Lauga v. McDougall, Nos. CA2171

CourtCourt of Appeal of Louisiana (US)
Writing for the CourtWILLIAMS
Citation463 So.2d 754
PartiesRay E. LAUGA and Alcide W. Hernandez v. Ralph J. McDOUGALL and American Druggist Insurance Company. 463 So.2d 754
Decision Date11 January 1985
Docket NumberNos. CA2171,CA2172

Page 754

463 So.2d 754
Ray E. LAUGA and Alcide W. Hernandez
v.
Ralph J. McDOUGALL and American Druggist Insurance Company.
Nos. CA2171, CA2172.
463 So.2d 754
Court of Appeal of Louisiana,
Fourth Circuit.
Jan. 11, 1985.

Ray E. Lauga, pro se.

Alcide W. Hernandez, pro se.

Emile L. Turner, Jr., Wilbur J. "Bill" Babin, Jr., New Orleans, for defendants-appellants.

Before REDMANN, GULOTTA and WILLIAMS, JJ.

WILLIAMS, Judge.

This is an appeal from a ruling by the trial court sustaining an exception of no cause of action filed by defendants Ralph J. McDougall and his insurer American Druggist Insurance Company.

McDougall was Sheriff of St. Bernard Parish, and plaintiffs were deputies within his department. Plaintiffs were investigated by federal authorities after a drug seizure, and plaintiffs appeared to be implicated in it. As a result of the investigation, McDougall testified before the U.S. Grand Jury which subsequently returned indictments against plaintiffs. Plaintiffs were then tried by a jury and found guilty of the charges. A motion for a new trial was granted, and the second jury trial resulted in plaintiffs' acquittals. McDougall testified at the motion for new trial and at both trials. After their acquittals, plaintiffs brought an action against McDougall for deliberately and willfully testifying falsely during the investigation into the smuggling activities as well as at the various hearings and trials held in federal court. Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment and exceptions of no cause and no right of action. The trial court dismissed the motion for summary judgment, but granted the exception of no cause of action. It is from this ruling that plaintiffs now appeal.

The issue involved in this appeal is whether the remarks made by McDougall during the investigation and during the court proceedings were privileged. The defendants argue that McDougall's remarks were based upon an absolute privilege, which carries with it absolute immunity from a defamation suit. Plaintiffs argue

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that this privilege is qualified, and therefore should they prove malice, they will be allowed to recover.

Louisiana has granted absolute immunity in judicial proceedings to a non-litigant, or non-party, witness. See Moity v. Busch, 368 So.2d 1134, 1136 (La.App. 3d Cir.1979); Hairford v. Long, 430 So.2d 393, 394 (La.App. 3d Cir.1983); Bienvenu v. Angelle, 254 La. 182, 223 So.2d 140 (1969). This rule has been followed by the Fourth...

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9 practice notes
  • Marrogi v. Howard, No. 2001-CQ-1106.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Louisiana
    • 15 Enero 2002
    ...the witness from civil suit regardless of malice or falsity. See Burke v. Ryan, 36 La. Ann. at 951-52; see also Lauga v. McDougall, 463 So.2d 754 (La. App. 4th Cir.1985)(police officer who testified against the plaintiff at grand jury proceedings and trials was absolutely immune from prosec......
  • Goldstein v. Serio, No. CA-5153
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Louisiana (US)
    • 9 Octubre 1986
    ...Under Louisiana law, communications made in a judicial or quasi-judicial proceeding carry an absolute privilege. Lauga v. McDougall, 463 So.2d 754 (La.App. 4th Cir.1985); Freeman v. Cooper, 390 So.2d 1355 (La.App. 4th Cir.1980), writ granted, 397 So.2d 802 (La.1981), judgment affirmed, 414 ......
  • Lambert v. Delcarpio, NO. 18-CA-712
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Louisiana (US)
    • 24 Abril 2019
    ...of law. Louisiana has granted absolute immunity in judicial proceedings to a non-litigant, or a non-party witness. Lauga v. McDougall , 463 So.2d 754, 755 (La. App. 4th Cir. 1985), citing Moity v. Busch , 368 So.2d 1134, 1136 (La. App. 3d Cir. 1979) ; Hairford v. Long , 430 So.2d 393, 394 (......
  • Molaison v. Lukinovich, NO. 13-CA-781
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Louisiana (US)
    • 28 Mayo 2014
    ...from his testimony, citing Rehberg v. Paulk, 132 S.Ct. 1497, 182 L.Ed.2d 593 (2012), and cases cited therein, and Lauga v. McDougall, 463 So.2d 754 (La. App. 4th Cir. 1985). Accordingly, they argue, that Mr. Lukinovich is immune from suit stemming from his interview with the IRS in 2003, an......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
9 cases
  • Marrogi v. Howard, No. 2001-CQ-1106.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Louisiana
    • 15 Enero 2002
    ...the witness from civil suit regardless of malice or falsity. See Burke v. Ryan, 36 La. Ann. at 951-52; see also Lauga v. McDougall, 463 So.2d 754 (La. App. 4th Cir.1985)(police officer who testified against the plaintiff at grand jury proceedings and trials was absolutely immune from prosec......
  • Goldstein v. Serio, No. CA-5153
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Louisiana (US)
    • 9 Octubre 1986
    ...Under Louisiana law, communications made in a judicial or quasi-judicial proceeding carry an absolute privilege. Lauga v. McDougall, 463 So.2d 754 (La.App. 4th Cir.1985); Freeman v. Cooper, 390 So.2d 1355 (La.App. 4th Cir.1980), writ granted, 397 So.2d 802 (La.1981), judgment affirmed, 414 ......
  • Lambert v. Delcarpio, NO. 18-CA-712
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Louisiana (US)
    • 24 Abril 2019
    ...of law. Louisiana has granted absolute immunity in judicial proceedings to a non-litigant, or a non-party witness. Lauga v. McDougall , 463 So.2d 754, 755 (La. App. 4th Cir. 1985), citing Moity v. Busch , 368 So.2d 1134, 1136 (La. App. 3d Cir. 1979) ; Hairford v. Long , 430 So.2d 393, 394 (......
  • Molaison v. Lukinovich, NO. 13-CA-781
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Louisiana (US)
    • 28 Mayo 2014
    ...from his testimony, citing Rehberg v. Paulk, 132 S.Ct. 1497, 182 L.Ed.2d 593 (2012), and cases cited therein, and Lauga v. McDougall, 463 So.2d 754 (La. App. 4th Cir. 1985). Accordingly, they argue, that Mr. Lukinovich is immune from suit stemming from his interview with the IRS in 2003, an......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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