from the Second Judicial District Court for the Parish of
Jackson, Louisiana Lower Court Case No. 3134-NS Honorable
Jimmy C. Teat, Judge
STEWART & STEWART By: Jonathan M. Stewart Counsel for
W. NEWELL District Attorney TERESA CULPEPPER CARROLL
Assistant District Attorney Counsel for Appellee.
WILLIAMS, PITMAN, and BLEICH (Pro Tempore), JJ.
BLEICH, J. (PRO TEMPORE)
appeal arises from the Second Judicial District Court for the
Parish of Jackson, State of Louisiana, wherein the trial
court ordered Lawrence Rogers to submit to DNA testing in
connection with Tiffany Thompson's petition to establish
paternity of her minor child. For the following reasons, we
affirm the judgment of the trial court.
January 8, 2016, the Jackson Parish District Attorney's
Office filed an action to establish paternity in accordance
with La. R.S. 46:236, et seq. It requested Lawrence
Rogers submit to blood testing in order to confirm if he is
the biological father of Tiffany Thompson's son, T.A.T.,
born March 29, 2006. In the supporting paternity affidavit,
Thompson averred the following: she told Rogers he was the
father of the child; the child resembled Rogers; no other man
was listed as the father on the child's birth
certificate; and, she had not had sexual intercourse with any
man other than Rogers during the time 30 days before or after
February 26, 2016, the parties came before a Jackson Parish
hearing officer. Rogers refused DNA testing and requested a
show cause hearing, which immediately followed. During the
hearing, Thompson stated that she was working for Rogers and
engaging in a sexual relationship with him when she became
pregnant. Although Rogers corroborated that Thompson worked
for him in 2005, he denied ever having sexual intercourse
with her. In support of her claim that T.A.T. resembles
Rogers, two recent photographs of the child were entered into
evidence without objection. At the conclusion of the hearing,
the matter was taken under advisement and each party was
given seven days to submit memoranda containing any
additional arguments or evidence.
considering the testimony and supplemental memoranda, the
hearing officer issued an order for Rogers to submit to DNA
testing on one of two dates in April 2016. In response,
Rogers filed a notice of his intention to seek a supervisory
writ and emergency stay of the proceeding. The trial court
granted Rogers' request, and this Court declined to
consider the writ. Subsequently, the trial court issued a
final judgment incorporating the hearing officer's
recommendations and requiring Rogers submit to DNA testing in
September 2016. Rogers filed this suspensive appeal.
appeal, Rogers urges a single assignment of error. He argues
the trial court erred in finding the state presented
sufficient evidence to establish a reasonable possibility of
paternity, because it based its decision solely on the
uncorroborated testimony of Thompson. Rogers further argues
that an order requiring DNA testing is a search and seizure
under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution
and violates his constitutional right to privacy.
Additionally, Rogers argues that since the state failed to
produce the only witness mentioned by Thompson who might
corroborate her story, he is entitled to a presumption that
the witness's testimony would be adverse to the state. We
Uniform Act on Blood Tests to Determine Paternity (La. R.S.
9:396, et seq.) provides that in any civil action in
which paternity is a relevant fact, the trial court may order
the mother, child, and alleged father to submit to the
collection and testing of blood or tissue samples. La. R.S.
9:396(A)(1). When a party to a contested paternity action
refuses to voluntarily undergo a blood test, a show cause
hearing must be held in which the trial court can determine
whether there is sufficient evidence to establish a prima
facie case warranting the issuance of a court order for blood
testing. In the Interest of the Minor Child, J.M.,
590 So.2d 565 (La. 1991); State, Dep't of Soc.
Servs., Office of Family Support v. Williams, 605 So.2d
7 (La.App. 2 Cir. 1992). In the show cause hearing, before an
order for blood testing is issued, the moving party must show
that there is a reasonable possibility of paternity. In
Interest of J.M., supra. If any party refuses to submit
to such tests, the trial court may resolve the question of
paternity against such party or enforce its order if the
rights of others and the interests of justice so require. La.
State v. Williams, supra, a petition filed
on behalf of the minor child alleged Williams was the
child's biological father. In his answer, Williams
admitted to engaging in sexual intercourse with the mother on
two occasions, but denied paternity and refused to
voluntarily submit to blood testing. At that show cause
hearing, the state presented a friend of the mother who
testified she had knowledge of the relationship between
Williams and the mother, and witnessed Williams take her on
dates and pick her up from work. The trial court ruled the
state failed to establish a prima facie case warranting the
issuance of an order for blood testing based on the fact that
the mother's husband was listed as the presumptive father
on the child's birth certificate, and the mother admitted
to other sexual partners around the time she became pregnant.
The state appealed, and the Williams court reversed
the trial court, finding the concept of dual paternity allows
for a suit against an alleged biological father even if ...