United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
P. JORDAN III CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Leonard Brown brings this suit under state law and 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 for an alleged sexual assault and related
offenses he suffered while incarcerated. Defendant Officer
Adrian Keys, in his official and individual capacities, seeks
dismissal of Brown's claims based on Eleventh Amendment
immunity, state-law immunity, and qualified immunity. Mot.
. For the reasons that follow, Keys's motion is
granted, but Brown will be given leave to seek to amend.
a post-conviction state inmate, says that “Officer
Lucker” sexually assaulted him on July 24, 2015, while
Brown was housed at the South Mississippi Correctional
Institute (“SMCI”). After that, Defendants
allegedly denied Brown's requests for medical care and
then retaliated against Brown for complaining about the way
he had been treated. Relative to Keys, Brown alleges that he
and another officer ultimately escorted Brown to SMCI's
medical department and told the nurse that the warden would
decide whether Brown received medical care.
filed this lawsuit against a number of Defendants, including
Keys, on January 23, 2017. In it, he asserts § 1983
claims for violation of his rights under the First, Fourth,
Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States
Constitution as well as state-law tort claims. Brown also
seeks equitable relief, including a declaration that
Defendants violated his rights and an injunction prohibiting
future enforcement of the inmate exception to the Mississippi
Tort Claims Act (“MTCA”). Miss. Code Ann. §
11-46-9(1)(m). Keys moved to dismiss the claims against him,
and the issues he raised have been fully briefed.
motion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1)
“challenge[s] the subject matter jurisdiction of the
district court to hear a case.” Ramming v. United
States, 281 F.3d 158, 161 (5th Cir. 2001). Lack of
subject-matter jurisdiction may be found based on: “(1)
the complaint alone; (2) the complaint supplemented by
undisputed facts evidenced in the record; or (3) the
complaint supplemented by undisputed facts plus the
court's resolution of disputed facts.” Id.
“[T]he party asserting jurisdiction”-here, the
plaintiff-“bears the burden of proof that jurisdiction
does in fact exist.” Id.
considering a motion under Rule 12(b)(6), the “court
accepts ‘all well-pleaded facts as true, viewing them
in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.'”
Martin K. Eby Constr. Co. v. Dall. Area Rapid
Transit, 369 F.3d 464, 467 (5th Cir. 2004) (quoting
Jones v. Greninger, 188 F.3d 322, 324 (5th Cir.
1999) (per curiam)). But “the tenet that a court must
accept as true all of the allegations contained in a
complaint is inapplicable to legal conclusions. Threadbare
recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by
mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007)). To overcome a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a plaintiff must
plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at
570. “Factual allegations must be enough to raise a
right to relief above the speculative level, on the
assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true
(even if doubtful in fact).” Id. at 555
(citations and footnote omitted).
seeks dismissal on three grounds. He says that the Eleventh
Amendment bars claims asserted against him in his official
capacity; the inmate exception of the MTCA bars all state-law
claims; and qualified immunity precludes the federal claims
against him in his individual capacity. In response, Brown
acknowledges that the Court's previous Order 
addressing similar motions filed by different defendants
establishes “the law of the case on the similar claims
here” and effectively concedes, while preserving his
arguments for purposes of appeal, dismissal of his
official-capacity and state-law claims against Keys.
Pl.'s Mem.  at 2 n.4, 6-7. Keys's motion is
therefore granted as to those claims, and the Court will
address only the individual-capacity § 1983 claims.
asserts qualified immunity as to Brown's § 1983
claims against him in his individual capacity.
[T]he doctrine of qualified immunity protects government
officials from civil damages liability when their actions
could reasonably have been believed to be legal. This
immunity protects all but the plainly incompetent or those
who knowingly violate the law. Accordingly, we do not deny
immunity unless existing precedent must have placed the
statutory or constitutional question beyond debate. The basic
steps of this court's qualified-immunity inquiry are
well-known: a plaintiff seeking to defeat qualified immunity
must show: (1) that the ...