Louisiana State Penitentiary sued by inmate over missing property

BATON ROUGE – An inmate is suing Louisiana State Penitentiary employees after his personal property allegedly went missing and he never received a response on to a claim he made to prison administrators.

Freddie Marsalis, Inmate #451967 at Louisiana State Penitentiary, filed suit against James Griffy, a correctional officer, Trish Foster, the warden's designee, Connie McCann, an investigator for the legal program department, Burl Cain, head warden, James LeBlanc, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Correction, M. Carlile, a correctional officer and Michael Callidean, a correctional officer, in the 19th Judicial Court on Oct. 18.

Marsalis claims his personal property was stolen/missing, that he filed the proper appeal and complaint and the defendants did nothing in response.

On July 13, 2011, "shakedown" team member, M. Carlile, allegedly searched the plaintiff's cell and found a pair of jeans that were torn at the knees. The plaintiff claims a disciplinary report was issued, and he was placed in administrative segregation for violating rule infraction #17, "property destruction."

Then, Griffy allegedly had two inmates push the locker box, containing Marsalis' belongings, into the main lobby of the prison and left it unlocked for inmates to raid his personal property. The plaintiff was allegedly released from segregation on July 16, 2011 and he requested his property to be returned to him.

The plaintiff alleges that on receipt of his locker box, both he and Callidean discovered that the plaintiff's CD players and five CDs were missing. The plaintiff states he refused to sign the release form that would have ultimately put him in sole custody of his personal property. The missing/stolen items were allegedly recorded in the C and D tier log book by Callidean.

Marsalis allegedly received all of the necessary paperwork and filed a timely lost property claim on July 28, 2011.

The plaintiff asserts Cain's office did not respond in 30 days, which is the time required for a response concerning a lost property claim.

Marsalis also claims he filed a lost property complaint with the warden's office through Foster and did not receive a timely response.

On Oct. 15, 2011, the plaintiff claims McCann received a letter he wrote asking to investigate the matter. He also included a copy of the July 28, 2011 lost property claim.

On Nov. 18, 2011, the plaintiff alleges the lost property claim was rejected after first being accepted by McCann. He filed an appeal on Nov. 22, 2011 to LeBlanc, inquiring about the process of his lost property claim. Marsalis claims it has been 214 days without a response, violating his 1st and 14th amendment.

The defendant is accused of violating the plaintiff's rights.

The plaintiff is asking for $119.40 from each defendant, cost of the suit and $2 per day for every day the plaintiff was forced to do without his personal property.

Marsalis is representing himself.

The case has been assigned to Division A Judge Todd Hernandez.

Case no. 616303.

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