Mental Evaluations Don’t All Need To Be The Same Length

Two police officers for the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department were the targets of an internal sting operation by the Department. The sting, which resulted in the arrests of the officers, was designed to catch members of a tactical police team in the act of stealing property while executing a search warrant on a residence.

The officers filed a lawsuit against the Department, arguing that they did not steal any property or engage in any illegal conduct and that their arrests were without probable cause. The officers alleged they suffered extreme emotional distress and psychological trauma from their arrests. The Department then filed a motion with the Court, seeking psychological examinations of the officers.

The officers argued that the proposed exams were unreasonable in scope. Alternatively, they requested that the examining doctor should produce testing materials prior to the exams, that the exams should be recorded, and that the post-exam data must be disclosed to them. They also suggest that another psychiatrist examining one of the other plaintiffs should be employed in place of the examining doctor.

The Court granted the Department the right to compel the examinations. The Court held that “the initial notices provided that the appointment may last up to eight hours.’ Stripped of prolixity, the officers’ position is that the examinations for all officers should be of the same duration. Defendants have supported doctor’s qualifications and his methods of testing with proper affidavits. The officers failed to rebut the affidavits with specific evidence that the doctor’s techniques are discredited or of questionable validity or that they will jeopardize the plaintiffs’ well-being.

“The officers’ request for recording of the exams is rejected. While this Court previously found video recording to be reasonable in one case, that case was clearly distinguishable. In that case, because of plaintiff’s need for an interpreter and his arguably compromised mental abilities, the Court concluded that the examinations should be videotaped. Here, no such reasons for recording have been shown.”

Callahan v. Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas, 2013 WL 4549158 (D. Kan. 2013).