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GL services repayment of Nelson's federally-insured student loans. On its website, GL tells borrowers struggling to make their loan payments: “Our trained experts work on your behalf,” and “You don’t have to pay for student loan services or advice,” because “Our expert representatives have access to your latest student loan information and understand all of your options.” Nelson alleged that when she and other members of the putative class struggled to make payments, GL steered borrowers into repayment plans that were to its advantage and to borrowers’ detriment. She alleged violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, constructive fraud, and negligent misrepresentation. The district court dismissed the claims as preempted by a federal Higher Education Act provision: “Loans made, insured, or guaranteed pursuant to a program authorized by ... the Higher Education Act ... shall not be subject to any disclosure requirements of any State Law,” 20 U.S.C. 1098g. The Seventh Circuit vacated. When a loan servicer holds itself out as having experts who work for borrowers, tells borrowers that they need not look elsewhere for advice, and tells them that its experts know what options are in their best interest, those statements, when untrue, are not mere failures to disclose information but are affirmative misrepresentations. A borrower who reasonably relied on them to her detriment is not barred from bringing state‐law consumer protection and tort claims. View "Nelson v. Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court ruling that Indiana's Civil Forfeiture Statute was constitutional, holding that the General Assembly may decide how and when forfeiture proceeds accrue to the "Common School Fund," which consists of, among other sources of revenue, "all forfeitures which may accrue." Indiana's Civil Forfeiture Statute, Ind. Code 34-24-1-4(d), directs the transfer of proceeds from seized property "to the treasurer of state for deposit in the common school fund." At issue in this case is whether the portion of the statute permitting the allocation of forfeiture revenue to reimburse law enforcement costs before these proceeds accrue to the Fund is constitutional under article 8, section 2 of the Indiana Constitution. The trial court concluded that the statute is constitutional. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that article 8, section 2 permits the legislature to determine how and when forfeiture proceeds accrue to the Common School Fund. View "Horner v. Curry" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for the school district and partial denial of plaintiff's motion for leave to amend her complaint. Plaintiff filed suit alleging that the school district was deliberately indifferent to her allegations that another student sexually assaulted her. The court could not say that the school district's response to the complaint effectively caused the first incident with plaintiff. Furthermore, the school district's response was not clearly unreasonable in light of the known circumstances and, even if the school district were deliberately indifferent, it was not deliberately indifferent to sexual harassment that was so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it could be said to have deprived plaintiff of access to the educational opportunities or benefits provided by the school. Finally, the court held that the district court did not err by denying the motion to amend in order for plaintiff to add a negligence claim against the school district through a direct action against its insurance provider, because the claim was futile. View "Doe v. Dardanelle School District" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's convictions and the order denying his motion for a new trial and further declined to reduce the verdict of murder in the first degree to a lesser degree of guilt or to set aside the convictions under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 278, 33E, holding that there was no prejudicial error in the proceedings below. Defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree on the theories of deliberate premeditation, extreme atrocity or cruelty, and felony-murder. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's convictions and the order denying his motion for a new trial, holding (1) the district court did not err in denying Defendant's motion to suppress his statements to police; (2) the trial judge did not err by declining to give a humane practice instruction sua sponte or by declining to provide the jury with complete instructions on joint venture; (3) the trial judge did not err in excluding certain hearsay evidence; and (4) the judge did not err in denying Defendant an evidentiary hearing on his motion for a new trial. View "Commonwealth v. Amaral" on Justia Law

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The materiality standard—asking whether a school has failed to implement substantial or significant provisions of the child's individualized education plan (IEP)—is the appropriate test in a failure-to-implement case. L.J. and his mother filed suit under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), challenging the implementation of his IEP. The Eleventh Circuit held that the content outlined in a properly designed IEP is a proxy for the IDEA's educational guarantee, and thus a material deviation from that plan violates the statute. In this case, the court held that there was no material deviation from L.J.'s IEP and affirmed the district court's judgment in favor of the school. View "L.J. v. School Board of Broward County" on Justia Law

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In this original action brought by Plaintiffs, two licensed teachers and two school board members, against the Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) and the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) arguing that, prior to drafting or promulgating an administrative rule, the SPI and DPI must receive written approval from the governor as required by statute, holding that the gubernatorial approval requirement for rulemaking is constitutional as applied to the SPI and DPI. The SPI and DPI argued that the statutory requirement of gubernatorial approval was unconstitutional as applied because, pursuant to Wis. Const. art. X, 1, no other officer may be placed in a position equal or superior to that of the SPI with regard to the supervision of public instruction. The Supreme Court held that it was of no constitutional concern that the governor is given equal or greater legislative authority than the SPI in rulemaking because when the SPI, through the DPI, promulgates rules, it is exercising legislative power that comes not from the constitution from from the legislature. View "Koschkee v. Taylor" on Justia Law

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Robin Ayling appealed a judgment dismissing her claims against Mary Ann Sens, M.D., UND School of Medicine employees, and the Grand Forks County State’s Attorney and Board of Commissioners relating to her son’s death. Ayling’s son, Blake, was a student at UND. He was last seen alive at an on-campus party at approximately 1:30 a.m. on March 24, 2012. He was found dead in the rail yard south of UND’s campus at approximately 6:30 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. on March 24, 2012. Dr. Sens performed the autopsy on the same day. She determined Blake was intoxicated, he had a 0.278 blood-alcohol concentration at the time of death, he died from blood loss, and his death was accidental. After learning of the autopsy results, Ayling questioned the blood-alcohol concentration because Blake reportedly did not show signs of intoxication at the party or before the party. Ayling met with Dr. Sens in April 2013, and Sens explained the autopsy report and defended her conclusions. On December 27, 2013, Ayling spoke with a forensic toxicologist who questioned Dr. Sens’ methods in performing the autopsy. The toxicologist believed Blake's urine and vitreous humor should have been tested for alcohol to corroborate the blood test. Ayling sued Dr. Sens, UND School of Medicine employees, and Grand Forks County employees in February 2017, alleging Sens failed to competently perform a medical autopsy as a part of the investigation of Blake's death. Ayling alleged the other Defendants failed to properly supervise Dr. Sens. The district court concluded Ayling’s claims against the Defendants were untimely. After reviewing the record, the North Dakota Supreme Court agreed with the district court that Ayling’s voluminous discovery requests did not relate to the statute of limitations issue and would not have created an issue of material fact supporting denial of the summary judgment motion. The court’s discovery decisions were not an abuse of discretion. View "Ayling v. Sens, et al." on Justia Law

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Wanko, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Cameroon, began studying dentistry at IU in 2014 and failed two courses. IU allowed Wanko to remediate RP and retake STI. To pass the RP remediation, a student had to score at least 80% on the exam. Wanko scored 71%. IU notified Wanko she would have to repeat the whole first‐year curriculum. She was the only student in her class held back. Wanko failed to complete her repeat of STI. IU dismissed her. Wanko’s GPA was 1.965. Wanko sued (Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 2000d), claiming that similarly situated, non‐black students were promoted when she was not. In discovery, IU produced spreadsheets showing the GPA, grades, race, and gender of each student in Wanko’s class, identifying each by number. IU cited the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act’s safeguards concerning the release of student information, 20 U.S.C. 1232g. IU’s spreadsheets showed only two students had failed both RP and STI in the 2014–2015 school year: Wanko and another black female, who successfully remediated RP, had a GPA above 2.0, and was allowed to proceed to the second‐year curriculum. Wanko moved to compel the production of actual student records, claiming the spreadsheets were unreliable. The district court overruled Wanko’s objection to the magistrate’s denial of the motion and granted IU summary judgment. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. The spreadsheets showed no student, let alone one outside of a protected class, was similarly situated to Wanko. View "Wanko v. Board of Trustees of Indiana University" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's Missouri state-law claims for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and fraudulent misrepresentation against St. Louis University. Plaintiff's claims stemmed from his unsuccessful attempts to receive a Ph.D from the university in mechanical and aerospace engineering in four years. The court held that the educational malpractice doctrine barred all of plaintiff's claims. In this case, all of the statements plaintiff relied on in the student catalog and handbook were aspirational in nature. The court also held that the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying plaintiff leave to amend his complaint when he did not submit a proposed amendment or include anything in his motion to indicate what an amended complaint would contain. View "Soueidan v. St. Louis University" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court held that through Senate Bill 16's (S.B. 16) additional funding of the State's "Montoy safe harbor plan," the State substantially complied with this Court's mandate from Gannon v. State, 420 P.3d 477 (Kan. 2018) (Gannon VI). In Gannon VI, the Supreme Court held that the State had resolved nearly all of the issues in this school finance appeal but that the State had not met Kan. Const. Art. 6, 6(b)'s adequacy requirement. The Supreme Court retained jurisdiction and stayed the issuance of its mandate in order to give the State ample opportunity to make the necessary financial adjustments and reach constitutional compliance. The State subsequently passed S.B. 16, which the Governor signed into law on April 6, 2019. The Supreme Court held that the State substantially complied with the Court's Gannon VI mandate through S.B. 16's financial adjustments to the safe harbor plan. The Court retained jurisdiction to ensure continued implementation of the scheduled funding. View "Gannon v. State" on Justia Law