Sheriff happy traffic stop suit against himself, deputy dismissed

Published 10:49 am Wednesday, August 10, 2016

LAPLACE — St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre said Wednesday he welcomed a recent ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Ivan Lemelle that dismissed a lawsuit that claimed one of his deputies pointed a gun in a woman’s face during a traffic stop.

The lawsuit was originally dismissed April 29, according to the Sheriff’s Office, when the Court granted an unopposed Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Sheriff Tregre and Deputy Steven Dailey.

A release from the Sherriff’s Office said plaintiff Enjoli Stipe and her attorney, Nghana Lewis Gauff, next filed a Motion for Reconsideration, stating she failed to file an opposition due to her own mistake. Gauff’s motion was denied July 5, and all deadlines to appeal the decision have now passed, the Sherriff’s Office said.

In the Court’s Order and Reasons, the judge reiterated the lawsuit was dismissed due to an “absence of evidence” supporting any of Stipe’s claims, Tregre said.

Lemelle also awarded attorney’s fees to the Sheriff’s Office. The award was received by the Sheriff’s Office promptly following the Court’s decision.

Tregre said he is hopeful the dismissal of Stipe’s lawsuit and all her claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress and civil rights violations will correct the record about what happened.

“Specifically, the evidence was that Deputy Dailey never drew his gun during the traffic stop on Interstate 55, and though he drew his Taser, it was not used,” Tregre said. “This was a routine traffic stop which concluded without incident. Various inflammatory verbal quotes attributed to Deputy Dailey and included in the lawsuit’s allegations were simply inaccurate and merely the creative product of Stipe’s attorney.”