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J.A. v. Talladega City Bd. of Educ.

United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Eastern Division

August 15, 2014

J.A., a minor, by and through his next friend, LASHAWN SWAIN, Plaintiff,
v.
TALLADEGA CITY BOARD OF EDUCATION, et al., Defendants

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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For J.A., A Minor, by and through his next friend, Lashawn Swain, Plaintiff: Joe N Lampley, LEAD ATTORNEY, LAW OFFICE OF JOE N LAMPLEY, Huntsville, AL; Christopher E Lee, Huntsville, AL.

For Talladega City Board of Education, James Braswell, In his official capacity as a Member of the Board of the Talladega City Board of Education, Juanita McClellan, In her official capacity as a Member of the Board of the Talladega City Board of Education, Bonnie Miller, In her official capacity as a Member of the Board of the Talladega City Board of Education, Shirley Simmons-Sims, In her official capacity as a Member of the Board of the Talladega City Board of Education, Elizabeth Smith, In her official capacity as a Member of the Board of the Talladega City Board of Education, Defendants: Burgin H Kent, LEAD ATTORNEY, BISHOP COLVIN JOHNSON & KENT LLP, Birmingham, AL.

For Charles Miller, Individually and in his official capacity as Assistant Principal of Talladega High School, Defendant: Daniel P Ogle, LEAD ATTORNEY, BOARDMAN CARR HUTCHESON & BENNETT PC, Chelsea, AL; Mark Seymour Boardman, LEAD ATTORNEY, BOARDMAN, CARR, BENNETT, WATKINS, HILL & GAMBLE, P.C., Chelsea, AL.

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MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

VIRGINIA EMERSON HOPKINS, United States District Judge.

I. Introduction

On May 12, 2014, Plaintiff J.A, a minor, by and through his mother and next friend, LaShawn Swain (hereinafter referred to as " Student" ), initiated this action against multiple defendants. The action stems from Student's suspension from the Talladega City High School on or about January 17, 2014. (Doc. 1).

Student filed an amended complaint (Doc. 23) on July 11, 2014, that named seven defendants.[1] The claims included in this verified pleading are: Count One for assault and battery against Mr. Miller; Count Two for assault and battery against the BOE; Count Three for negligent supervision against the BOE; Count Four

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for outrageous conduct against Mr. Miller; Count Five for outrageous conduct against the BOE; Count Six for violation of substantive due process rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the BOE; Count Seven for violation of § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 against the BOE; and Count Eight for violation of Title II of the Americans With Disabilities Act against the BOE. ( See generally Doc. 23 at 7-37).

Pending before the court is Plaintiff's Amended Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction (Doc. 13) (the " Injunction Motion" ) filed on June 6, 2014. The Injunction Motion requests that this court:

[E]nter a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction enjoining Defendant Talladega City Board of Education and its agents, employees and/or servants from continuing any punishment or sanction against Plaintiff J.A. on account of him having been assaulted and/or abused by Defendant Charles Miller and subsequently having acted in self defense, on account of Defendant Board and/or its agents, employees, and/or servants violating his Fourteenth Amendment rights, and from interfering with his education, including the following:
a. prohibiting Plaintiff J.A. from attending his regular classes and instead requiring him to attend an alternative education program (if any program at all), where he does not have access to teachers; and
b. prohibiting Plaintiff J.A. from participating in various school and extracurricular activities, including but not limited to basketball and other athletic competitions.

(Doc. 13 at 21).

On June 9, 2014, the court entered an order that denied the ex parte temporary restraining part of the Injunction Motion and deferred ruling on the preliminary injunction portion until after Defendants had received proper notice of Student's lawsuit and his related request for injunctive relief. (Doc. 14 at 5-6). Defendant opposed the Injunction Motion on July 30, 2014. (Doc. 32). Student filed his reply on August 6, 2014. (Doc. 36). Finally, Defendants file a hearing brief (Doc. 43) on August 12, 2014.

Also pending before the court are Student's Motion for Leave To File Supplemental Witness List for Preliminary Injunction Hearing (Doc. 40) (the " Supplemental Motion" ) filed on August 11, 2014, and Defendants' Motion To Exclude Testimony of Barry G. Dickey (Doc. 42) (the " Dickey Motion" ) filed on August 12, 2014.[2]

The court held a hearing in Anniston, Alabama, on Tuesday, August 12, 2014, beginning at 2:00 p.m. Prior to the hearing, the parties reported to the court in their Report of Parties' Planning Meeting that:

The parties are unable to jointly agree on a discovery plan due to the pendency of the underlying juvenile criminal proceeding. The parties request the direction of the Court in the creation of a discovery plan and corresponding pretrial deadlines.

( Doc. 28 at 2 ¶ 3). During the hearing, Student explained that he desired to obtain injunctive relief in the form of an

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order that vacated the BOE's decision to suspend him as a result of the altercation that occurred with Mr. Miller and that permitted him to return to and complete his education at Talladega High School, subject to ...


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