Richard v. RichardAnnotate this Case
The State Department of Social Services (DSS) conducted an investigation of Petitioner Kirk Richard in response to reports of child abuse. The first investigation concluded in 2006; the second concluded in 2008. DSS reported its findings to the district attorney and closed its file. Later in 2008, the Iberia Parish Sheriff's Department arrested Petitioner for the aggravated rape of his minor children. In 2009, Petitioner filed suit against several defendants including DSS and three Iberia Parish employees. In his petition, Petitioner alleged his former wife and others "began a campaign of false accusations and manufactured false evidence in order to deprive him of access to his children." Furthermore, Petitioner asserted that as a result of the DSS' actions, he was subsequently arrested and falsely imprisoned. According to Petitioner's petition, the DSS defendants got "caught up in his former wife's campaign to falsely discredit him, and in so doing negligently and/or intentionally breached duties owed to him as part of their investigative obligations." In finding Petitioner's false arrest claim as viable, the appellate court reasoned that although the DSS defendants did not take any action in the case after May 2008, Petitioner did not suffer any harm from their actions until June 2008, thereby making his June 2009 suit timely. The Supreme Court saw "no support for such a conclusion." The Court found Petitioner's claims against the DSS defendants 'prescribed' or beyond the statute of limitations for this type of action. Accordingly, the Court reversed the appellate court and reinstated the district court's dismissal of Petitioner's suit against the DSS defendants.