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Shine v. Ricky Jones Franklin County Sheriff

United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Texarkana Division

January 22, 2018

SCOTT E. SHINE and JOSEPH HICKS
v.
RICKY JONES FRANKLIN COUNTY SHERIFF In his Capacity as Sheriff and Individually and HEATH HYDE

          MEMORANDUM ORDER

          ROBERT W. SCHROEDER III JUDGE.

         The above-entitled and numbered civil action was heretofore referred to United States Magistrate Judge Caroline M. Craven under 28 U.S.C. § 636. The Report of the Magistrate Judge, which contains her proposed findings of fact and recommendations for the disposition of such action, has been presented for consideration. Docket No. 48. Plaintiffs filed objections to the Report and Recommendation under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). Docket No. 49. Defendant Ricky Jones filed a response to the objections. Docket No. 53. The Court conducts a de novo review of the Magistrate Judge's findings and conclusions.

         I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         On March 3, 2017, Plaintiff Scott Shine (“Plaintiff Shine”) filed his complaint alleging 42 U.S.C. § 1983 violations and damages against Franklin County Sheriff Ricky Jones (“Defendant Jones”), in his individual and official capacity, and unknown agents of the Franklin County Sheriff's Department.[1] Docket No. 1. On May 4, 2017, Defendant Jones answered and filed his first motion to dismiss. Docket Nos. 6, 7. On May 25, 2017, Plaintiff Shine filed his First Amended Complaint. Docket No. 9.

         On June 8, 2017, Defendant Jones filed his second motion to dismiss, and on June 26, filed his motion for summary judgment. Docket Nos. 12, 14. On August 21, Plaintiff Shine filed a Second Amended Complaint, wherein Plaintiff Shine added Joseph Hicks (“Plaintiff Hicks”) as an additional plaintiff and Heath Hyde as an additional defendant. Docket No. 24. On September 1, 2017, Defendant Jones filed his third motion to dismiss all claims brought by Plaintiff Shine and Plaintiff Hicks. Docket No. 27.

         II. REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

         On November 21, 2017, the Magistrate Judge issued a 35-page Report and Recommendation recommending Defendant Jones' third motion to dismiss be granted. Docket No. 48. Based on Plaintiffs' withdrawal of their tortious interference with a contractual relationship state law claims against Defendant Jones, the Magistrate Judge recommended those state law claims be dismissed without prejudice. Id. at 7. The Magistrate Judge further recommended Plaintiffs' § 1983 claims against Defendant Ricky Jones be dismissed with prejudice. Id. at 34.

         Specifically, the Magistrate Judge found that Plaintiff Hicks's claims are barred by the statute of limitations. Id. at 11-13. The Magistrate Judge further found Plaintiffs' claims do not allege a deprivation of Plaintiffs' Fourth or Eighth Amendment rights, and Defendant Jones is entitled to qualified immunity. Id. at 21-25. The Magistrate Judge also found that without a deprivation of a constitutional right, there can be no claim for conspiracy and no municipal liability. Id. at 26-30.

         Plaintiffs filed objections to the Report and Recommendation. Docket No. 49. Plaintiffs object to the exclusion of summary judgment affidavits in the consideration of Defendant Jones's Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the finding that Plaintiff Hicks's claims are barred by the statute of limitations, and the dismissal of Plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment claims. Id.

         III. DE NOVO REVIEW

         A. Consideration of the summary judgment affidavits

         In their objections, Plaintiffs concur with the Magistrate Judge's procedural history but assert the summary judgment affidavits of Defendants Jones and Hyde attached to Defendant Jones's motion for summary judgment are critical documents and should be considered. Docket No. 49 at 1. However, in ruling on Defendant Jones's Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Magistrate Judge, as is proper, did not consider any extrinsic evidence. Docket No. 48 at 9 (citing Baker v. Putnal, 75 F.3d 190, 196 (5th Cir. 1996)). Consequently, Plaintiffs are incorrect when they argue the Magistrate Judge, or the undersigned, should consider the affidavits that were attached to Defendant Jones's earlier motion for summary judgment.[2]

         B. Whether Plaintiff Hicks' claims are barred by limitations

         Turning to the Magistrate Judge's finding that Plaintiff Hicks's claims are barred by the statute of limitations, Plaintiff Hicks's claims relate to alleged actions on the part of Defendant Jones that occurred in February 2015. Yet Plaintiff Hicks raised those claims against Defendant Jones on August 21, 2017 in the ...


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