Limestone Juvenile Court, JU-18-3.01
PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS
("the student") initiated proceedings in the
Limestone Juvenile Court ("the juvenile court")
against the Limestone County Board of Education ("the
Board") by filing a petition seeking judicial review of
the decision of the Board to take disciplinary action against
the student. In addition, the student asserted claims seeking
injunctive relief against the Board. The Board filed a motion
to dismiss the proceedings based on its claim of immunity as
a state agency. The juvenile court entered an order denying
the motion, and the Board has filed a petition for a writ of
mandamus directing the juvenile court to vacate that order
and to enter an order granting the motion. We grant the
Board's petition insofar as it seeks the dismissal of the
claims seeking injunctive relief, but we deny the petition
insofar as it seeks to dismiss the student's petition
seeking the juvenile court's judicial review of the
petition for the writ of mandamus, the Board asserts the
following facts, which have not been disputed by the student.
The student had been attending a high school located within a
geographic district assigned by the Board. On October 31,
2017, the student and another student made a telephone call
to an elementary school. The call resulted in the evacuation
of the students in the elementary school. After a number of
proceedings, the Board imposed disciplinary action against
the student that required the student to attend an
alternative school for the remainder of the school year and,
if she met certain conditions, permitted her to return to the
high school within her district the following school year.
January 3, 2018, the student initiated the proceedings in the
juvenile court, asserting that the juvenile court had
original jurisdiction of the proceedings pursuant to §
12-15-115, Ala. Code 1975. Among other allegations, the
student alleged that the Board had inappropriately infringed
on her right to attend the public school of her district. As
relief, the student sought judicial review of the Board's
disciplinary decision as well as an order requiring the Board
to permit her to return to her regular school pending the
outcome of the proceedings and on a permanent basis.
January 18, 2018, the Board filed a motion to dismiss the
proceedings on the ground that the Board is entitled to
immunity pursuant to Article I, § 14, of the Alabama
Constitution of 1901. On February 19, 2018, the juvenile
court entered an order denying the motion to dismiss. On
March 1, 2018, the Board filed the present petition for a
writ of mandamus challenging the denial of its motion to
dismiss. We asked for a response from the student to be filed
by March 15, 2018.
Friday, March 2, 2018, after the Board filed the present
petition, the student filed in the juvenile court a
"Motion for Ruling on Temporary Relief Sought By
Appellant, " requesting an "immediate" return
to her regular school pending the outcome of the proceedings.
Later that same day, the juvenile court entered an order
granting the student's motion and ordering that she be
permitted to return to her high school the following Monday
morning (March 5, 2018), without awaiting a response from the
Board or providing a hearing on the matter. On the evening of
Friday, March 2, 2018, the Board electronically filed in this
court a motion seeking to stay the juvenile court's March
2, 2018, order or, alternatively, a petition for a writ of
mandamus challenging that order. On March 6, 2018, we entered
an order denying the motion to stay, citing Rule 8(b), Ala.
R. App. P., and notified the parties that this court would
treat the March 2, 2018, filing as an additional petition for
a writ of mandamus, which was assigned case number 2170533.
We asked for responses to be filed to the petition in case
number 2170533 by March 9. The student did not file a
response. On March 14, 2018, this court entered an order
granting the Board's March 2, 2018, petition for a writ
of mandamus and directing the juvenile court to vacate its
March 2, 2018, order, citing Rule 65(b), Ala. R. Civ. P.,
Ex parte Hurst, 914 So.2d 840, 842 (Ala. 2005), and
Ex parte Hutson, 201 So.3d 570, 573 (Ala. Civ. App.
2016). Ex parte Limestone Cty. Bd. Of Educ., So.3d
(Ala. Civ. App. 2018)(table).
March 14, 2018, order, we noted that the present petition for
a writ of mandamus and the issue of immunity remained
pending. The student did not file a response to the present
petition. This court has jurisdiction over the present
petition pursuant to § 12-3-11, Ala. Code
petition for a writ of mandamus is an appropriate means for
seeking review of an order denying a claim of immunity."
Ex parte Butts, 775 So.2d 173, 176 (Ala. 2000).
"'A writ of mandamus is an extraordinary remedy, and
is appropriate when the petitioner can show (1) a clear legal
right to the order sought; (2) an imperative duty upon the
respondent to perform, accompanied by a refusal to do so; (3)
the lack of another adequate remedy; and (4) the properly
invoked jurisdiction of the court.'"
Ex parte Jackson Cty. Bd. of Educ., 4 So.3d 1099,
1101-02 (Ala. 2008) (quoting Ex parte BOC Grp.,
Inc., 823 So.2d 1270, ...