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The John Doe 1 case in Ramsey county continues to garner headlines as it seems like there is a new fight every week.  Recently,  it was reported by the Pioneer Press that Archbishop John Nienstedt and (Rev.) Kevin McDonough asked Judge Van de North to block the taking of their depositions.  Deposition are court proceedings where people are questioned under oath and in front of a court reporter.  The claim is :

argued that Nienstedt and McDonough should not have to be deposed. Neither should Rev. John T. Brown, who is accused of abuse in a separate lawsuit, the archdiocese said.

None of them “had any involvement with Father Adamson, St. Thomas Aquinas, the alleged abuse of plaintiff in 1976 or 1977, the archdiocese’s involvement in the transfer of Father Adamson from the (Winona) diocese, or the archdiocese’s retention of supervision of Father Adamson during this time period,” attorney Daniel Haws wrote in a Tuesday motion filed with the court.

I have seen very few situations where it has ever been questioned about the right to conduct discovery.  My situations were motions to quash  (stop) the deposition because of unavailability or  witnesses trying to get paid as experts.  Here the issue seems to be that the witnesses claim to know nothing about the cases.

It seems if that is really the case,  it should be a very short and easy deposition.  Of interest,  the list that was released by  The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis did include Adamson.   And right before the list came out Nienstedt was in the forefront talking about how the list was put together and all the parishes that would be named.   Sounds like he knows something.

Update-   Judge Van de North ordered the deposition: 

Finding   the relevancy of facts sought in noticed depositions has been addressed and objections based on legitimate privilege claims are preserved.

So the answer is no.  The Bishop can not duck the deposition.

An interesting read is SNAP‘s (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) thoughts on why the Bishop may be fighting.

The lists are the start.   The files need to be disclosed  and those involved need to be questioned.

Abuse of children and the continued silence by the offenders needs to be prevented. If you suffered, saw, or suspected such events, it is important to know that there is help out there.





  1. Gravatar for Judy Jones

    Exactly... what's the big deal about giving testimony under oath if they have nothing to hide?

    The more the fight this, the guiltier they look.

  2. Maybe, it clearly isn't the openness that they have talked about. Thanks for reading and the comment.

  3. Gravatar for Ann heydt

    Agree! So important to get files/documents released. Have read many..all of Chicago archdiocese, couple from Los Angeles. Shows the clear pattern, duplicity, the 'inside story'. Years of effort, care, money, moving, etc paid to the criminals--little to none to victims.

  4. The disclosed files have been full of information and have in all cases shown they are the wrong people to decide what should be disclosed. Thanks for the comment.

  5. Gravatar for Michael Skiendzielewski
    Michael Skiendzielewski

    Hell with the civil (legal) deposition for Nienstedt and his buddies. What we need is a real deposition in the Archdiocese of Minnesota, like the one playing out in the Ukraine, where the leader is actually "deposed."

    This crew passed shame, dignity and honor a long, long time ago.

    Michael Skiendzielewski

    Captain (retired)

    Philadelphia Police Dept.

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