by
In this appeal stemming from the desegregation of the school district, the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's rejection of the School Board's latest proposed candidate, approving instead the candidate supported by plaintiffs and the Court Compliance Officer. The court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in modifying the academic-qualifications requirement and the selection-and-approval process. The court also held that the district court did not err by denying the motion for relief from judgment under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b) where a candidate's role with the Ministerial Alliance did not justify holding that the district court abused its discretion in appointing the candidate as Chief Desegregation Implementation Officer (CDIO). View "Moore v. Tangipahoa Parish School Board" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court vacated Defendant’s convictions for six counts of perjury but affirmed her convictions for six counts of offering false or forged instruments for filing. The convictions stemmed from Defendant’s act of signing a sworn verification that she personally circulated nominating petitions containing voters’ signatures in order to get her name placed on the ballot for election to the United States Senate. Defendant, however, did not personally circulate these petitions, which she submitted to the Secretary of State. The Supreme Court held (1) signing a nominating petition under a written oath before submitting it to a state authority is not a statement made in a “proceeding or action” under S.D. Codified Laws 22-29-1, and therefore, the circuit court erred in denying Defendant’s motion for judgment of acquittal on the perjury charges; (2) submitting a nominating petition with a circulator’s verification signed by someone other than the person who circulated the petition is offering a false or forged instrument under S.D. Codified Laws 22-11-28.1; and (3) there was sufficient evidence to support Defendant’s convictions for offering false or forged instruments for filing. View "State v. Bosworth" on Justia Law

by
Crosby, a tenured professor at the University of Kentucky’s College of Public Health, brought suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and state law, claiming that his removal as Department Chair amounted to a deprivation of his protected property and liberty interests without due process of law. He claimed that the defendants were not protected by qualified immunity and were liable under contract law for monetary damages. Before his removal, Crosby had been investigated for being “[v]olatile,” “explosive,” “disrespectful,” “very condescending,” and “out of control.” The report included an allegation that Crosby stated that the Associate Dean for Research had been appointed “because she is a woman, genitalia” and contained claims that the Department’s performance was suffering as a result of Crosby’s temper and hostility toward other departments. The University declined Crosby’s request to handle his appeal under a proposed Governing Regulation and stated that existing regulations would apply. The Sixth Circuit affirmed dismissal of his claims.Crosby identified no statute, formal contract, or contract implied from the circumstances that supports his claim to a protected property interest in his position as Chair; “the unlawfulness” of the defendants’ actions was not apparent “in the light of pre-existing law,” so they were entitled to qualified immunity. View "Crosby v. University of Kentucky" on Justia Law

by
Minn. Stat. 125A.06(d), by its plain language, does not impose a heightened standard that burdens school districts with an absolute obligation to guarantee that each blind student will use the Braille instruction provided to attain a specific level of proficiency. I.Z.M. filed suit against the District, alleging claims under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and non-IDEA claims for relief under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of the District's motions for judgment on the administrative record on the IDEA claim and for summary judgment on the non-IDEA claims. In this case, the ALJ cited the state regulation and expressly concluded that the District took all reasonable steps to provide instructional materials in accessible formats in a timely manner. In regard to the non-IDEA claims, the district court used the correct standard and correctly concluded that I.Z.M. failed to present evidence of bad faith or gross misjudgment View "I.Z.M. v. Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan Public Schools" on Justia Law

by
Petitioner, a charter school located in Frederick, Maryland, and Respondent, the Frederick County Board of Education (Local Board), disputed whether the Local Board’s annual funding allocation to Petitioner in its first year of operation satisfied Md. Code Ann. Educ. 9-109. Specifically, Petitioner argued that the Local Board’s decision to withhold a proportional share of transportation funds was incorrect. The State Board of Education disagreed and upheld the Local Board’s decision to withhold transportation funding from Petitioner’s annual funding allocation. The circuit court and court of special appeals upheld the State Board’s decision. The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded, holding that the State Board’s decision to deny transportation funds to Petitioner was arbitrary and capricious and an abuse of discretion. View "Frederick Classical Charter School, Inc. v. Frederick County Board of Education" on Justia Law

by
The Free Speech Clause does not protect speech expressed in an admissions interview from admissions consequences in a competitive process. After he was denied admission in the Radiation Therapy Program (RTP) at the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), plaintiff filed suit alleging that points were deducted from his application score and that he was denied admission because of the expression of his religious beliefs during his interview in violation of the Free Speech Clause, the Establishment Clause, and the Equal Protection Clause. The Fourth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff's claim under the Free Speech Clause where plaintiff's speech was not protected. After applying the Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971), test to plaintiff's Establishment Clause claim, the court affirmed the grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants because CCBC had a secular purpose in identifying the best qualified candidates; none of CCBC's actions inhibited religion; and there was no excessive government entanglement. View "Buxton v. Kurtinitis" on Justia Law

by
The issue presented by this case was whether Washington's Zackery Lystedt Law (Lystedt law), RCW 28A.600.190, gave rise to an implied cause of action. The Lystedt law's purpose was to reduce the risk of further injury or death to youth athletes who suffered concussions in the state of Washington. Andrew Swank (Drew) died from complications after contact with another player during a high school football game. Drew reported having neck pain and headaches. Drew would play again, but the quality of his play "sharply declined." During the game, Coach Jim Puryear called Drew over to the sidelines, where he grabbed Drew's face mask and, according to Drew's father, "began to jerk it up and down hard while he screamed at [Drew], 'What are you doing out there, what are you doing out there?"' Drew returned to the game, where he was hit by an opposing player. He suffered head injuries and staggered to the sideline, where he collapsed. Drew died two days later. Drew's parents sued Drew's school, the football coach, and Drew's doctor on behalf of his estate and individually. The trial court granted summary judgment against the Swanks on all claims, and the Court of Appeals affirmed. The Washington Supreme Court held that an implied cause of action does arise from the Lystedt law. As a result, the Swanks' claims that Valley Christian School (VCS) and Coach Puryear violated the Lystedt law could proceed. The Court also held that the evidence against the coach was sufficient to permit a jury to find liability against the coach, despite the limited volunteer immunity protecting him. Consequently, the Court reinstated the Swanks' common law negligence claims against the coach. Finally, the Court held the trial court lacked personal jurisdiction over Drew's doctor. View "Swank v. Valley Christian School" on Justia Law

by
The Fifth Circuit denied rehearing en banc, withdrew its prior opinion, and substituted this opinion. The court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment as a matter of law for defendants on plaintiff's claim that defendants violated her constitutional rights by requiring her to participate in a mock performance of the Mexican Pledge of Allegiance as an assignment for her Spanish class. The court held that, because plaintiff has graduated from high school, her only surviving claim was for nominal damages arising from the alleged violation of her rights; judgment as a matter of law was proper for the District on municipal liability claims for any constitutional violation that may have arisen from the assignment or subsequent actions, as well as claims against the District for retaliation and violation of equal protection; qualified immunity on compelled speech was properly granted for the Spanish teacher and the principal; and qualified immunity was properly granted to the teacher and principal on claims that they violated plaintiff's First Amendment rights by removing her from class. View "Brinsdon v. McAllen Independent School District" on Justia Law

by
Minnesota state law grants a child attending a nonpublic school the right to a free appropriate education (FAPE), as well as the right to dispute the provisions of special education services in an impartial due process hearing. In this case, R.M.M. and her parents have a right, under both state and federal law, to an impartial due process hearing to dispute the provision of a FAPE by MPS. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's judgment. View "Special School District No. 1 v. R.M.M." on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals that affirmed the circuit court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the Appleton Area School District’s Communications Arts 1 Materials Review Committee (CAMRC) and the Appleton Area School District Board of Education on Plaintiff’s complaint that CAMRC failed to comply with the open meetings law. The circuit court concluded that CAMRC was not subject to the open meetings law. The Supreme Court held that CAMRC was a “state or local…committee…created by…rule” and therefore met the definition of “governmental body” under the open meetings law, Wis. Stat. 19.82(1). Accordingly, CAMRC was subject to the terms of the open meetings law. View "State ex rel. Krueger v. Appleton Area School District Board of Education" on Justia Law