Doe No. 93 v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn
MEMORANDUM ORDER granting in part, denying in part 1 Motion of plaintiff to Compel. Signed by Chief Judge Catherine C. Blake on 4/23/2015. (SEALED EXHIBITS A AND B FILED SEPARATELY) (c/m chambers)(jnls, Deputy Clerk)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
JOHN DOE NO. 93
DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN
Civil No. CCB-15-244
John Doe No. 93 alleges that a Catholic priest, Father William Authenrieth, sexually
abused him in 1978 when he was an altar boy at a Florida Catholic school in the Diocese of
Orlando. (Mot. Compel Ex A, Compl. ¶¶ 9–10, ECF No. 1-2.) Doe has sued the Roman
Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn in the Eastern District of New York on a theory of negligence,
invoking that court’s diversity jurisdiction. (See id. at ¶ 6.) There, he alleges that the Diocese of
Brooklyn transferred Authenrieth to the Diocese of Orlando with knowledge that Authenrieth
posed a sexual threat to minors but without warning or otherwise protecting parishioners of the
Diocese of Orland from that danger. (See id. at ¶¶ 23–24.) Doe now moves for an order
compelling a nonparty in Maryland, the Saint Luke Institute, Inc., to produce Authenrieth’s
mental health records. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a)(2). The Saint Luke Institute opposed that
motion. Although Authenrieth has received notice of the motion, (see ECF Nos. 4, 6), he has not
responded to it.
In its previous memorandum order, this court ordered the Saint Luke Institute to file
under seal Authenrieth’s records for in camera inspection. (See Mem. Order 4, ECF No. 12.)
The Saint Luke Institute’s attorney hand delivered those records to chambers on March 16, 2015.
The court has retained and reviewed those records. On April 16, 2015, the court held a
conference call with counsel for Doe and the Saint Luke Institute.
During that call, St. Luke’s counsel conceded that materials in the records relevant to
what the Diocese of Brooklyn knew, or should have known, of the danger Authenrieth posed to
children prior to the alleged abuse of Doe in 1978 may be disclosed on a confidential basis under
Md. Code Ann., Health-Gen. § 4-307(k)(1)(iv)(1). After reviewing the records, the court
concludes that several passages in the records arguably are pertinent to that question. The court
has redacted the documents that contain those passages and will send them, along with this
memorandum order, to counsel for Doe, the Saint Luke Institute, and the Diocese of Brooklyn.
They are attached under seal as Exhibits A and B to this memorandum order. The Saint Luke
Institute need not produce any other documents it has retained concerning Authenrieth.1
Those redacted documents produced pursuant to this memorandum order are confidential
and may not be further disclosed by counsel without permission of the court. Nor may they be
used for any purpose other than preparing for and conducting the litigation between Doe and the
Diocese of Brooklyn. To the extent that any of those redacted documents are filed in court, they
shall be filed under seal with the clerk of court pursuant to the pertinent rules of that court.
Counsel shall seek from the Eastern District of New York a more comprehensive protective
order consistent with that court’s practices.
The court will temporarily retain custody in its chambers of the original records produced by the Saint
Luke Institute for in camera review.
Accordingly, Doe’s motion to compel is DENIED in part and GRANTED in part as
So ORDERED this 23rd day of April, 2015.
Catherine C. Blake
United States District Judge
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