LEWIS v. CAIN

Civil Action No. 15-00318-BAJ-RLB.

JOSEPH LEWIS, JR., ET AL., v. BURL CAIN, ET AL.

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana.

Editors Note
Applicable Law: 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Cause: 42 U.S.C. § 1983 Civil Rights Act
Nature of Suit: 555 Habeas Corpus (Prison Condition)
Source: PACER


Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

Kentrell Parker, Plaintiff, represented by Mercedes Hardy Montagnes , The Promise of Justice Initiative.

Kentrell Parker, Plaintiff, represented by Bruce Warfield Hamilton , ACLU of Louisiana, Daniel A. Small , Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, pro hac vice, Derek Allen Warden , Advocacy Center of Louisiana, Jeffrey Dubner , Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC & Miranda Tait , Advocacy Center.

Farrell Sampier, Plaintiff, represented by Mercedes Hardy Montagnes , The Promise of Justice Initiative, Bruce Warfield Hamilton , ACLU of Louisiana, Daniel A. Small , Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, pro hac vice, Derek Allen Warden , Advocacy Center of Louisiana, Jeffrey Dubner , Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC & Miranda Tait , Advocacy Center.

Reginald George, Plaintiff, represented by Mercedes Hardy Montagnes , The Promise of Justice Initiative, Bruce Warfield Hamilton , ACLU of Louisiana, Daniel A. Small , Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, pro hac vice, Derek Allen Warden , Advocacy Center of Louisiana, Jeffrey Dubner , Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC & Miranda Tait , Advocacy Center.

John Tonubbee, Plaintiff, represented by Mercedes Hardy Montagnes , The Promise of Justice Initiative, Bruce Warfield Hamilton , ACLU of Louisiana, Daniel A. Small , Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, pro hac vice, Derek Allen Warden , Advocacy Center of Louisiana, Jeffrey Dubner , Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC & Miranda Tait , Advocacy Center.

Otto Barrera, Plaintiff, represented by Mercedes Hardy Montagnes , The Promise of Justice Initiative, Bruce Warfield Hamilton , ACLU of Louisiana, Daniel A. Small , Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, pro hac vice, Derek Allen Warden , Advocacy Center of Louisiana, Jeffrey Dubner , Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC & Miranda Tait , Advocacy Center.

Clyde Carter, Plaintiff, represented by Mercedes Hardy Montagnes , The Promise of Justice Initiative, Bruce Warfield Hamilton , ACLU of Louisiana, Daniel A. Small , Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, pro hac vice, Derek Allen Warden , Advocacy Center of Louisiana, Jeffrey Dubner , Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC & Miranda Tait , Advocacy Center.

Edward Giovanni, Plaintiff, represented by Mercedes Hardy Montagnes , The Promise of Justice Initiative, Bruce Warfield Hamilton , ACLU of Louisiana, Daniel A. Small , Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, pro hac vice, Derek Allen Warden , Advocacy Center of Louisiana, Jeffrey Dubner , Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC & Miranda Tait , Advocacy Center.

Ricky D. Davis, Plaintiff, represented by Mercedes Hardy Montagnes , The Promise of Justice Initiative, Bruce Warfield Hamilton , ACLU of Louisiana, Daniel A. Small , Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, pro hac vice, Derek Allen Warden , Advocacy Center of Louisiana, Jeffrey Dubner , Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC & Miranda Tait , Advocacy Center.

Lionel Tolbert, Plaintiff, represented by Mercedes Hardy Montagnes , The Promise of Justice Initiative, Bruce Warfield Hamilton , ACLU of Louisiana, Daniel A. Small , Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, pro hac vice, Derek Allen Warden , Advocacy Center of Louisiana, Jeffrey Dubner , Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC & Miranda Tait , Advocacy Center.

Rufus White, Plaintiff, represented by Mercedes Hardy Montagnes , The Promise of Justice Initiative, Bruce Warfield Hamilton , ACLU of Louisiana, Daniel A. Small , Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, pro hac vice, Derek Allen Warden , Advocacy Center of Louisiana, Jeffrey Dubner , Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC & Miranda Tait , Advocacy Center.

Shannon Hurd, Plaintiff, represented by Mercedes Hardy Montagnes , The Promise of Justice Initiative, Bruce Warfield Hamilton , ACLU of Louisiana, Daniel A. Small , Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, pro hac vice, Derek Allen Warden , Advocacy Center of Louisiana, Jeffrey Dubner , Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC & Miranda Tait , Advocacy Center.

Alton Adams, Plaintiff, represented by Mercedes Hardy Montagnes , The Promise of Justice Initiative, Bruce Warfield Hamilton , ACLU of Louisiana, Daniel A. Small , Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, pro hac vice, Derek Allen Warden , Advocacy Center of Louisiana, Jeffrey Dubner , Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC & Miranda Tait , Advocacy Center.

Ian Cazenave, Plaintiff, represented by Mercedes Hardy Montagnes , The Promise of Justice Initiative, Bruce Warfield Hamilton , ACLU of Louisiana, Daniel A. Small , Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, pro hac vice, Derek Allen Warden , Advocacy Center of Louisiana, Jeffrey Dubner , Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC & Miranda Tait , Advocacy Center.

Edward Washington, Plaintiff, represented by Mercedes Hardy Montagnes , The Promise of Justice Initiative, Bruce Warfield Hamilton , ACLU of Louisiana, Daniel A. Small , Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, pro hac vice, Derek Allen Warden , Advocacy Center of Louisiana, Jeffrey Dubner , Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC & Miranda Tait , Advocacy Center.

Alton Batiste, Plaintiff, represented by Mercedes Hardy Montagnes , The Promise of Justice Initiative, Bruce Warfield Hamilton , ACLU of Louisiana, Daniel A. Small , Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, pro hac vice, Derek Allen Warden , Advocacy Center of Louisiana, Jeffrey Dubner , Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC & Miranda Tait , Advocacy Center.

Stephanie Lamartiniere, Defendant, represented by Edmond Wade Shows , Shows, Cali & Walsh, LLp, Mary E. Roper , Shows, Cali, & Walsh LLP, Andrea Leigh Barient , Louisiana Department of Justice, Colin Andrew Clark , Office of the Louisiana Attorney General, Elizabeth Baker Murrill , Office of Attorney General, Jeffrey K. Cody , Shows, Cali, Berthelot & Walsh, LLP & Kathryn Dufrene , Shows, Cali & Walsh, L.L.P..

James M LeBlanc, Defendant, represented by Edmond Wade Shows , Shows, Cali & Walsh, LLp, Mary E. Roper , Shows, Cali, & Walsh LLP, Andrea Leigh Barient , Louisiana Department of Justice, Colin Andrew Clark , Office of the Louisiana Attorney General, Elizabeth Baker Murrill , Office of Attorney General, Jeffrey K. Cody , Shows, Cali, Berthelot & Walsh, LLP & Kathryn Dufrene , Shows, Cali & Walsh, L.L.P..

The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, Defendant, represented by Edmond Wade Shows , Shows, Cali & Walsh, LLp, Mary E. Roper , Shows, Cali, & Walsh LLP, Andrea Leigh Barient , Louisiana Department of Justice, Colin Andrew Clark , Office of the Louisiana Attorney General, Elizabeth Baker Murrill , Office of Attorney General, Jeffrey K. Cody , Shows, Cali, Berthelot & Walsh, LLP & Kathryn Dufrene , Shows, Cali & Walsh, L.L.P..

Darrel Vannoy, Defendant, represented by Edmond Wade Shows , Shows, Cali & Walsh, LLp, Mary E. Roper , Shows, Cali, & Walsh LLP, Andrea Leigh Barient , Louisiana Department of Justice, Colin Andrew Clark , Office of the Louisiana Attorney General, Jeffrey K. Cody , Shows, Cali, Berthelot & Walsh, LLP & Kathryn Dufrene , Shows, Cali & Walsh, L.L.P..

Raman Singh, Defendant, represented by Edmond Wade Shows , Shows, Cali & Walsh, LLp, Mary E. Roper , Shows, Cali, & Walsh LLP, Andrea Leigh Barient , Louisiana Department of Justice, Colin Andrew Clark , Office of the Louisiana Attorney General, Jeffrey K. Cody , Shows, Cali, Berthelot & Walsh, LLP & Kathryn Dufrene , Shows, Cali & Walsh, L.L.P..

Stacye Falgout, Defendant, represented by Edmond Wade Shows , Shows, Cali & Walsh, LLp, Mary E. Roper , Shows, Cali, & Walsh LLP, Andrea Leigh Barient , Louisiana Department of Justice, Colin Andrew Clark , Office of the Louisiana Attorney General, Jeffrey K. Cody , Shows, Cali, Berthelot & Walsh, LLP & Kathryn Dufrene , Shows, Cali & Walsh, L.L.P..

Randy Lavespere, Defendant, represented by Edmond Wade Shows , Shows, Cali & Walsh, LLp, Mary E. Roper , Shows, Cali, & Walsh LLP, Andrea Leigh Barient , Louisiana Department of Justice, Colin Andrew Clark , Office of the Louisiana Attorney General, Jeffrey K. Cody , Shows, Cali, Berthelot & Walsh, LLP & Kathryn Dufrene , Shows, Cali & Walsh, L.L.P..

Sherwood Poret, Defendant, represented by Edmond Wade Shows , Shows, Cali & Walsh, LLp, Mary E. Roper , Shows, Cali, & Walsh LLP, Andrea Leigh Barient , Louisiana Department of Justice, Colin Andrew Clark , Office of the Louisiana Attorney General, Jeffrey K. Cody , Shows, Cali, Berthelot & Walsh, LLP & Kathryn Dufrene , Shows, Cali & Walsh, L.L.P..

Cynthia Park, Defendant, represented by Edmond Wade Shows , Shows, Cali & Walsh, LLp, Mary E. Roper , Shows, Cali, & Walsh LLP, Andrea Leigh Barient , Louisiana Department of Justice, Colin Andrew Clark , Office of the Louisiana Attorney General, Jeffrey K. Cody , Shows, Cali, Berthelot & Walsh, LLP & Kathryn Dufrene , Shows, Cali & Walsh, L.L.P..


ORDER

BRIAN A. JACKSON, Chief District Judge.

Before the Court is the Motion to Disqualify (Doc. 223) filed by Defendants. Defendants seek to disqualify the undersigned from continuing to preside over the above-captioned matter. Plaintiffs filed a memorandum in opposition to the Motion, (see Doc. 232), and Defendants filed a reply memorandum in support of the Motion, (see Doc. 233-1). On March 16, 2017, the Court held a hearing on the matter.

In support of the Motion, Defendants direct the Court to a post-trial brief filed on behalf of the United States of America in the case of Williams v. Lynn, 92-001-B-1 1 (M.D. La. Sept. 24, 1998), to which the undersigned affixed his signature pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11(a). Defendants assert that Plaintiffs, in their Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on Plaintiffs' Eighth Amendment Claim (Doc. 194), have relied on the consent decree into which Defendants entered as a result of the Williams litigation — which concerned similar claims against Defendants — in order to prove that Defendants had the requisite knowledge of the excessive risk to Plaintiffs' health and safety that allegedly is being caused by the medical care provided by Defendants. Because the undersigned affixed his signature to a single pleading in the Williams matter, Defendants argue, the undersigned should disqualify himself from continuing to preside over this matter pursuant to various subsections of 28 U.S.C. § 455.

The Court notes that Defendants have produced one pleading from the Williams litigation — out of the nearly 250 documents in the record — that contains the undersigned's signature. At the hearing on the matter, Defendants conceded that they had taken no steps to determine the precise extent of the undersigned's participation in the Williams matter aside from obtaining the case's record and docket sheet. On the sole basis of the docket sheet and the previously mentioned pleading, Defendants evidently divined that the undersigned was "lead counsel" for the United States of America as Interpleader in the Williams litigation. (Doc. 223-1 at p. 5). The Court also notes that Defendants should have been aware of Plaintiffs' intention to rely on the consent decree that resulted from the Williams matter to prove the requisite knowledge for their Eighth Amendment claim from the very initiation of this lawsuit; Plaintiffs cited the consent decree and its relation to Defendants' knowledge in paragraph seven of the initial Complaint. (See Doc. 1 at ¶ 7). Defendants have offered no rationale for their failure — for over one-and-a-half years — either to discover the apparent participation of the undersigned in the Williams matter or to resolve that such apparent participation is grounds for disqualification.

Notwithstanding Defendants' dubious lack of diligence regarding this matter and case law that supports the position that the undersigned is not required to disqualify himself under these circumstances, see, e.g., Sao Paulo State of Federative Republic of Braz. v. Am. Tobacco Co., 535 U.S. 229 (2002) (per curiam), the undersigned finds that there is a possibility — however remote — that a reviewing court might find that "his impartiality might reasonably be questioned" if he were to continue to preside over this matter, 28 U.S.C. § 455(a). Plaintiffs have claimed that they continue to be subjected to conditions of confinement that violate the United States Constitution; they deserve prompt adjudication of those claims, without the delay that would result from Defendants' inevitable interlocutory appeal of this Order if the Court denied the Motion.

Accordingly,

IT IS ORDERED that Defendants' Motion to Disqualify (Doc. 223) is GRANTED.

The undersigned hereby recuses himself in this matter.


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