George v. La. Dep't of Pub. Safety & Corr., CIVIL ACTION NO. 14–CV–00338–JWD–RLB

Decision Date29 September 2017
Docket NumberCIVIL ACTION NO. 14–CV–00338–JWD–RLB
Citation272 F.Supp.3d 855
Parties Trussell GEORGE v. LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND CORRECTIONS, James M. LeBlanc, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, in his official capacity, Whalen Gibbs, Assistant Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, in his official and individual capacities, Scott Tubbs, Probation and Parole Agent, in his official and individual capacities, Gerald Starks, Director of the Division of Probation and Parole, in his official and individual capacities, Kathy Kliebert, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, in her official capacity, Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, Eric Brady, District Forensic Coordinator, in his official and individual capacities, and Charles P. Vosburg, Consulting Psychologist for the Department of Health and Hospitals, in his official and individual capacities.
CourtU.S. District Court — Middle District of Louisiana

Ronald Kenneth Lospennato, Kathryn Fernandez, Laura Lee Thornton, Advocacy Center of Louisiana, Eric Andrew Foley, Katharine Murphy Schwartzmann, Roderick & Solange MacArthur Justice Center, New Orleans, LA, Ellen B. Hahn, Lafayette, LA, for Trussell George.

Jeffrey K. Cody, Edmond Wade Shows, Shows, Cali, Berthelot & Walsh, LLP, Jenna Germany Young, Lindsay L. Pantaleo, LA Dept of Health & Hospitals, James L. Hilburn, Baton Rouge, LA, for Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, James M. LeBlanc, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, in his official capacity, Whalen Gibbs, Assistant Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, in his official and individual capacities, Scott Tubbs, Probation and Parole Agent, in his official and individual capacities, Gerald Starks, Director of the Division of Probation and Parole, in his official and individual capacities, Kathy Kliebert, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, in her official capacity, Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, Eric Brady, District Forensic Coordinator, in his official and individual capacities, and Charles P. Vosburg, Consulting Psychologist for the Department of Health and Hospitals, in his official and individual capacities.

FINDINGS OF FACTS AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

JUDGE JOHN W. deGRAVELLES

TABLE OF CONTENTS
OVERVIEW...859

A. INTRODUCTION...859

B. PROCEDURAL HISTORY...859

C. SUMMARY OF CONTENTIONS OF PARTIES...860

D. ISSUES BEFORE THE COURT...863

E. BACKGROUND AND PARTIES' FACTUAL ARGUMENTS...863

F. DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND CORRECTIONS' OVERSIGHT RESPONSIBILITIES FOR PERSONS ON CONDITIONAL RELEASE...865

G. LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH'S OVERSIGHT RESPONSIBILITIES FOR PERSONS ON CONDITIONAL RELEASE...865

H. TRUSSELL GEORGE'S ARREST AND INCARCERATION IN JULY 2013...866

I. EVENTS FOLLOWING AUGUST 23, 2013 RELEASE FROM EBRPP...870

J. TRUSSELL GEORGE'S DECEMBER 2013 TO DECEMBER 2014 CONDITIONAL RELEASE...871

K. TRUSSELL GEORGE'S ARREST AND INCARCERATION IN 2014...871

FINDINGS OF FACT...873

A. JULY 29, 2013 ARREST AND INCARCERATION...874

B. ADEQUACY OF MEDICAL CARE AT EBRPP...877

C. JULY 2014 ARREST AND INCARCERATION...878

D. POLICY, PROCEDURE OR PRACTICE, VEL NON ...879

E. DISCRETE SUBSTANTIVE DUE PROCESS VIOLATIONS TO GEORGE, VEL NON ...880

CONCLUSIONS OF LAW...880

A. JURISDICTION AND VENUE...880

B. PARTIES...881

C. ISSUES BEFORE THE COURT...881

D. STATUTORY RIGHTS OF THOSE FOUND NOT GUILTY BY REASON OF INSANITY...881

E. SUBSTANTIVE DUE PROCESS RIGHTS OF NGRI ACQUITTEES AND STANDARD FOR APPLYING THEM...883

F. APPLICATION OF LAW TO FACTS OF CASE...892

G. EXISTENCE AND CONSTITUTIONALITY OF ALLEGED POLICY, PRACTICE, AND PROCEDURE...892

H. ARREST AND INCARCERATION FOR VIOLATIONS OF CONDITIONS OF RELEASE WHEN NO CRIME WAS COMMITTED...893

I. PLAINTIFF'S CLAIMS SEEKING DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF UNDER THE ADA AND SECTION 504...896

CONCLUSION...898

OVERVIEW

A. INTRODUCTION

1. Plaintiff Trussell George ("Plaintiff" or "George") brings this action by and through his guardian ad litem Letetica Walker. (Mot. to Appoint a Guardian Ad Litem, Doc. 58 at 1; and Order, Doc. 63 at 1.) George is a person with a mental illness, who, on September 25, 2008, was found Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity ("NGRI") of possession of a firearm by a known felon. (Order, Pl.'s Trial Ex. 1 at TG000001.) On December 15, 2008, he was granted a Judgment of Supervised Probation and was conditionally released. (Id. See also Pl.'s Trial Exs. 4 at TG000005, 6 at TG000007, 24 at 1, ¶ 2.)

2. While on conditional release, George was arrested and placed in the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison ("EBRPP") on two separate occasions, July 29, 2013 and July 1, 2014.

3. Plaintiff's claims against various defendants ("Defendants") are for declaratory and prospective injunctive relief under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983, 29 U.S.C. Section 794(a) and 42 U.S.C. Section 12132 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 2202 and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65. (Pl.'s Second Amended Complaint, Doc. 42 at 18–23.) He claims that the arrests and detentions were wrongful and violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and the above statutes. (Pl.'s Request for Finding of Fact and Rulings of Law, Doc. 151 at 1–2, 32–33.)

4. For the reasons which follow, the requested relief is denied.

B. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

5. By way of a complaint (Complaint, Doc. 1) and two amended complaints (Pl.'s First Amended Complaint, Doc. 24 and Doc. 42),1 Plaintiff sued two agencies of the State of Louisiana, the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections ("LDPSC") and the Louisiana Department of Health ("LDH"),2 along with seven individuals in their official capacities: James M. LeBlanc ("LeBlanc"), Rebekah E. Gee ("Gee"), Whalen Gibbs ("Gibbs"), Gerald Starks ("Starks"), Scott Tubbs ("Tubbs"), Eric Brady ("Brady") and Charles Vosburg ("Vosburg"), (collectively, "Defendants").3

6. The suit originally asked for compensatory and punitive damages as well as declaratory and injunctive relief under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 ; 29 U.S.C. Section 794(a), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (" Section 504" or the "RA"); and 42 U.S.C. Section 12132, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"). However, Plaintiff's claims against Gibbs, Starks, Vosburg, Brady and Tubbs in their individual capacities were dismissed on June 25, 2016, (Mot. to Voluntarily Dismiss Claims for Damages Against Defs.' [sic] Whalen Gibbs, Geral [sic] Starks, Charles Vosburg, Eric Brady, and Scott Tubbs in their Individual Capacities, Docs. 129 at 1; Minute Entry, Doc. 138 at 2), leaving only the official capacity claims against all Defendants. (Trial Tr. vol. 1, Doc. 148 at 26:17–27:19.)

7. Motions for summary judgment were filed by both Plaintiff (Pls.' Mot. For Partial Summ. J., Doc. 76 at 3.) and Defendants (Defs.' Mot. For Summ. J., Doc. 74 at 4,) and both were denied. (Order, Doc. 112 at 1; Order and Ruling on Mots. For Summ. J., Doc. 124 at 30.) As a part of the rulings, the Court found that two of the involved statutes, La. Code Crim. Proc. arts. 658 and 899, were facially constitutional but that there were fact questions precluding summary judgment. (Doc. 124 at 3, 22–26.)

8. The Court also found there were questions of fact which needed to be resolved in order to determine George's claims arising under the ADA and Section 504. (Id. at 28–30.)

9. On June 27 through June 29, 2016, the case was tried simultaneously to a jury and the Court. (Minute Entry, Doc. 138–139, in globo ; Minute Entry, Doc. 145, in globo ; Trial Tr. vol. 1, Doc. 148, in globo ; Trial Tr. vol. 2, Doc. 149, in globo ; and Trial Tr. vol. 3, Doc. 150, in globo. ) At the conclusion of the trial, that portion of the case tried to the jury was submitted to it for decision. The jury rendered a verdict for LDPSC and LDH on the claims arising under Section 504 and the ADA. (Jury Verdict Form, Doc. 144 at 2–3.) Specifically, the jury found that these defendants had not discriminated against Plaintiff under Section 504 and the ADA and had not failed to make reasonable accommodations to Plaintiff's disabilities under either statute. (Id. )

10. As to that portion of the case tried to the Court, the Court took the matter under advisement and the parties were ordered to file proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law within 30 days of the filing of the trial transcript. (Doc. 150 at 192:22–193:1). The parties' proposed findings and conclusions were filed as Docs. 151 and 152, respectively. (Pl.'s Request for Finding of Fact and Rulings of Law, Doc. 151 at 51; Defs.' Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, Doc. 152 at 13.) The Court then requested the parties' responses to certain specific questions. (Doc. 159.) They responded in Docs. 160 (Plaintiff's Memorandum of Law ("P Mem.")) and 161 (Defendants' Answers to Questions Raised ("D Mem.").) Plaintiff's response also asked the Court to "consider his renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law" with respect to his Section 504 and ADA claims. (Doc. 160 at 23.) The Court heard oral argument on September 20, 2017. (Doc. 164). Following oral argument, Plaintiff filed a Supplemental Memorandum discussing whether a settlement agreement in another case moots or bars his claims4 (Doc. 167), and Defendants filed a Memorandum in Opposition to Plaintiff's Renewed Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law (Doc. 168).

C. SUMMARY OF CONTENTIONS OF PARTIES

11. Plaintiff contends that Defendants' "policies, practices and procedures ... caused him to be arrested and incarcerated on two separate occasions ... [in] violat[ion] of his rights under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, and subjected him to intentional discrimination in violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ... and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990." (Doc. 42 at...

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    ...individual's liberty interests against the legitimate interests of the state. Id., 457 U.S. at 324. Cf. George v. La. Dep't of Pub. Safety and Corr., 272 F. Supp. 3d 855 (M.D. La. 2017) (applying Youngberg to a constitutional challenge to the State's alleged policy, practice and procedure o......
  • Zavala v. City of Baton Rouge, CIVIL ACTION NO. 17-656-JWD-EWD
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