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Porter v. Dauthier

United States District Court, Middle District of Louisiana

December 12, 2014

JOEL PORTER
v.
JOHN DAUTHIER, IN HIS INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY

ORDER ON PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO COMPEL

RICHARD L. BOURGEOIS, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

Before the Court is Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel (R. Doc. 29) Defendant, John Dauthier (Defendant), to respond to deposition questions about his interactions with two non-parties — Ashley Smith, and Defendant’s former attorney, Jill Craft. Defendant did not oppose or otherwise respond to Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel (R. Doc. 29).

I. BACKGROUND

The current action is brought against Defendant, John Dauthier (Defendant), a detective of the Baton Rouge City Police Department. Defendant is investigating the unsolved murder of Plaintiff’s wife that occurred over 28 years ago. Plaintiff sued Defendant for alleged constitutional violations made actionable by 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and for defamation. Plaintiff claims that Dauthier falsified an affidavit to obtain a search warrant for Plaintiff’s DNA, conducted a warrantless search of Plaintiff, falsely arrested him, violated his right to due process by intending to taint a jury pool, and publically made false accusations that Plaintiff has always been a suspect in his wife’s murder. (Compl., R. Doc. 4 at 15-18). Plaintiff further claims that Dauthier encouraged one of Plaintiff’s former clients, Ashley Smith, to pursue a protective order against Plaintiff. (R. Doc. 29 at 1-2).

According to Plaintiff, during Defendant’s May 14, 2014 deposition, he objected to questions by Plaintiff’s counsel about communications Defendant had with Ms. Smith’s attorney, Jill Craft, relative to Ms. Smith’s protective order against Plaintiff. (R. Doc. 29 at 3). Defendant apparently based his objections on the attorney-client privilege. (R. Doc. 29 at 3). Considering Defendant’s objections, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion to Compel (R. Doc. 29) Defendant’s responses to deposition “questions regarding his contacts with Jill Craft relative to Ashley Smith or Joel Porter[, ] including . . .:

1. Did conversations take place;
2. When did any conversations take place;
3. Who was present during the conversations;
4. What was said;
5. Whether any documents or evidence was presented or discussed; and
6. Other related matters.

(R. Doc. 29 at 3).

Plaintiff claims the testimony is relevant to his alleged damages. Specifically, Plaintiff claims that Ms. Smith only sought a protective order as a result of a defamatory news article that was instigated and filled with information selectively supplied by Defendant. As of this Order, ...


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