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.
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.
A founding partner with Bradshaw & Bryant, Mike Bryant has always fought to find justice for his clients—knowing that legal troubles, both personal injury and criminal, can be devastating for a family. Voted a Top 40 Personal Injury "Super Lawyer" multiple years, Mr. Bryant has also been voted one of the Top 100 Minnesota "Super Lawyers" four times.