrongly identified as Estate of Billy Lockwood; FRANK DATCHER; GLYNN MITCHELL; RODNEY PRICE, Defendants-Appellants
Judge Panel:Before SMITH, DUNCAN, and ENGELHARDT, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:March 11, 2019
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
 
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ANDREA ARMSTRONG, Executrix of the Estate of Glen Ford, Plaintiff-Appellee

v.

DON ASHLEY; GARY ALDERMAN; GARY PITTMAN; EVERETT T. RUSHING; BILLY LOCKWOOD, wrongly identified as Estate of Billy Lockwood; FRANK DATCHER; GLYNN MITCHELL; RODNEY PRICE, Defendants-Appellants

No. 18-30126

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

March 11, 2019

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana

Before SMITH, DUNCAN, and ENGELHARDT, Circuit Judges.

KURT D. ENGELHARDT, Circuit Judge.

Glenn Ford was wrongly convicted of murder and spent 30 years in solitary confinement on death row before being fully exonerated, with all charges dropped. Ford sued the Defendants-Appellants1 (as well as other defendants not included in this appeal), all of whom were law enforcement officials at the time of Ford's wrongful conviction, alleging suppression of evidence, fabrication of witness statements, withholding of exculpatory evidence, and other violations.

Ford filed suit in March 2015. The operative First Amended Complaint was filed on September 8, 2015. Appellants answered the complaint on December 3, 2015, while other defendants in the initial lawsuit chose to instead move to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b). Approximately three months later, on March 16, 2016, the Appellants filed a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss the case for failure to state a claim. Alternatively, they moved for the Appellee to add details to the allegations pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 7(a).

The district court denied the Rule 12(b)(6) motion for being untimely on December 28, 2017.2 The court also denied the alternative relief under Rule 7(a). The Appellants appealed the dismissal of the Rule 12(b)(6) motion on January 23, 2018.

I.

The first, and determinative, issue is that of appellate jurisdiction. The case comes before this court on interlocutory appeal. In deference to the district court and to district judges' responsibility to manage trials, interlocutory appeals are only allowed in limited circumstances because they disrupt the progress of a trial. Johnson v. Jones, 515 U.S. 304, 309 (1995). Therefore...

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