School Board wins Dismissal of Civil Rights Suit

February 28, 2013

RRD Partners Charles A. Deluca and Catherine S. Nietzel recently won a decisive victory on behalf of a Fairfield County Board of Education who was the target of a civil rights lawsuit by a disgruntled parent.  Following months of interactions with his children and with school personnel that raised concerns about the father’s potential for disruption, the BOE informed him, with assistance of local law enforcement, that his access to school events and ability to speak to or contact school personnel were restricted.  He was required to seek permission before attending school events and was limited to communications with the Superintendent, only. The father claimed that his First Amendment rights were infringed upon by the restrictions.  He made additional constitutional claims, too, but withdrew them early in the lawsuit, conceding he could not meet the rigorous standards to maintain such claims.  Earlier this year, the District Court judge denied the father’s motion for an injunction seeking to compel the school to allow him unfettered access to the schools.  The court reasoned that the BOE’s conduct was reasonable to maintain a peaceful school environment.  The Court went on to dismiss the Plaintiff’s lawsuit as against the Board of Education entirely, finding it failed to state a legally viable claim.