Courts say Braxton not defamed by State Police

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The Court of Appeal, Third Circuit, has affirmed the decision in Tenth Judicial District Court in the suit of Calvin Braxton Sr., versus the La. State Trooper’s Association and St. Police Col. Jay Oliphant.

This article published in the Jan. 13, 2022, print edition

The Third Circuit Court was composed of Billy Howard Ezell, John E. Conery and Van H. Kyzar. Costs of the appeal were assessed to Braxton.
Braxton filed a defamation suit in District Court against the State of Louisiana, Dept. of Public Safety and Corrections (State Police); La. State Trooper Col. Jay Oliphant; and the La. State Troopers Association (LSTA).
The district court decision was written by Jimmie C. Peters, District Judge, Ad Hoc. The trial court granted the special motion to strike filed by the State Police, dismissing it from the litigation.
The decision also affirmed the trial court’s partial motion for summary judgment in favor of Oliphant.
According to the petition, “This litigation came about because LSTA did not use the standing agreements with Mr. Braxton as grounds for his removal as a member of the Commission. Instead, LSTA used the content of an incident report prepared by Col. Oliphant. Specifically, LSTA asserted that Mr. Braxton had over-stepped his authority in attempting to punish a La. State Trooper for arresting his daughter for traffic violations.
The two-page July 11, 2016 letter to Gov. John Bel Edwards lists 20 grounds for Mr. Braxton’s removal, all relating directly or indirectly to the content of the incident report…We agree with the trial court that Mr. Braxton failed to establish probability of success on the merits of his claim for defamation against the State Police.”