Mayfield v. DeSoto Parish et al
MEMORANDUM ORDER. Plaintiff is directed to turn over all recordings and transcripts immediately to Defendants. Within seven days of this order, Plaintiff is ordered to provide a complete list of all healthcare providers that she saw during that perio d of time up to present. Plaintiff is also ordered to provide signed HIPAA releases so that Defendants may obtain Plaintiffs records from each of those treaters. Defendants are ordered to provide copies of all medical records they receive, as they are received, to counsel for Plaintiff. Signed by Magistrate Judge Mark L Hornsby on 9/12/2017. (crt,Keller, J)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
MARY R. MAYFIELD
CIVIL ACTION NO. 15-cv-2374
DESOTO PARISH POLICE JURY, ET AL
MAGISTRATE JUDGE HORNSBY
Plaintiff, Mary Mayfield, is a former employee of the DeSoto Parish Police Jury. She
filed this action under Title VII and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 seeking declaratory relief, injunctive
relief, and damages “to address the deprivation of her rights from employment discrimination
on the basis of sex and in retaliation against her for the exercise of her rights in connection
with and in opposition to the unlawful discrimination practices perpetuated against her by
defendants, their agents or employees.” Doc. 41, ¶ 2. Plaintiff claims she suffered
“enormous” emotional distress and mental anguish as a result of Defendants’ actions. Doc.
41, ¶52. Plaintiff further alleges she has been unable to sleep, suffers from extreme stress
and depression, and is under the care of a physician. Id. ¶ 66.
The Discovery Disputes
Before the court are two related discovery disputes: First, the court was asked to
conduct an in-camera review of cell phone recordings made by Plaintiff (and transcripts of
most of those recordings) of conversations involving Plaintiff, Defendants, and other
employees of the police jury (Docs. 58 and 59) to determine if production should be ordered.
Second, a Motion to Compel was filed seeking production of those recordings and
transcripts, as well as medical records regarding any prior medical treatment of Plaintiff.
The undersigned has now completed the in-camera review and concludes that the
recordings and transcripts must be produced immediately to Defendants. The court likewise
finds that Plaintiff’s prior treatment history is relevant to her claims, so the motion to compel
production of prior medical records is granted.
Law and Analysis
Defendants argue that Plaintiff surreptitiously recorded the conversations on her
official police jury cell phone before her resignation. According to Plaintiff, almost every
conversation concerned a work-related topic at some point during the recording. Plaintiff’s
brief states that she has “testified under oath that she recorded the conversations and
discussions in anticipation of litigation on the cell phone issued to her by the police jury
when she began to experience a hostile work environment and retaliatory treatment ... .”
Doc. 63 at p. 3.
Plaintiff makes a number of arguments regarding why she should not have to produce
the recordings and transcripts. First, she argues that Defendants already have the recordings.
Plaintiff says the recordings were on the police jury’s cell phone, and she returned the phone
to the police jury shortly before this lawsuit was filed. Second, Plaintiff argues that the
recordings and transcripts are protected work product, because she recorded the
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conversations and discussions in anticipation of litigation. Third, Plaintiff argues that the
recordings are exempt from discovery because she intends to use them solely for
None of these arguments is persuasive. First, even if the recorded conversations are
still on the police jury’s cell phone, which Defendants deny, Defendants are entitled to
Plaintiff’s copies of the recording, as well as the transcripts, for verification purposes. Some
or all of the recordings on the cell phone may have been deleted, either intentionally or
Second, the recordings do not qualify as work product. In Williams v. Gunderson Rail
Services, 2008 WL 145251 (W.D. La.), U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen L. Hayes granted a
motion to compel the production of audio tapes containing conversations between plaintiff
and several of his co-employees. Judge Hayes held that the plaintiff’s clandestine recording
of the conversations vitiated the work product privilege.
Therefore, the tapes were
The issue was again addressed in this district in Griffin v. Javeler Marine Services,
2016 WL 1559170 (W.D. La.). U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick J. Hanna granted a motion to
compel directing plaintiff to provide copies of recorded statements taken by plaintiff of
defendant’s employees without their knowledge. Citing Williams, supra, Judge Hanna found
that the act of surreptitiously taping the conversations vitiated the work product immunity.
Third, the recordings contain the statements of Defendants and other potential
witnesses. Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(3)(C) provides that a party or other person may, on request,
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obtain the person’s own previous statement about the case or its subject matter if (i) the
statement is a written statement that the person has signed or otherwise adopted or approved;
or (ii) the statement is a contemporaneous stenographic, mechanical, electrical, or other
recording—or a transcription of it—that recites substantially verbatim the person’s oral
statement. Rule 26(B)(3)(c) is mandatory, not discretionary. Samsung Electronics v. Yang
Kun Chung, 2017 WL 896897 (M.D. Tex.). The rule does not bend to the discretion of the
trial court. Id.
Here, the information submitted to the court strongly suggests that Defendants’
employees did not know that Plaintiff was recording the conversations at issue. Accordingly,
the analysis and conclusions in Williams and Griffin fit the circumstances of this case.
Accordingly, Plaintiff is directed to turn over all recordings and transcripts immediately to
Defendants. Plaintiff is not allowed to withhold production pending completion of
Plaintiff has squarely put her mental health at issue. Therefore, Defendants are
entitled to Plaintiff’s medical records before and after Plaintiff’s resignation. The court will
limit the time period for prior medical treatment to no more than five years preceding the date
of Plaintiff’s resignation. Within seven days of this order, Plaintiff is ordered to provide a
complete list of all healthcare providers that she saw during that period of time up to present.
Within that same deadline, Plaintiff is also ordered to provide signed HIPAA releases so that
Defendants may obtain Plaintiff’s records from each of those treaters. Defendants are
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ordered to provide copies of all medical records they receive, as they are received, to counsel
THUS DONE AND SIGNED in Shreveport, Louisiana, this 12th day of September,
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