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Lavergne v. Brignac

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana

April 22, 2015

BRANDON SCOTT LAVERGNE,
v.
TRENT BRIGNAC, ET AL

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

C. MICHAEL HILL, Magistrate Judge.

Pro se plaintiff Brandon Scott Lavergne ("Lavergne") filed the instant "Constitutional Tort" action on September 26, 2014. Lavergne is an inmate in the custody of the Louisiana Department of Corrections, incarcerated at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana, where he is serving two life sentences imposed in 2012 by the Louisiana Fifteenth Judicial District Court for Lafayette Parish for the murder of Michaela Shunick and Lisa Pate.

In his original "Constitutional Tort" Complaint [rec. doc. 1], Lavergne alleges that in 1999 he was arrested following a complaint that he had attempted to rape a female victim, "N.P." On February 25, 2000, Lavergne plead guilty to aggravated oral sexual battery for which Lavergne was sentenced to ten years imprisonment by the Thirteenth Judicial District Court for Evangeline Parish, Louisiana.

Lavergne complains that at sentencing he was not told that he had to register as a sex offender. In 2008 upon his release from custody, Lavergne was told that he was subject to the Louisiana Sex Offender laws and, accordingly, was required to register and pay "fines and related expenses." Lavergne allegedly complied with these laws from 2008 through July 2012, even though he contends that these laws do not apply to him.[1] However, on July 5, 2012, Lavergne was arrested for altering his driver's license to conceal the words "sex offender" appearing thereon.

After his arrest, Lavergne was indicted for the murders of Michaela Shunick and Lisa Pate. When he received discovery from this prosecution, Lavergne received a copy of a statement of the victim, N.P., which the State allegedly never disclosed prior to entry of his guilty plea. Lavergne alleges that this statement contained exculpatory and mitigating evidence. Thus, Lavergne alleges that had he seen this statement, he would not have entered a guilty plea to the aggravated oral sexual battery of N.P.

Lavergne names Evangeline Parish District Attorney Trent Brignac, former Evangeline Parish District Attorney Brent Coreil and the Evangeline Parish Sheriff (allegedly Edie Soileau).

By this action, Lavergne seeks the following injunctive relief: (1) an order allowing Lavergne to personally inspect the District Attorney's and Sheriff's Department investigative files for missing exculpatory evidence, (2) an order allowing Lavergne to copy any piece of alleged exculpatory evidence in the presence of a "state representative" who will attest to the source of the evidence; (3) an order vacating petitioner's February 25, 2000 Evangeline Parish conviction for aggravated oral sexual battery based on an alleged Brady violation; (4) an order requiring the State to apply the 10 year sentence which Lavergne served on his February 25, 2000 Evangeline Parish conviction for aggravated oral sexual battery as a credit on the time he is currently serving for the murders of Michaela Shunick and Lisa Pate; (5) an order requiring the State to reimburse Lavergne for the "fines and related expenses" he paid from 2008 through 2012 as a result of his compliance with the Louisiana Sex Offender laws, (6) an order requiring the State to expunge any arrests relating to Lavergne's February 25, 2000 Evangeline Parish conviction for aggravated oral sexual battery and non-compliance with the Louisiana Sex Offender laws from Lavergne's record, and (7) an order requiring the State to reimburse Lavergne the money he spent in 1999 to bond out on the aggravated oral sexual battery charge and to retain defense counsel to represent him on that charge. [rec. doc. 1, pgs. 7-8].

By separate Amendment [rec. doc. 6], Lavergne adds the Superintendent of the Louisiana State Police, who Lavergne alleges was in charge of enforcing the Louisiana Sex Offender laws, that resulted in Lavergne's having to "fines and related expenses" from 2008 through 2012, which Lavergne contends constituted an illegal seizure of his property because the law does not apply to him. Accordingly, he seeks an injunction and declaratory relief prohibiting the Superintendent from enforcing the Louisiana Sex Offender law on persons, like him, convicted of aggravated oral sexual battery under the now repealed statute. He also adds Thirteenth Judicial District Judge Gary Ortego and former Judge Larry Vidrine for the sole purpose of obtaining an injunction requiring all Louisiana State Court Judges to place all District Attorneys under oath to swear that all exculpatory evidence has been turned over to the defense, prior to accepting a guilty plea.

By another separate Amendment to his "Constitutional Tort" Complaint [rec. doc. 7], Lavergne submits a copy of an arrest warrant executed by St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office Captain J. Craig Ortego, and issued by a St. Landry Parish Judge, alleging that Lavergne failed to comply with the sex offender registration requirements on June 4, 2012. Lavergne again complains that he is not subject to the Louisiana Sex Offender law. Accordingly, he adds Captain Ortego as a defendant in this action because he is Lavergne's "accuser" and requests this Court to review the Constitutionality of this "open charge."

By another separate Amendment [rec. doc. 8], Lavergne submits a copy of the transcript of the January 30, 2003 hearing on his Post-Conviction Application held in the Thirteenth Judicial District Court. Lavergne contends that this transcript, in which Assistant District Attorney Raymond LeJeune testified that no statement of the victim N.P. existed, supports his claim that his conviction should be vacated because the State committed a Brady violation, in the absence of which Lavergne would not have plead guilty. He additionally adds Assistant District Attorney LeJuene as a defendant for his having allegedly committed both the claimed Brady violation and perjury at the January 30, 2003 hearing.

By further Amendment [rec. doc. 9], Lavergne submits a copy of a transcript a March 5, 2015 hearing on a Motion to Correct Illegal Sentence held in the Thirteenth Judicial District Court. Lavergne contends that this transcript, in which Assistant District Attorney Marcus Fontenot testified that the defense should have been aware of the existence of the statement of the victim N.P. by virtue of an April 12, 1999 police report given to the defense, supports his claim that his conviction should be vacated because the State committed a Brady violation and prosecutorial misconduct. He additionally adds Assistant District Attorney Fontenot as a defendant for his having allegedly committed perjury at the March 5, 2015 hearing.

This matter has been referred to the undersigned for review, report, and recommendation in accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. ยง 636 and the standing orders of the Court.

Law and ...


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