Harvard lecturer Thomas Frampton falls short in attempt to force LSP to turn over document which his client alleges LSP has used to target anti-Trump social media posters.

Harvard Lecturer Thomas Frampton, 34, who had a tough day in 19th JDC Judge William Morvant’s courtroom on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, sought a Writ of Mandamus forcing Louisiana State Police to surrender a document that he and his client, New Orleans Civil Rights attorney William Most (pictured below), allege LSP has used to target anti-Trump social media posters.

 

New Orleans civil rights attorney William Most.

 

In today’s Sound Off Louisiana feature, founder Robert Burns assesses a court hearing held in 19th JDC in Judge William Morvant’s courtroom on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 in which Harvard lecturer Thomas Frampton, who received his B. A. and M. A. degrees from Yale University and his J. D. from UC-Berkley, sought to compel Louisiana State Police (LSP) to turn over a document to his client, New Orleans civil rights attorney William Most.:


Burns assesses Writ of Mandamus argued in a 19th JDC court hearing of Wednesday, September 12, 2018 wherein Frampton sought to force LSP to surrender the document “full_list_of_antiva.docx.”

Table of keywords/phrases contained in LSP emails sought by Most as part of an LSP public records request, along with the number of hits and mailboxes of LSP staffers for which occurrences of such keywords/phrases got hits (see video for further discussion on the matter).

One thing inadvertently omitted in the video above was the fact that Frampton, in closing arguments, said, “Your honor, I am aware of four individuals listed on that document who’ve had their lives turned upside-down over the last year, and I know it was because they signed a petition drafted by a colleague of mine (presumably during his tenure at the Orleans Parish Public Defender’s Office, of which Frampton has been pretty uncomplimentary.”)  Faye Morrison, LSP Legal Counsel, objected, and Judge Morvant stated:  “First, Mr. Frampton, you want to assert you don’t know what’s in the document, then you represent to the court that you know four names on it.  Second, your statements are hearsay as you have not presented these four individuals to the court.  Third, your statements are not relevant in any manner at all to the decision I have to make here today.  They are entertaining, but they are in no way relevant to the decision I have to make.”

As Burns briefly alludes to in the video, Harvard lecturer notwithstanding, on several occasions, Frampton came across as more than a little “wet behind the ears” and got quite a few comeuppances in Judge Morvant’s courtroom.  Those comeuppances included Morvant repeatedly instructing him not to talk over his witnesses and warning him that, by his repetitive pattern of doing so, “the transcript for this hearing is going to be atrocious.”

 

Morvant also made it apparent that the vast majority of Frampton’s questions posed of Morrison should have been posed to LSP Lt. Steve McGovern, whom he said, “Hopefully we’ll get to hear from today eventually!”   Also, at one point, Frampton stated, “I’d like to now pose a question relevant to our proceeding today.”  Morvant’s voluntary commentary of response:  “That would be a welcome change!”  Clearly expressing his frustration with the lack of relevance of questions posed to Morrison and/or that such questions should have been posed of McGovern, Morvant volunteered, “I stopped taking notes 20 minutes ago.”

Support Documents & Links:

1.  Federal lawsuit filed by Most in the aftermath of the Alton Sterling incident.  The suit, listing the Baton Rouge Police Department (BRPD) and the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff as defendants, is complete with intra-agency memorandums of the BRPD (beginning on page 86) and a photographic timeline of alleged improper actions by law-enforcement officers (beginning on page 104).  LSP, former Col. Edmondson, and Col. Reeves were all subsequently added as defendants.

2.  Rulings from Federal Court pertaining to Orders to Dismiss that litigation handed down on Friday, September 7, 2018 entailing the following parties:

A.  Former LSP Col. Mike Edmondson:

GRANTED in part (Edmonson had no personal participation, did not agree with upper-level defendants to deny plaintiffs Constitutional rights) and DENIED in part (Edmonson implemented policies to deny Constitutional rights, failed to intervene, State-law claims deemed viable).

 B.   LSP & Col. Kevin Reeves

GRANTED in part (as it pertains to LSP, claim is barred by 11th Amendment of U. S. Constitution) and DENIED in part (claims against Reeves satisfy exception to 11th Amendment previously established by U. S. Court decision).

 C.  Individual LSP Troopers

GRANTED in part (failed to demonstrate searches were unlawful or excessive force used, failed to assert conspiracy) and DEFERRED (“may” have asserted viable claims for Constitutional rights violations to include First Amendment, retaliation, false arrest, and failure to intervene).

 D.  EBRP Sheriff Sid Gautreaux

GRANTED almost in full (Gautreaux had no personal participation but may have made a single policy decision to affect Constitutional rights, so that one element of motion is deferred with limited discovery of same to be allowed; failed to demonstrate unlawful searches and excessive force; failed to demonstrate improper training or supervision; failed to demonstrate conspiracy).  Translation:  Claim against Gautreaux hanging on by a very thin thread and likely will be dismissed in its entirety in the near future.

 E.  BRPD Motions to Strike

GRANTED in part (Javiar Dunn’s injuries – figure 4 on page 21 of complaint above as well as paragraph 89 on that same page describing Dunn’s injuries; figure 18 on page 37 of complaint above; figure 42 on page 72 of complaint above; plaintiffs failed to demonstrate searches were unlawful or excessive force used; failed to assert conspiracy) and DENIED in part (LSP failed to meet heavy burden of demonstrating evidentiary material has no possible relation to controversy).

3.  Louisiana Record article on the Writ of Mandamus litigation, which contains a link for the actual Mandamus and all exhibits.

4.  LSP’s Fusion Center

5.  LA R. S. 44:3(A)(1) and 44:3(A)(2), which Morvant had to assess to render his ruling outlined in the video above.

 

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