5th Circuit - Court of Appeals

Molly Smith et. al. v. Governor John Bel Edwards et. al.

Submitted by Jane Clayton on Mon, 12/04/2023 - 15:11

This brief addresses the decision by the State of Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice (OJJ) to place Louisiana children in a former death row wing of Angola Prison and subject them to shocking conditions likely to cause severe, lasting harm. Moreover, this devastating deprivation of rights was not imposed equally—Black youth were far more likely to be incarcerated under these traumatic conditions.

Jewell Thomas v. Andrew Nino et. al.

Submitted by Jane Clayton on Fri, 12/01/2023 - 11:11

This brief argues that the text and legislative history of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) doesn't require incarcerated plaintiffs to plead a severe injury to sue for excessive force or denial of medical care.

A huge thank you to NPAP members Jim Davy of All Rise Trial & Appellate, Danielle Hamiliton of Northwestern Federal Appellate Litigation Clinic, and Sam Weiss of RightsBehindBars for their work.


Moore et. al. v. LaSalle Management Company LLC et. al.

Submitted by Jane Clayton on Mon, 03/27/2023 - 19:03

This appeal squarely presents the question of whether private entities performing government functions are exempt from vicarious liability under § 1983, a question this Court has yet to decide. The structure, history and rationale underlying § 1983 all indicate that Congress had no intention to eliminate respondeat superior liability for private entities.

Brown v. Pouncy et. al.

Submitted by Jane Clayton on Fri, 02/03/2023 - 11:43

This brief argues that the one-year statute of limitations Louisiana applies to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("§ 1983") claims against law enforcement officers is inconsistent with the federal policy underlying §1983 claims. The time-consuming practical and trauma-related challenges individuals experience when attempting to bring a § 1983 action in federal courts in Louisiana is antithetical to the federal policy underlying that statute.

Gonzalez v. Trevino et. al.

Submitted by Jane Clayton on Thu, 10/13/2022 - 14:48

Our brief in Gonzalez v. Trevino et. al. explains that illegal arrest for disfavored speech is a serious and systemic problem, and provides concrete illustrations of this phenomenon with a particular focus on how law enforcement targets communities of color.