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The Blanchard V Litigation

(St. Mary Parish Docket No. 132659)

PAUL MACLEAN                                         

VS.                                                                    

BP/ARCO;

CHEVRON USA HOLDING, INC;

TEXACO EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION COMPANY;

MARATHON OIL COMPANY;

TORTUGA OPERATING COMPANY;

TORTUGA INTERESTS, INC;

BLANCHARD 1986 LTD;

JOHN E. HINE; AND

PETER L. TURBETT                             :     

 

This is an ongoing litigation that was filed by the author in July of 2018.  The October 22, 2018 decision by Judge Lewis Pitman against the author is currently being appealed to the First Circuit Court of Appeal in Baton Rouge.  

This latest Blanchard litigation is not a complicated filing.  In fact, it is quite simple. 

The defendants have argued that the issues raised by the plaintiff have been already been settled res judicata.  There are no other exceptions raised by the defendants.  The defendants cite two Blanchard litigations that supposedly support the defendants' sole exception. 

Of course, the plaintiff/author takes  issue with the defendants' legal position.  The plaintiff argues, that the the merits of this litigation have never been adjucated in any court, and if they were/are ever fully adjudicated in a fair court, the weak "house of cards" that has been built during the Blanchard and Blanchard-related litigations over the last 33 years will fall and the purported 1996 settlement agreement that purportedly settled The Blanchard I Litigation in 1996 will be found to be void ab initio (void from the beginning) and that absolutely null agreement will be set aside. 

The two litigations cited by the defendants in their res judicata argument are:

The Blanchard II Litigation

The author was never a party to that litigation.  Not being an attorney, in the author's lay opinion, Magistrate Judge C. Michael Hill's lengthy July, 2002 Report and Recommendation that was accepted by Judge Tucker Melancon with no changes, that is now being cited by the defendants in The Blanchard V Litigation, was simply a lengthy "academic" endeavor  - that did not need to be so lengthy in its presentation.  Park Plantation, LLC (the plaintiff) was not even in existence during the Blanchard I litigation: therefore, it had no standing whatsoever to bring the Blanchard II litigation, in the first place.  That is really all that had to be written by Magistrate Judge Hill.  Instead he bloviated on all matters convoluting a very simple matter.  This subject litigation never got to the merit of the matters and therefore it never was fully adjudicated on its merits.  This litigation fails the test for res judicata

Magistrate Judge Mildred Methvin understood that when she wrote her 2007 report and recommendation to dismiss The Blanchard IV Litigation.  Judge Tucker Melancon accepted her report and recommendation with no changes and dismissed The Blanchard IV Litigation.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans also understood that when it affirmed the her decision to dismiss.  The Blanchard II Litigation was not fully adjudicated on its merits.  This litigation fails the test for res judicata.  

The Blanchard III Litigation

After a favorable decision by Magistrate Judge Mildred Methvin and a favorable decision in Jefferson Parish by Judge Stephen Windhorst, the author appropriately attempted to intervene in The Blanchard III Litigation but failed in that effort.  It took extreme actions by the court itself to interfere with and halt the author's legal right to intervene.  The court put its finger on the scale of justice. 

Regardless, for other facts as well, The Blanchard III Litigation has not been fully adjucated on its merits. You can read more about it by clicking on The Blanchard III Litigation page on the legend on the left.

To support the position that the issues has never been fully adjudicated in The Blanchard III Litigation, there are and were additional Interrogatories and Production of Documents to Defendants filed in The Blanchard III Litigation on November 15, 2018 by the plaintiff.  If parties are still making filings, there is no way the Blanchard III has been fully adjudicated.

Filing No. 1

Filing No. 2

This litigation as well fails the test for res judicata.

Back to real time.  A few filings of interest in The Blanchard V Litigation:

October 22, 2018:  Testimony from the Hearing before Judge Lewis Pitman.

October 29, 2018:  Judgment from the hearing on October 22nd.  Please note in the transcript above that there are NO ORAL REASONS ASSIGNED FOR JUDGE LEWIS PITMAN'S JUDGMENT, as the judgment stated existed.

January 30, 2019:  Written Reasons for Judge Pitman's decision from the bench on October 22, 2018A couple of problems with these written reasons! First, they were not assigned in open court on October 22, 2018, as the judgment stated they were, and secondly, after waiting for approximately three (3) months for them to be considered, written and filed, the final product is not signed by Judge Lewis Pitman!  Oops!  A little error by someone!

The reasons are signed by:       District Judge Curtis Sigur.  

The good Judge Sigur has had no known direct professional connection to (or oversight of) this subject litigation except that he somehow wrongly signed the written reasons that were allegedly relied on by Judge Pitman to render his decision in open court on October 22, 2018.   

Interestly though, Judge Sigur IS seriously and unknowingly personally connected to what has been going on for years, and what has been tried to be addressed by the series of Blanchard and Blanchard-related litigations that have reached back in time as far back as 1986.  Funny how things can be. 

Born on December 8, 1957, Judge Sigur was reared in the Glencoe/Four Corners area of St. Mary Parish.  ARCO was operating in the South Jeanerette Field just northerly of there at that time.  These areas are being potentially environmentally impacted by the public hazards generated by those operations.  These public hazards are in part what the Blanchard litigations are about.

Remember, in some of the other website pages you were more introduced to the small Four Corners CommunityAccording to his judicial district bio, he actually comes from the area being potentially affected by the environmental contamination from the Blanchard Tract and the larger South Jeanerette Field, as a result of ARCO's past operations in this area of St. Mary Parish.  It has long been known and even documented that this general community area has been impacted by a potential complex mix of environmental issues. There was E.P.A. testimony about that.

For at least 33 years there has been obstruction by the "just-us" system and the State's regulatory agencies to fully remediate Park Plantation and South Jeanerette Field - one potential source across Louisiana and a very serious one. It is highly possible (and indeed likely) that the documented environmental contamination (including ground water) from South Jeanerette Field extends southerly to Four Corners toward Glencoe and further on to the south.  If that is ever fully assessed, proven and ultimately remediated, it will not be because State environmental regulators and/or the courts have sought the remedy on behalf of the public.  They have in fact hindered such efforts to the benefit of the defendants and adverse to the public good.

Please see these recent letters written by an environmental professional on behalf of Park Plantation, LLC and/or Nancy Blanchard.  These letters written thirty (30) years after the existence of contamination (public hazards) was/were first brought to ARCO and Texaco, et al and the State of Louisiana:

Letter from Austin Arabie dated May 5, 2016 on environmental matters

Letter from Austin Arabie dated October 19, 2016 on environmental matters

Letter from Austin Arabie dated April 5, 2017 on environmental matters

Sign located on Hwy 318 just southerly of Four Corners, LA in 2017 (not there now)

After you read the recent environmental letters from Mr. Austin Arabie to the Office of Conservation, and consider the numerous other files within the Louisiana Office of Conservation and the LDEQ, and that Four Corners was publicly marked as a "DRINKING WATER PROTECTION AREA" in 2017, further consider that in 1988 the influence and power of these same defendants was so strong that it was able to get a representative of the Louisiana Office of Conservation to falsely attest to what was later proven to be an absolutely false affidavit regarding the environmental conditions of Park Plantation.  The affidavit was a total sham.  Unbelievably, after the false affidavit was filed in The Blanchard I Litigation, other Louisiana Office of Conservation representive(s) were put on the stand to testify in open court to support this false affidavit and the perception of no public hazards.  Their sworn statements were untrue!  The false affidavit and testimony was/were used in The Blanchard I Litigation to the benefit of the defendants and to the detriment of all others.   Potentially, mostly the small rural communities southerly of the subject lands.

Additionally, Judge Sigur apparently attends St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Four CornersI have personally been to Mass at St. Peter's Catholic Church many times over the years.  It is a praying, faith-filled and welcoming rural community of good people trying to sustain a shrinking rural community. 

I do not remember seeing Judge Sigur when I attended but certainly the area around his childhood home and church community deserve better efforts to protect them from has been going on (and/or what not has been going on) just three or four miles northerly of them for so many years.  Remember the 2004 Times Picayune article.  

Public fishing, crawfishing, etc. from Bayou Choupique and the southerly waterway has been a common sight in that area over the years.  Not even signs were erected to warn anyone about the mercury and sediment and mercury issues evidenced since 1995 and that was still there sitting on the ground in plain sight in 2003 and were known to State regulators.  That would have been so easy to do except for...then the general public would know!  The absence of warning signs, if not legally wrong, certainly is morally wrong. 

This failure of the State's regulatory agencies to act in a prudent and timely manner on behalf of the public is directly adverse to the expressed intent of the Louisiana State Constitution and why these agencies were created in the first place.  To realize that State regulators are in control of such remediation matters is alarming. 

In 2008 Bill Schramm wrote the author that to the best of his recollection only 12 mercury meter locations had been remediated as of that date.  What about this?  Has the total number of mercury meter locations in the South Jeanerette Field ever been fully located and has it ever been determined whether mercury is underneath all of those locations?  South Jeanerette Field has but a few locations of what might be out there across Louisiana.  If so, that finding should be made public to be viewed.  If not, that should be demanded by the appropriate party.

Note:  Based on at least Nancy Blanchard's and/or Austin Arabie's numerous letters to the Office of Conservation over many years and the ongoing compliance orders etc. and the 2004 news article's mentioning of the E.P.A. - Environmental Justice Advisory Council's interest in Four Corners, LA, it is the author's opinion, that the roughly $750,000 that was apparently paid to Park Plantation, LLC for some sort of perpetual servitude, would have  been  been much better spent directed toward the environmental assessment and protection of the Four Corners and Glencoe areas as well as the other lands that are in the South Jeanerette Field.  Also, if public funds are in any manner involved with that servitude, considering the environmental history of Park Plantation, for so many years, the verbiage in Paragraph C. of Part VI (General Provisions). of the servitude is of particular interest.

So, no oral reasons assigned in court (as the judgment said they were) and the written reasons relied on for the judgment are signed by the wrong district judge.  When told what has been done, I am sure the court will jest a little and come up with some shallow excuse why this all happened.  But, one cannot "unring a bell that has already been rung".  The truth about what really happened will be revealed over time.  This record irregulatory is particularly troubling to the author due to the two other acts of court public record tampering experienced in the past Blanchard-related litigations having pages on this website.

An invitation is hereby being offered by the author to anyone to submit a truthful and/or a reasonable and/or even an in part believable explanation of why the reasons pondered-over for approximately three (3) months by one district judge was ultimately typed by the secretary of and signed by a different district judge in the wrong division office ... a judge that had no judicial connection at all to the matter!  If these matters were not so serious, they would make a great fictional story.  The former judge that presided over the litigation titled: Paul Maclean vs. G. Tim Alexander, III, et alJudge Anne Simon should take note of a possible future story. 

If this clearly wrong decision can get reversed and remanded back to St. Mary Parish for a real trial on its merits, I would expect there will be some very interesting forensic studies of the material filings and enlightening depositions will subsequently follow.  Some questions needs to be asked and answered.

Or, as an alternative, a party or entity with real authority and the courage to act against such wrongdoings will lay eyes on some of the information revealed in these web pages.  Maybe such a party will take an interest in the wrongdoings effected upon the public by others and will step in and afford a full resolution of all matters for the common good.

And so, the "machine" rolls on trying to keep these years of activities covered up.  From removing material words from hearing transcripts in the Paul Maclean vs. G. Tim Alexander, III, et al Litigation in St. Mary Parish to the disappearance of entire court records in The Blanchard III Litigation in Jefferson Parish, it is all a legal disgrace.  No respect for the rule of law.  Parties just doing whatever it takes to keep the facts surpressed.  The court itself putting a finger on the scales of justice.  All of us are impacted when such things happen.  Some more than others.  Judge Sigur is just one good and recent example of an innocent party that has been impacted by the bad intentions of others.  There he was, just sitting in his judicial role doing the job he was voted in to do in his district division and all of a sudden he somehow is involved.

Who will be the first one to pull their proverbial finger out of the information dike that is holding back the truth of all this.  Who will be the first one to pull out the first card that will make this "house of cards" come tumbling down on the numerous wrongdoers that have acted badly over so many years.  When that happens many will be held accountable.  We shall see but I do sense that time is getting closer.  

The author has been waiting for months for an appeal record to be produced by the St. Mary Parish Clerk of Court's office. We shall see what that record contains when lodged.  What will be in the record and what might not be.

As was pro se argued by the author all the way to the Louisiana Supreme Court in 2003 in the litigation titled:  Paul Maclean vs. G. Tim Alexander, III, et al,, it is hoped that this present record will be full, complete and accurate - even if quite unusual.  As always, the author still believes the court has a greater obligation to deliver a full, complete and accurate record than the author has an obligation to pay for anything less.  We shall see what sort of record the author's money has paid for.