SUPERVISORY WRITS TO THE NINETEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE PARISH OF EAST BATON ROUGE.
granted certiorari in this case to determine whether the
district court has subject matter jurisdiction over tort
claims stemming from a removal or disciplinary action over
which the Louisiana State Police Commission (State Police
Commission) presided. The lower courts concluded that subject
matter jurisdiction is proper in district court. We agree
with the decisions of the lower courts.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Todd Huval and Chad Boyer, are former Louisiana State
Troopers employed by the State of Louisiana, Department of
Public Safety and Corrections, Office of State Police (State
Police). In 2007, they were terminated based on an
investigation which exposed alleged violations of employment
policy and state law-both were accused of providing
confidential information to a third party.
appealed their terminations to the State Police
Commission. On December 30, 2008,
 the State Police Commission overturned
the terminations and ordered that Mr. Huval be suspended for
eight weeks and that Mr. Boyer be suspended for two
weeks. The State Police appealed.
Court of Appeal, First Circuit, reinstated Mr. Huval's
termination and affirmed Mr. Boyer's two-week
suspension. Huval v. Dep't of
Pub. Safety & Corrs., Office of State Police, 09-699
(La.App. 1 Cir. 10/23/09), 29 So.3d 522; Boyer v.
Dep't of Pub. Safety & Corrs., Office of State
Police, 09-700 (La.App. 1 Cir. 10/23/09), 24 So.3d 1033
November 3, 2008, plaintiffs filed an Original Petition for
Damages in the 19th Judicial District Court. The petition
asserted entitlement to damages for alleged wrongful
termination, defamation, malicious prosecution, mental
anguish, intentional infliction of emotional distress, as
well as all general and equitable relief. Chiefly, the
petition alleged that the State Police twice took its
"fabricated" investigative findings to the
Lafayette Parish District Attorney and requested a grand jury
hearing on the matter.
2015, defendants filed a motion for summary judgment and an
exception of lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
Defendants' exception asserted plaintiffs' lawsuit
sought to have the district court review the correctness of
the State Police's terminations and sought damages
pursuant to said terminations. They argued La.Const. art. X,
§ 50 vests the State Police Commission with the
exclusive jurisdiction to hear any and all cases involving
the terminations of employees by the State Police. Thus, the
district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to hear
plaintiffs' wrongful termination claims, and likewise, it
lacks subject matter jurisdiction to award any damages
resulting from plaintiffs' terminations including, but
not limited to, past, present, future loss of earnings and
earning capacity, benefits, and loss of employment.
countered, asserting their claims involve more than their
removals by the State Police and involve issues of due
process, defamation, malicious prosecution, and intentional
infliction of emotional distress. Plaintiffs insisted their
claims could not have been addressed by the State Police
Commission because it lacks jurisdiction.
oral ruling, without giving reasons, the district court
overruled defendants' exception of lack of subject matter
jurisdiction. There was no
ruling issued on defendants' motion for summary judgment.
sought a supervisory writ, wherein they relied upon
Reimer v. Medical Center of Louisiana at New
Orleans, 95-2799 (La.App. 4 Cir. 1/29/97), 688 So.2d
165, to argue that the district court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction over claims which are inextricably linked to an
essentially employment-related dispute, such as removal or
disciplinary proceedings. The Court of Appeal, First Circuit,
denied defendants' request for supervisory review of the
district court's ruling without comment.
applied for supervisory review to this court. We granted
defendants' writ and remanded the case to the court of
appeal for briefing, argument, and full opinion. Huval v.
State ex rel., Dep't of Pub. Safety & Corrs., Office
of State Police, 15-2099 (La. 2/5/16), 186 So.3d 1170.
defendants' supervisory writ, plaintiffs argued district
courts have original jurisdiction over all civil matters
pursuant to La.Const. art. V, § 16(A)(1). The State Police Commission does not have
authority to grant a money judgment for tortious conduct.
remand, the appellate court, in a 2-to-1 decision, affirmed
the decision of the trial court which overruled
defendants' exception. Huval v. State ex rel.,
Dep't of Pub. Safety & Corrs., Office of State
Police, 15-1151 (La.App. 1 Cir. 9/21/16) (unpublished).
The majority concluded plaintiffs' claims for damages are
claims over which the district court has original
jurisdiction pursuant to La.Const. art. V, § 16(A)(1).
The majority reasoned plaintiffs seek damages that sound in
tort "'as a result' of the claims of defamation,
malicious prosecution, [and] intentional infliction of
emotional distress stemming from the criminal proceeding, not
the disciplinary action of the [State Police]
Commission." Id. at 7 (unpub'd). The
majority found plaintiffs' claims did not create a
situation that would uphold or reverse the State Police
dissent identified the action being challenged as the
plaintiffs' removal and perceived plaintiffs' claims
as inextricably interwoven with an essentially
employment-related dispute. Following the principle of
Reimer, 688 So.2d 165, which rejected the argument
that the district court is the only proper forum because a
money judgment was sought, Judge ...