Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Szany v. City of Hammond

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division

August 14, 2019

DENISE SZANY, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF HAMMOND and JAIME GARCIA, Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          JOSHUA P. KOLAR MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This 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.

         For the 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.

         A. In Camera Review

         At 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.

         As 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 information;
(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 evaluative summary;
(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 ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.