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The Blanchard V Litigation is the latest in the Blanchard series of litigations that have been litigated across courts in Louisiana since 1986. For a better understanding about the underlying activities and the motivation behind now addressing them by this venue, please consider first visiting other pages on this website titled:
"Home" (scroll down to the image of St. Kateri Tekawitha)
Louisiana - The Darkness of "Just-Us"
The Blanchard V Litigation
(St. Mary Parish Docket No. 132659)
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 a litigation that was filed by the author in July of 2018 in St. Mary Parish, Louisiana. It is the fifth Blanchard litigation. No Blanchard litigation has been adjudicated on its own merits.
The October 22, 2018 decision by Judge Lewis Pitman against the filer (this author) was appealed to the First Circuit Court of Appeal in Baton Rouge in early 2019. This author unfortunately was forced to dismiss that appeal and the dismissal was signed on August 7, 2019 by the court. The appeal record was lodged lacking a couple material filings. The First Circuit Court of Appeal chose to not timely make the district court supplement the record when moved to. Without those filings in the record, there were no reasons in the record from which to fully argue an appeal.
Again, another Blanchard litigation has come to an apparent end with the Blanchard facts not fully adjudicated on their merits. Yet again, the court has again stepped outside its authority in order to influence the outcome of a Blanchard or Blanchard-connected litigation. Yet again, the court records are tampered with in order to obtain its own outcome.
In 2001, the court changed (and would not correct) material verbiage in a transcript in St. Mary Parish. One can read all about that on another page of this website titled Paul Maclean vs. G. Tim Alexander, III, et al.
In or about 2014, the court lost or destroyed the entire litigation record pertaining to the author in Jefferson Parish. One can read all about that on another page on this website titled The Blanchard III Litigation.
Now, in this litigation, the court denies the author a full and complete record from which to successfully argue an appeal. In this litigation, it goes even further. Before the appeal, the very important "written reasons for judgment" were first signed by a judge that had absolutely no administrative connection to the litigation. It was later signed by the correct judge.
Then, when the record is transmitted to the Court of Appeal, no written reasons for judgment were sent in the record.
Then, the Court of Appeal did not timely permit the record to be supplemented with any written reasons so that it can be fully argued. It was/is this author's belief that the failure to timely grant the filer (and this author) a full and complete record from which to argue the appeal is nothing more than the court continuing to keep its previous actions secret.
Enough with the secrets! For 33 years, the court (its justices, judges, attorneys, court reporters, etc.) have relied on secrecy to accomplish a specific end in regard to the Blanchard litigations. That specific end first began in 1985/86 when members of the court acted to protect a powerful politically-connected attorney (and his oil and gas business associates) for admitted actions against an elderly widow (who was his client at the time).
This continuing need for "secrecy" has now evolved into actions by the court, to protect the court, from wrongful actions the court took in the past against the author. The court has/is protecting itself rather than carrying out its constitutional obligations. The court has become a slave onto itself to protect itself from its own wrongdoings and is no longer free to do the just thing in regard to the Blanchard matters.
A serious question arises! If the court can and will do this for the Blanchard matters, how many times has it done this on other matters as well? It is highly unlikely the Blanchard matters are the only matters impacted by such wrongdoings!
First, this latest Blanchard litigation (Blanchard V) is not a complicated filing. In fact, it is quite simple.
The defendants have argued that the issues raised by the plaintiff in the complaint are res judicata. Just by the numbers of litigations and the length of time involved, this would seem to be correct. In using that defense, the defendants cited two previous Blanchard litigations to support their sole exception.
Of course, the plaintiff/author took issue with that sole legal position taken by the defendants. The plaintiff argues that these matters have never been fully adjudicated in any court...and they have not. The closest the parties ever came to that was in the Blanchard IV in Federal Court and Betty Blanchard and the author prevailed in that litigation.
The plaintiff/author herein declares that if the full set of facts were/are ever fully adjudicated in a fair court venue, the defendants' legal position over the last 33 years will/would fall like a "house of cards" and the purported 1996 settlement agreement that purportedly settled the original Blanchard I Litigation (that was filed in 1986 and purportedly settled in 1996) will be found to be void ab initio (void from the beginning) and that absolutely null agreement was unlawfully (constructed in part to conceal public hazards on Park Plantation) and therefore set aside due to being adverse to public law and policy. That unlawful settlement agreement has likely materially contribued to the concealment of public hazards in St. Mary Parish. That will be hard to prove without State regulatory assistance and that is not likely to happen.
The two litigations that were cited by the defendants in their res judicata argument are:
The Blanchard II Litigation
Significantly, the author was never a party to that 2001 litigation. Never joining the litigation or being joined to it by the defendants. In the author's lay opinion, Magistrate Judge C. Michael Hill's July, 2002 Report and Recommendation (that was accepted by Judge Tucker Melancon with no changes) was at its best a very lengthy "academic" endeavor that unnecessarily clouded a simple flaw in the initial filing of the Blanchard II by the plaintiff.
The flaw: Park Plantation, LLC (the plaintiff) was not even in existence during any part of the Blanchard I litigation: therefore, it had no standing to bring the 2001 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 of fact and law of any sort and thereby convoluted what could have been a very simple decision. Park had no standing to have a cause of action. Clearly then, this cited litigation, to which the author was not even a party, never was adjudicated on its merits by that litigation. That litigation fails the test for res judicata.
Note: The defendants attempted to use the outcome of that same 2001 Blanchard II Litigation when they filed the 2005 Blanchard IV litigation in Federal Court to attempt to halt the 2004 filed Blanchard III Litigation in Jefferson Parish. But presiding Magistrate Judge Mildred Methvin understood that was a wrong thing to do when she wrote her 2007 report and recommendation to dismiss the The Blanchard IV Litigation to recommend dismissing the Blanchard IV Litigation for the reasons in her report. Judge Tucker Melancon accepted her report and recommendation with no changes and did dismiss the Blanchard IV Litigation. The United States Court of Appeal for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans also understood that when in 2007 it affirmed that 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 for the plaintiff, this door was then opened for the author to intervene in the Blanchard III Litigation.
The author, being indispensible to the Blanchard series of litigations, had sufficient standing to intervene for many reasons, appropriately attempted to that in The Blanchard III Litigation. That attempt failed. It took extreme actions by the court itself to interfere with that. One can read more about all that by clicking on The Blanchard III Litigation page on the legend on the upper left.
To even further support the position that the issues have 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 filing, the Blanchard III must not be fully adjudicated. The Blanchard III Litigation has not been fully adjudicated on its merits. This litigation fails the test for res judicata.
For the defendants to use these two litigations as the basis for a res judicata defense when the plaintiff was not a party in either litigation and/or each was never fully adjudicated as to its merits is nonsensical. For a judge to first use them for his decision to dismiss is even more nonsensical. For the wrong judge to first sign the reasons is the most nonsensical.
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 - 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, 2018. A few problems with these written reasons!
First, they were not verbally assigned in open court on October 22, 2018, as the judgment stated they were.
Secondly, after waiting for approximately three (3) months for the written reasons to be considered, written and supplied to the plaintiff (and the author), the final product is received not signed by Judge Lewis Pitman! The written reasons were somehow signed by Judge Curtis Sigur! Oops! How did that happen?
District Judge Curtis Sigur.
The good Judge Sigur has no known direct professional connection to (or oversight of) the Blanchard V Litigation except that he somehow signed the January 30, 2019 written reasons that were claimed to have been allegedly relied on by Judge Pitman to render his decision in open court on October 22, 2018. Again, how did this happen?
Interestly though, Judge Sigur (and his extended family) IS likely unknowingly and personally connected to the environmental impacts to the series of Blanchard and Blanchard-related litigations.
Born on December 8, 1957, Judge Sigur was reared in the Glencoe/Four Corners area of St. Mary Parish. ARCO was operating at that time in the South Jeanerette Field (on Park Plantation and other locations) just northerly of those communities.
Those areas were/are potentially being environmentally impacted by the public hazards generated and left on site by those ARCO. Those environmental hazards are then possibly migrating southerly from Park Plantation. These public hazards are in part what the Blanchard litigations have been all about since 1986. It is highly likely that Judge Sigur's family and friends in the Glencoe/Four Corners areas are some of the exact persons that have been greatly impacted by ARCO's operations in years past.
This is not an idle possibility. It has long been known and is very well documented that this small, mostly minority community has been impacted by a complex mix of potential environmental issues. There was E.P.A. testimony about that in 2004.
Click here to see that story.
To anyone that cares at all (and not many appear to care about these communities and the people in them), even a simple review of the Office of Conservation and Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality files would evidence volumes of letters, reports and sample data connected to Park Plantation concerning the hazardous environmental conditions on Park Plantation that have been discovered since 1986/87.
Signs located on Hwy 318 just southerly of Four Corners, LA
The numerous files within the Louisiana Office of Conservation and LDEQ are clear abundantly clear about the presence of environmental contaminants (public hazards. At the same time, just three miles away and southerly, Four Corners has been identified as a "DRINKING WATER PROTECTION AREA" .
This failure of the State's regulatory agencies to act in a prudent and timely manner on Park Plantation (and the total South Jeanerette Field) is directly adverse to the expressed intent of the Louisiana State Constitution and why these agencies were actually created in the first place. To think that State regulators are in control of such remediation matters across the State of Louisiana should be alarming to the public. Further, these failures have crossed across numerous governmental administrations is further proof of a system that simply lives across party lines.
Unfortunately for the public, State regulators actually filed false affidavits in the Blanchard I litigation. To see that false affidavit, click here. It is known by vast amounts of data that such testimony was absolutely false. Other Office of Conservation representative(s) latter testified under oath in the courtroom supporting the defendant's false affidavit.
After considering and in light of all the above, it is highly likely that the surface and groundwater and/or subsurface water remains not fully environmentally restored in part because of this selective "just-us" system that has greatly benefitted the responsible parties and not the general public. That may now be assisted by Nancy Blanchard (the only child of Betty Blanchard)!
In a December, 2015 WARRANTY EASEMENT DEED IN PERPETUITY Nancy Blanchard stated in the easement that she had "no actual knowledge of a release or threatened release of Hazardous Materials, on, beneath, near or from the Easement Area". Unbelievably, She claimed that while the public records clearly evidence that she had complained for years that there was public hazard contamination on Park Plantation.
Of course, when she stated that in 2015, she apparently in the process of receiving at least $750,000.00 for an easement that adjoined the identified area that was subject to numerous environmental compliance orders, etc. that she had sought. In the midst of all this, let us not forget about the communities of Glencoe and Four Corners just a few miles away and what they have had to deal with.
In the Blanchard V Litigation alone, this author has had to deal with:
- A written judgment that stated there were reasons assigned from the bench for the judgment rendered but none were stated in the judgment.
- Written reasons for the judgment that were first signed by a wrong judge.
- No written reasons (either signed by the correct judge or the wrong judge) included in the appeal record that was lodged at the First Circuit Court of Appeal.
- When motioned to do so, the First Circuit Court of Appeal did not move for the written reasons to be timely included in the appeal record.
- Paying court costs while suffering all these "just-us" activities.
We do truly consider all the good and sincere members of the bar that must work within such a corrupt "just-us" system, but under the fear of discipline, are compelled to be silent and keep "secrets". If you are one, remember, you are not the first to live under such ruthless oppression. Keep the faith! There is hope! If the public can begin to understand the depth of the secrets that are being withheld from them, there will be meaningful change.
St. Thomas More