Judge dismisses request for depositions, former Kearney girls basketball coach to file defamation lawsuit
KEARNEY, Neb. — The former Kearney High girls basketball coach plans to file a defamation lawsuit after a judge threw out his request for depositions.
Buffalo County District Court Judge John Marsh issued an order Monday morning dismissing JD Carson’s Petition for Depositions Before Action. Carson had requested that his attorneys lead depositions with Kearney Public Schools Superintendent Jason Mundorf and Kearney High School Principal Jeff Ganz. In the request, Carson’s attorneys said that he hoped to learn who made statements concerning Carson to the school officials. That information would then allow him to file a defamation lawsuit.
In his order, Marsh said a petitioner must prove they can’t presently bring bring the action and must “plead with particularity the risk that the testimony will be lost.” Marsh ruled that Carson failed to show his inability to file the lawsuit. In requesting the depositions, Carson named Amber Garner of Kearney as the expected defendant.
“Carson apparently knows the identity of a person believed to be an adverse party,” Marsh wrote in his order. “That there may be additional defendants would not prevent him from bringing an action.”
Marsh also said Carson failed to show a particular risk that the testimony would be lost.
Carson’s attorneys, Nathan Bruner and Bergan Schumacher, said in a statement that they plan to file a defamation lawsuit this week.
“Mr. Carson was prepared for Judge Marsh’s ruling as he sought an extraordinary remedy,” the attorneys said. “Mr. Carson seeks to clear his name as fast as possible.”
The situation comes after Carson resigned from his position as head girls basketball coach in November on the first day of practice. At the time, a news release said he was stepping down for personal reasons.
Later, Carson and a group of parents of basketball players spoke at a school board meeting and criticized how the district investigated allegations against Carson. The district said Carson was accused of engaging in “a flirtatious relationship and preferential treatment of a specific player.” Carson denies the accusations and plans to sue the person or people he believes brought the allegations to school administrators.
Carson is still working as a social studies teacher at Kearney High. Chris Pocock is serving as interim head coach for the girls basketball team.