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Letourneau v. Carpio

United States District Court, S.D. Florida

December 5, 2017




         THIS CAUSE is before the Court upon Plaintiff Claude Letourneau's Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF No. [38], Plaintiff Cindy Lynn Thibault's Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF No. [40] (collectively “Plaintiffs' Motions for Summary Judgment”), and Defendant Melodie Carpio's Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF No. [44] (“Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment”). The Court has carefully considered all Motions, all supporting and opposing filings, the relevant authorities, and is otherwise duly advised. For the reasons that follow, Plaintiffs' Motions for Summary Judgment are granted and Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment is denied.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Plaintiffs' Statement of Facts

         Plaintiffs Claude Letourneau (“Mr. Letourneau”) and Cindy Lynn Thibault (“Ms. Thibault”) (collectively “Plaintiffs”) sued Melodie Carpio (“Defendant”) for violating the Driver's Privacy Protection Act of 1994, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2721-2725 (“DPPA”). See ECF No. [9].

         Defendant did not dispute Plaintiffs' respective Statements of Undisputed Material Facts filed in support of their Motions for Summary Judgment. Local Rule 56.1(b) provides that “[a]ll material facts set forth in the movant's statement filed and supported as required above will be deemed admitted unless controverted by the opposing party's statement, provided that the Court finds that the movant's statement is supported by evidence in the record.” See S.D. Fla. L.R. 56.1(b). To the extent that record evidence supports Plaintiffs' Statements of Undisputed Material Facts, ECF Nos. [39] and [41], these facts are deemed admitted and undisputed as set forth below.

         On May 16, 2016, Pembroke Pines Police Department Sergeant Scott Carris randomly audited several police officers' use of the Driver and Vehicle Information Database (“DAVID”). See ECF Nos. [39] at [41] at ¶ 1.[1] Defendant was one of the names selected for review as part of the audit. Id. at ¶ 2. Sergeant Carris ultimately determined that Defendant improperly accessed Mr. Letourneau's information on the DAVID database 82 times and Ms. Thibault's information 85 times. Id. at ¶ 3. Thereafter, on September 16, 2016, Defendant, under oath and with her attorney present, voluntarily answered Sergeant Carris's questions regarding her alleged improper access of DAVID. Id. at ¶ 4. During the interview, Defendant admitted that she did not access Plaintiffs' information for any criminal justice reason or other legitimate business purpose. Id. at ¶¶ 5-6. Instead, she accessed their information out of curiosity. Id. at ¶ 6.

         B. Defendant's Statement of Facts

         Defendant also submitted a Statement of Material Facts in support of her Motion for Summary Judgment, which proffered additional facts. See ECF No. [44-2]. Plaintiffs did not respond to Defendant's Statement of Material Facts. As such, Defendant's proffered facts are deemed admitted to the extent they are supported by the record.[2] Such undisputed facts are set forth below.

         Police officers are limited by the databases they can access and the type of information available to them on such databases. See ECF No. [44-1] at ¶ 13. In this case, neither Plaintiff knew that his or her information had been accessed through DAVID or the Florida Crime Information Centers (“FCIC”) databases until Plaintiffs requested information through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement by requesting a “TAR.” See ECF No. [44-5] at 7. There is no evidence that either Plaintiff was a victim of identity theft as a result of Defendant's searches. See ECF No. [44-5] at 15, 22; ECF No. [44-6] at 19-20. Some of the information Defendant obtained from the database searches were known to Ms. Thibault's ex-husband, Jared Parke, who is currently engaged to Defendant, such as Ms. Thibault's address and social security number. See ECF No. [44-5] at 11 and 12. Ms. Thibault did not lose any job opportunities or miss any work as a result of Defendant's actions. See ECF No. [44-5] at 20. Mr. Letourneau works as a pilot and testified that he missed two days from work as a result of Defendant's actions. See ECF No. [44-6] at 17. On one such occasion, he received a distressing call from Ms. Thibault, which made him mentally unprepared to fly an airplane, so he was sent home from Minneapolis. Id. On those occasions, he took personal time off and did not receive a deduction in his pay. Id. at 35. Mr. Letourneau has not treated with a therapist and is not taking any medications to treat psychological distress caused by Defendant's actions. See ECF No. [44-6] at 16. It is also undisputed that Defendant did not solicit or recruit other police officers to harass, stalk or follow Plaintiffs and Mr. Letourneau admits that police officers did not deliberately follow him over the last four years. See ECF No. [44-1]; ECF No. [44-6] at 29.


         A court may grant a motion for summary judgment “if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The parties may support their positions by citation to the record, including, inter alia, depositions, documents, affidavits, or declarations. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). An issue is genuine if “a reasonable trier of fact could return judgment for the non-moving party.” Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Fla. v. United States, 516 F.3d 1235, 1243 (11th Cir. 2008) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986)). A fact is material if it “might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law.” Id. (quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 247-48). The court views the facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and draws all reasonable inferences in the party's favor. See Davis v. Williams, 451 F.3d 759, 763 (11th Cir. 2006). “The mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the [non-moving party's] position will be insufficient; there must be evidence on which a jury could reasonably find for the [non-moving party].” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252. The Court does not weigh conflicting evidence. See Skop v. City of Atlanta, Ga., 485 F.3d 1130, 1140 (11th Cir. 2007) (quoting Carlin Comm'n, Inc. v. S. Bell Tel. & Tel. Co., 802 F.2d 1352, 1356 (11th Cir. 1986)).

         The moving party shoulders the initial burden to demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. See Shiver v. Chertoff, 549 F.3d 1342, 1343 (11th Cir. 2008). If a movant satisfies this burden, “the non-moving party ‘must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.'” Ray v. Equifax Info. Servs., L.L.C., 327 Fed.Appx. 819, 825 (11th Cir. 2009) (quoting Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986)). Instead, “the non-moving party ‘must make a sufficient showing on each essential element of the case for which he has the burden of proof.'” Id. (quoting Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986)). The non-moving party must produce evidence, going beyond the pleadings, and by its own affidavits, or by depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, designating specific facts to suggest that a reasonable jury could find in the non-moving party's favor. Shiver, 549 F.3d at 1343. But even where an opposing party neglects to submit any alleged material facts in controversy, a court cannot grant summary judgment unless it is satisfied that all of the evidence on the record supports the uncontroverted material facts that the movant has proposed. See Reese v. Herbert, 527 F.3d 1253, 1268-69, 1272 (11th Cir. 2008); United States v. One Piece of Real Prop. Located at 5800 S.W. 74th Ave., Miami, Fla., 363 F.3d 1099, 1103 n.6 (11th Cir. 2004).


         A. Plaintiffs' Motions ...

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