United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
OPINION AND ORDER
P. KOLAR MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on a Notice of Ex Parte Submission
of Documents for In Camera Review [DE 247] filed by Defendant
City of Hammond on May 17, 2019. The City of Hammond filed a
brief in support on May 24, 2019. Plaintiff Denise Szany
filed a response on May 27, 2019, and the City of Hammond
filed a reply on June 3, 2019. This matter is also before the
Court on Plaintiff's Motion to File Under Seal [DE 261],
filed on May 27, 2019. Defendant City of Hammond filed a
response on June 10, 2019. Plaintiff did not file a reply.
reasons stated below, the Court denies the request in the
Notice of Ex Parte Submission and grants in part and denies
in part the Motion to File Under Seal.
In Camera Review
issue are materials-on 29 pages and on 4 discs containing
audio files-that the City of Hammond submitted for in
camera review. The materials are from a Hammond Police
Department Internal Affairs investigation regarding Defendant
Jaime Garcia's purported sexual misconduct on two
separate occasions during which he had a student
“ride-along” during his shift. (Def.'s Br. 5,
ECF No. 256). The materials fall under the previously
judicially-determined scope of relevance. See (Op.
& Order 3, ECF No. 96 (holding that “complaints
against or investigations of Garcia for sexual harassment,
sexual misconduct, or sexually-motivated violence toward any
person” are relevant)). The City of Hammond asks the
Court to find that the submitted materials are protected from
discovery under the law enforcement investigatory privilege.
stated previously in this case, the law enforcement
investigatory privilege is qualified, not absolute, and
exists “to prevent disclosure of law enforcement
techniques and procedures, to preserve the confidentiality of
sources, to protect witnesses and law enforcement personnel,
to safeguard the privacy of individuals involved in an
investigation, and otherwise prevent interference in an
investigation.” Anderson v. Marion Cty.
Sheriff's Dept., 220 F.R.D. 555, 560 (S.D. Ind.
2004) (quoting In re Polypropylene Carpet Antitrust
Litigation, 181 F.R.D. 680, 686-87 (N.D.Ga. 1998)).
Courts weigh ten factors when determining whether the law
enforcement investigatory privilege applies:
(1) The extent to which disclosure will thwart governmental
processes by discouraging citizens from giving the government
(2) The impact upon persons who have given information of
having their identities disclosed;
(3) The degree to which governmental self evaluations and
consequent program improvement will be chilled by disclosure;
(4) Whether the information sought is factual data or
(5) Whether the party seeking discovery is an actual or
potential defendant in any criminal proceeding either pending
or reasonably likely to follow from the incident in question;
(6) Whether the investigation has been completed;
(7) Whether any interdepartmental disciplinary proceedings
have arisen or may arise ...