Case: Washington v. Smith

2:24-cv-00145 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana

Filed Date: Jan. 13, 2024

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This is a case about the pretextual stop of a Louisiana citizen. On January 13, 2024, a Louisiana citizen filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. The plaintiff sued the sheriff of St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office (STPSO), several officers, and the insurance company that covered the other defendants under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, 1988, and 2000(d). The plaintiff’s claim was based on an incident wherein he was stopped for an alleged traffic offense that he…

This is a case about the pretextual stop of a Louisiana citizen. On January 13, 2024, a Louisiana citizen filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. The plaintiff sued the sheriff of St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office (STPSO), several officers, and the insurance company that covered the other defendants under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, 1988, and 2000(d). The plaintiff’s claim was based on an incident wherein he was stopped for an alleged traffic offense that he was never given a citation for. The plaintiff asserted that the defendants extended the stop and unconstitutionally harassed, questioned, and searched him. Represented by the ACLU Foundation of Louisiana and private counsel, the plaintiff sought injunctive and declaratory relief as well as compensatory and punitive damages.

The case was assigned to Judge Jay C. Zainey and Magistrate Judge Donna Phillips Currault. 

The plaintiff claimed that the defendants had violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments through an unlawful extension of detention and an unlawful search and seizure. By stopping, frisking, and searching the plaintiff without any reasonable suspicion the defendants had violated his rights. Next, the plaintiff argued that the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments had also been violated through an unlawful search of the plaintiff's vehicle. The plaintiff argued that the officer defendants did not have probable cause to search the vehicle, that he had not consented to the search, that their actions exceeded the scope of the object of the search, and that he had been stopped from limiting the scope of the search. 

The plaintiff also brought claims of Monell liability and a claim under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that argued the STPSO engaged in racial discrimination. The plaintiff also brought claims of conspiracy to commit §1983 violations of the plaintiff’s Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Lastly, the plaintiff brought several claims under state law. 

On January 23, 2024, the case was transferred to Judge Brandon S. Long and Magistrate Judge Michael North. 

On February 2, 2024, the plaintiff submitted an amended complaint. The amended complaint included additional officer defendants as well as another category of defendants referred to as “custodian defendants.” The custodian defendants were authorized to respond to requests for public records and the plaintiff asserted that they had the duty to provide such records in a timely manner. The amended complaint also included additional state law claims. 

As of February 8, 2024, this case was ongoing.

Summary Authors

Rhea Sharma (2/9/2024)

Related Cases

Washington v. Smith, Eastern District of Louisiana (2022)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document
1

2:24-cv-00145

Complaint

Jan. 13, 2024

Jan. 13, 2024

Complaint
15

2:24-cv-00145

Amended Complaint

Feb. 2, 2024

Feb. 2, 2024

Complaint

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/68159988/washington-v-smith/

Last updated April 11, 2024, 3:07 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT Against All Defendants (Filing fee $ 405 receipt number ALAEDC-10360286) filed by Bruce Washington. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Exhibit, # 3 Exhibit, # 4 Exhibit, # 5 Exhibit, # 6 Exhibit, # 7 Exhibit, # 8 Exhibit, # 9 Notice of Manual Attachment, # 10 Exhibit, # 11 Exhibit, # 12 Exhibit, # 13 Exhibit, # 14 Summons, # 15 Summons, # 16 Summons, # 17 Summons, # 18 Summons, # 19 Summons, # 20 Summons, # 21 Summons, # 22 Summons, # 23 Summons, # 24 Summons)Attorney Erin Bridget Wheeler added to party Bruce Washington(pty:pla).(Wheeler, Erin) (Attachment 1 replaced on 1/16/2024) (mmm). (Attachment 14 replaced on 1/16/2024) (mmm). (Attachment 15 replaced on 1/16/2024) (mmm). (Attachment 16 replaced on 1/16/2024) (mmm). (Attachment 17 replaced on 1/16/2024) (mmm). (Attachment 18 replaced on 1/16/2024) (mmm). (Attachment 19 replaced on 1/16/2024) (mmm). (Attachment 20 replaced on 1/16/2024) (mmm). (Attachment 21 replaced on 1/16/2024) (mmm). (Attachment 22 replaced on 1/16/2024) (mmm). (Attachment 23 replaced on 1/16/2024) (mmm). (Attachment 24 replaced on 1/16/2024) (mmm). Modified/flattened attachments on 1/16/2024 (mmm). (Entered: 01/13/2024)

Jan. 13, 2024

Jan. 13, 2024

PACER
2

Initial Case Assignment to Judge Jay C. Zainey and Magistrate Judge Donna Phillips Currault. (cc) (Entered: 01/16/2024)

Jan. 16, 2024

Jan. 16, 2024

PACER

Initial Case Assignment

Jan. 16, 2024

Jan. 16, 2024

PACER

Correction of Docket Entry by Clerk

Jan. 16, 2024

Jan. 16, 2024

PACER
3

Civil Cover Sheet Submitted (Wheeler, Erin) (Entered: 01/16/2024)

Jan. 16, 2024

Jan. 16, 2024

PACER
4

Correction of Docket Entry by Clerk re 1 Complaint. Filing attorney did not properly format the pdf of Civil Cover Sheet and Summons. **IMPORTANT: When using a FORM, fill in the applicable fields then click the red PRINT button at the bottom to print the document to pdf format. Clerk has taken corrective action. (mmm) (Entered: 01/16/2024)

Jan. 16, 2024

Jan. 16, 2024

PACER
5

Summons Issued as to Jeremy Church, Chance Cloud, George Cox, Curtis Finn, Frank J Francois, Jr, Dale Galloway, Taylor Lewis, OneBeacon Insurance Group, Richard Palmisano, Douglas Searle, Randy Smith. (Attachments: # 1 Summons, # 2 Summons, # 3 Summons, # 4 Summons, # 5 Summons, # 6 Summons, # 7 Summons, # 8 Summons, # 9 Summons, # 10 Summons)(mmm) (Entered: 01/16/2024)

Jan. 16, 2024

Jan. 16, 2024

PACER
6

EXPARTE/CONSENT MOTION to Appear Pro Hac Vice Zoe Lillian (Filing fee $ 100 receipt number ALAEDC-10364895) by Bruce Washington. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration, # 2 Exhibit, # 3 Exhibit, # 4 Proposed Order)(Wheeler, Erin) (Entered: 01/17/2024)

Jan. 17, 2024

Jan. 17, 2024

PACER
7

Manual Attachment Received re 1 Complaint, Exhibit 8, filed by Bruce Washington. (mmm) (Entered: 01/18/2024)

Jan. 18, 2024

Jan. 18, 2024

PACER

Manual Attachment Received

Jan. 18, 2024

Jan. 18, 2024

PACER
8

EXPARTE/CONSENT MOTION to Appear Pro Hac Vice Elizabeth Raulston (Filing fee $ 100 receipt number ALAEDC-10369093) by Bruce Washington. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Elizabeth Raulston, # 2 Exhibit 1, # 3 Exhibit 2, # 4 Proposed Order)(Wheeler, Erin) (Entered: 01/19/2024)

Jan. 19, 2024

Jan. 19, 2024

PACER
9

ORDER GRANTING 6 Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice as to Zoe Hannah Lillian. Signed by Judge Jay C. Zainey on 1/18/2024. (Attachments: # 1 Pro Hac Notice) (jls) (Entered: 01/22/2024)

Jan. 22, 2024

Jan. 22, 2024

PACER
10

ORDER GRANTING 8 Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice as to Elizabeth Myers Raulston. Signed by Judge Jay C. Zainey on 1/22/2024. (Attachments: # 1 Pro Hac Notice) (jls) (Entered: 01/22/2024)

Jan. 22, 2024

Jan. 22, 2024

PACER
11

EXPARTE/CONSENT MOTION to Appear Pro Hac Vice Nora Ahmed (Filing fee $ 100 receipt number ALAEDC-10372561) by Bruce Washington. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Nora Ahmed, # 2 Certificate of Good Standing, # 3 Consent to Electronic Filing, # 4 Proposed Order)(Wheeler, Erin) (Entered: 01/23/2024)

Jan. 23, 2024

Jan. 23, 2024

PACER
12

ORDER TRANSFERRING CASE. Case transferred to Judge Brandon S. Long and Magistrate Judge Michael North. Judge Jay C. Zainey, Magistrate Judge Donna Phillips Currault no longer assigned to case. Signed by Judge Jay C. Zainey on 1/23/2024.(mmm) (Entered: 01/23/2024)

Jan. 23, 2024

Jan. 23, 2024

PACER
13

Correction of Docket Entry by Clerk re 11 MOTION to Appear Pro Hac Vice Nora Ahmed (Filing fee $ 100 receipt number ALAEDC-10372561). Document contains incorrect Section and Magistrate Judge. All future pleadings must reflect Section O Judge Brandon S. Long and Magistrate Judge (5) Michael B. North. (cs) (Entered: 01/24/2024)

Jan. 24, 2024

Jan. 24, 2024

PACER

Correction of Docket Entry by Clerk

Jan. 24, 2024

Jan. 24, 2024

PACER
14

ORDER granting 11 Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice as to Nora Sam Ahmed. Signed by Judge Brandon S. Long on 01/25/2024. (Attachments: # 1 PHV Notice) (js) (Entered: 01/26/2024)

Jan. 26, 2024

Jan. 26, 2024

PACER
15

Amended Complaint

Feb. 2, 2024

Feb. 2, 2024

PACER
16

Summons Issued

Feb. 5, 2024

Feb. 5, 2024

PACER

Manual Attachment Received

Feb. 29, 2024

Feb. 29, 2024

PACER
18

Appear Pro Hac Vice

March 19, 2024

March 19, 2024

PACER
19

Order on Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice

March 22, 2024

March 22, 2024

PACER
20

Extension of Deadlines

April 9, 2024

April 9, 2024

PACER

Correction of Docket Entry by Clerk

April 10, 2024

April 10, 2024

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: Louisiana

Case Type(s):

Policing

Key Dates

Filing Date: Jan. 13, 2024

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Resident of Louisiana.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU Affiliates (any)

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Louisiana (St. Tammany), State

Defendant Type(s):

Law-enforcement

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

State law

Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq.

Constitutional Clause(s):

Unreasonable search and seizure

Available Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None yet

Source of Relief:

None yet

Issues

General/Misc.:

Failure to train

Incident/accident reporting & investigations

Racial profiling

Discrimination Area:

Disparate Treatment

Discrimination Basis:

Race discrimination

Affected Race(s):

Black

Policing:

Inadequate citizen complaint investigations and procedures