Marks v. St. Tammany Parish Sheriffs Office, et al
ORDER AND REASONS denying 92 Motion in Limine to exclude testimony or evidence related to the Plaintiff's employment. Signed by Judge Susie Morgan on 5/18/2017. (clc)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
JENNIFER R. MARKS,
SHERIFF RANDY SMITH, IN HIS
OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS SHERIFF OF THE
PARISH OF ST. TAMMANY, ET AL.,
SECTION: “E” (2)
ORDER AND REASONS
Before the Court is a motion in limine filed by the Plaintiff.1 The motion is
opposed.2 For the reasons below, the motion is DENIED.
This is a case brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On or about October 23, 2014, upon
leaving her employment, Plaintiff, Jennifer Marks, alleges she stopped at Acadia Gas
Station in Slidell, Louisiana to purchase a pack of cigars.3 After leaving the gas station,
Deputy Bryan Steinert conducted a traffic stop of the Plaintiff.4 Deputy Samuel Hyneman
arrived on the scene while Deputy Steinert searched the Plaintiff’s vehicle.5 Deputy
Steinert found drug paraphernalia in the vehicle. Corporal Amore Neck then arrived on
the scene to conduct a search of the Plaintiff’s person. It is at this point that the parties’
accounts of the incident diverge.
R. Docs. 92.
R. Doc. 97.
3 R. Doc. 2 at ¶ 6.
4 Id. at ¶ 5.
5 Id. at ¶ 9.
The Plaintiff alleges Corporal Neck conducted “an illegal and unconstitutional full
body cavity search at the traffic stop which amount to a sexual assault.”6 According to the
Plaintiff, Corporal Neck “forced Ms. Marks to bend over while handcuffed, putting her
hand down Ms. Marks’ pants, and with her fingers, entering Ms. Marks’ vagina and then
separately, her rectum. Deputy Amore then checked Ms. Marks’ feet and mouth without
The Defendants’ accounts, however, differ significantly from the Plaintiff’s. Deputy
Hyneman, who observed the search performed by Corporal Neck, provided testimony that
the search was a “basic pat down” and Corporal Neck did not search the Plaintiff’s body
cavities.8 Corporal Neck testified the search she conducted on the Plaintiff was a usual
pat-down search, which did not include searching any of the Plaintiff’s body cavities. 9
The Plaintiff filed this lawsuit, bringing claims against the St. Tammany Parish
Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Randy Smith in his official capacity under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
and other state-law causes of action. The Plaintiff also brings claims against Corporal
Amore Neck, Deputy Samuel Hyneman, and Deputy Bryan Steinert in their individual
capacities under section 1983 for violations of her Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment
The Plaintiff’s claims against the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff
Randy Smith in his official capacity have been dismissed. The remaining claims are those
against Corporal Neck, Deputy Steinert, and Deputy Hyneman in their individual
Id. at ¶ 10.
Id. at ¶ 11.
8 R. Doc. 46-4 at 26–27.
9 R. Doc. 46-5 at 15–16.
LAW AND ANALYSIS
The Plaintiff seeks to exclude testimony or evidence related to her employment
subsequent to the incident in question, arguing such evidence or testimony is irrelevant
because the Plaintiffs’ lost wage claim has been dismissed.10
In response, the Defendants contend evidence with respect to the Plaintiff’s
employment after the alleged body cavity search is relevant to her claims for loss of
enjoyment of life, mental anguish, and emotional distress.11
The Plaintiff’s father and sister offered deposition testimony, stating the Plaintiff
has been unable to participate in daily activities or to drive her vehicle due to her fear of
being stopped by the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office and retaliated against because
of the allegations levied in this lawsuit.12 The Plaintiff’s father stated this fear of retaliation
caused the Plaintiff to quit her job as a delivery driver.13 This testimony conflicts with the
Plaintiff’s deposition testimony, in which she states she ended her employment as a
delivery driver because “[w]orking at night wasn’t for [her]” and she did not “like being
away from [her] girls.”14
The Defendants may introduce evidence relating to the Plaintiff’s employment
after the incident in question, and the termination of her employment, because it is
relevant to her claim for damages for mental anguish and emotional distress.
R. Doc. 92; R. Doc. 71 (Order dismissing with prejudice the Plaintiff’s claims for lost wages and economic
11 R. Doc. 97.
12 R. Docs. 97-1, 97-2.
13 R. Doc. 97-2 at 2.
14 R. Doc. 97-3 at 3.
IT IS ORDERED that the motion in limine to exclude testimony or evidence
related to the Plaintiff’s employment subsequent to the incident in question is hereby
New Orleans, Louisiana, this 18th day of May, 2017.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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