LPD Lawsuit Update

A federal judge is making good on his intent to clear out what he calls unsubstantiated claims in the federal lawsuit filed by Lafayette Police Officers against their superiors.

Some claims by Officer Cain Marceaux were stricken from the lawsuit Friday.

Magistrate Patrick Hanna described the claims he removed as immaterial and scandalous and quote, “serve no purpose other than to cast the Lafayette police department in a poor light.” end quote.

Marceaux can however continue to sue over a “civil rights” violation as well as sue individuals, but he is not allowed to sue the city.

On Wednesday, Judge Hanna made no ruling concerning the federal lawsuit, but did make it clear that he is only concerned with keeping plaintiffs who can clearly and factually claim they faced adverse employment action.

 Click here to read the memorandum ruling.


LPD Lawsuit Hearing

Both sides of the federal lawsuit between current and or former officers with the Lafayette Police Department and their superiors were back in court Tuesday.

There's a strong chance the civil suit will move to full trial, but if and when it gets to Judge Richard Haik, there will be less plaintiffs and defendants.

“You certainly never win everything in a court hearing but we think we did a very good job today” says plaintiff's attorney Royal Alexander.

Tuesday was more of a procedural hearing between 15 current and or former officers with the Lafayette Police Department who filed suit against their superiors claiming discrimination and retaliation.

“Parts of our case may be dismissed but a large part of it is going to remain and we'll get to proceed” says Alexander.

The defense representing high ranking officers in the department including Chief Jim Craft and the Durel Administration wanted the entire suit dismissed.

Judge Patrick Hanna said he more than likely won't do that, but did strike several allegations from both the original and amended suit which he felt was either sensational or not factually based.

“I don't think you're doing your job as plaintiff attorneys if you don't make every possible allegation knowing some of them maybe stronger than others” says Alexander.

Judge Hanna referred to the plaintiff's strategy as throwing spaghetti on the wall hoping some of it sticks. What could fall to the ground and be removed from the case are certain plaintiffs who can't show they faced adverse employment action. On the same token defendants, specifically City Parish President Joey Durel who Hanna feels has no individual liability.

“If we don't have 15 anymore and we just have 9 those 9 will still adequately be able to address what we think are the wrongs” says Alexander.

Both sides now must wait for Hanna's recommendation which will be forwarded to Judge Richard Haik, then both sides can start the discovery phase by obtaining testimonies from witnesses under oath.

“That's when you get to the meat of a case. There's just so much that's under developed from a stand point of evidence” says Alexander.

The defense declined to comment on today's proceedings. They preferred to wait until Judge Hanna's recommendation.

Doug MacDiarmid

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