Dozens of police officers on New Hampshire's 'Laurie List' file appeals to prevent disclosure
At least 38 lawsuits have been filed by current or former law enforcement officers in recent months challenging their inclusion on the exculpatory evidence schedule, also known as the Laurie List.
According to a new memo from the Attorney General’s office, nearly all of the lawsuits have been filed under seal, meaning the names of the officers remain unknown.
The lawsuits stem from a newly passed law that gives officers one final chance to appeal in the judicial system their status on the Laurie List, which contains the names of police with possible credibility issues.
The state Attorney General originally released the names of 90 officers in December, but swiftly amended the disclosed document to shield the names of officers who had filed appeals but not notified the agency. The amended public document contains 75 names, with more names due to be released in late March.
The court system, according to the memo, has sealed the lawsuits, with nearly all of the plaintiffs using the pseudonyms John or Jane Doe.
“We further understand that the cases do not appear in the court’s kiosk look-up or in the online case portal,” Attorney General John Formella wrote in the memo.
At least one officer filed a lawsuit challenging their inclusion on the Laurie List in federal court against the Town of Lisbon.
According to the memo, five officers are currently challenging their status on the list through pending grievance processes.
Under U.S. Supreme Court precedent established in the 1963 case Brady v. Maryland, prosecutors are required to turn over evidence that is favorable to a defendant, including possible credibility concerns of police officers involved in their case. Officers are normally added to the list by their police chiefs.
The list currently contains the names of 265 officers. In March, the state is expected to release additional names unless those officers are actively appealing their status.
The memo notes the state has been unable to contact 18 officers, either because they cannot find a current address, the person is deployed overseas, or because they are now deceased.