713 F.Supp. 346 (D.S.D. 1989), Civ. 88-1018, DeMarrias v. United States

Docket Nº:Civ. 88-1018
Citation:713 F.Supp. 346
Party Name:DeMarrias v. United States
Case Date:April 29, 1989
Court:United States District Courts, 8th Circuit, District of South Dakota
 
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Page 346

713 F.Supp. 346 (D.S.D. 1989)

Lisa Carrion DeMARRIAS, Plaintiff,

v.

UNITED STATES of America, Defendant.

Civ. No. 88-1018.

United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Northern Division.

April 29, 1989

Robert Mines, Hot Springs, S.D., for plaintiff.

David L. Zuercher, Asst. U.S. Atty., Pierre, S.D., for defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

DONALD J. PORTER, Chief Judge.

On May 9, 1988, plaintiff Lisa Carrion DeMarrias brought this action under the Federal Tort Claims Act against the United

Page 347

States, James J. Parisien, and Robert Goudreau. Parisien and Goudreau at all relevant times were police officers employed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. Plaintiff contends that she suffered an injury to her back when officers Parisien and Goudreau arrested her on July 4, 1984. Plaintiff was thirty-two years old and pregnant at the time of the arrest.

In August of 1986, plaintiff was examined by Doctor Jesse Easton in Rapid City, South Dakota. Although Dr. Easton is a medical doctor employed part-time by the Veterans Administration Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Dr. Easton examined the plaintiff as a part of her private practice. Dr. Easton evaluated plaintiff's back pains and made a report of her examination, which both the plaintiff and defendants have obtained.

On March 9, 1989, the parties made arrangements to take a trial deposition of Dr. Easton in Sioux Falls. Soon after the deposition began, the United States raised objections and instructed Dr. Easton not to answer questions on the grounds that as a federal employee, Dr. Easton could not testify in a tort case against the United States unless authorized to do so. The deposition ended shortly after it had started.

On March 23, 1989, plaintiff filed a "motion for declaratory relief" requesting this Court essentially to overrule the defendant United States' objection to the deposition testimony by Dr. Easton and to award costs for the retaking of her deposition. Defendant United States resists the motion.

At the deposition, the United States based its position that Dr. Easton could not testify on 18 U.S.C. §§ 203 and 205 and 38 C.F.R. § 0.735-22(a). Section 203 of Title 18 sets forth the offenses of extortion and bribery by federal employees and is designed to prevent government corruption. Section 203 simply is not applicable to this...

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