United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division
F.R. AS parent and NEXT FRIEND OF B.C., a minor., Plaintiff,
Dr. Walter B. GONSOULIN, Jr., in his official capacity and as representative of Jefferson County Board of Education, et al., Defendants.
Seth Ladores, Ladores Law Firm, LLC, Hoover, AL, Shane T.
Sears, Sears & Sears PC, Birmingham, AL, for Plaintiff.
Ethan Rudloff, Carl E. Johnson, Jr., Bishop Colvin Johnson
& Kent LLP, Birmingham, AL, for Defendants.
C. BURKE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
August 29, 2019, the Plaintiff filed a complaint alleging
that her son B.C., a 17-year-old high school student, had
been denied enrollment at McAdory High School in Jefferson
County, Alabama, in violation of the McKinney-Vento Homeless
Assistance Act ("the Act"), 42 U.S.C. §
11431-11435. Later that day, this Court conducted a telephone
conference in which defense counsel stated that the Jefferson
County Board of Education ("the Board") had agreed
to enroll B.C. at McAdory High School pending the outcome of
this case. The Court thereafter entered an expedited
scheduling order providing for an abbreviated discovery
October 17, 2019, the Board filed a stipulation and motion to
dismiss. (Doc. 16). While declining to admit
that it had violated the Act or any other provision of law,
the Board, "in the interest of minimizing disruption to
minor Plaintiff B.C.'s educational program, terminating
counterproductive litigation, and conserving educational and
judicial resources," stipulated to the following course
1. Minor Plaintiff B.C. (whose enrollment is the subject of
the pending civil action) shall be permitted to complete the
2019-20 school year at McAdory High School and to graduate
therefrom subject to his continuing compliance with rules,
regulations, and requirements that apply to all McAdory High
2. B.C. shall continue to be provided transportation from his
current residence to and from McAdory High School in
accordance with transportation arrangements already in
3. If deemed appropriate, the Board consents to the Court
over this matter through the end of the 2019-20 school year
in order to address any unforeseen circumstances or
developments that could affect implementation of the
foregoing commitment or, in the alternative, to a dismissal
of the action without prejudice.
(Doc. 16, p. 1-2). In a footnote that was omitted from the
above quotation, the Board stated that it "further
agrees to provide reasonable advance notice to Plaintiff
should [any unforeseen circumstances or developments]
arise." Id. at p. 2. Thus, it appears to the
Court that the Plaintiff has obtained the relief she sought,
i.e., her son's admission and continued enrollment at
McAdory. Based on that stipulation, the Board asserted that
the controversy was moot and moved to dismiss the case.
response, the Plaintiff argued that the stipulation did not
render the case moot because, she said, the stipulation did
not provide all of the requested relief and "was at best
an offer to settle." (Doc. 19, p. 2). The Plaintiff
further asserted that the Board's decision to allow B.C.
to enroll at McAdory and proceed towards graduation was, at
this point, "in bad faith" and represented
"nothing more than another attempt by the Defendant to
`pull the wool over the Court's eyes' and designed to
avoid the issuance of a final judgment for the Plaintiff on
the merits, a determination that the Plaintiff is the
prevailing party, and paying Plaintiff's attorneys'
fees." Id. Thus, despite the Board's
decision to give the Plaintiff the exact relief she sought in
her complaint, Plaintiff's counsel seeks to maintain this