Posts tagged "Goodwin"

Goodwin v. Lee Public Schools, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-133-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030;   SJC-11977   KATELYNN GOODWIN  vs.  LEE PUBLIC SCHOOLS & others.[1]       Berkshire.     March 10, 2016. – August 23, 2016.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.[2]     School and School Committee, Enforcement of discipline.  Education, Disciplinary matter.  Practice, Civil, Dismissal.  Administrative Law, Exhaustion of remedies.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on December 30, 2014.   A motion to dismiss was heard by C. Jeffrey Kinder, J., and a motion for reconsideration was considered by him.   The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.     Joseph N. Schneiderman for the plaintiff. David S. Monastersky for the defendants. Sky Kochenour & Jenny Chou, for Center for Law and Education & another, amici curiae, submitted a brief.     DUFFLY, J.  The plaintiff, Katelynn Goodwin, was a high school student at the Lee Middle and High School in the town of Lee (town) when she was suspended from school for conduct that purportedly took place not on school grounds, pursuant to a school policy, based on G. L. c. 71, § 37H1/2 (§ 37H1/2), which provided that students who had been charged with felonies would be suspended.  The principal ordered the suspension in the mistaken belief that the plaintiff had been charged with a felony, stealing, or being involved in the theft of, a firearm.  Ultimately, the suspension lasted for the entire final semester of what would have been the plaintiff’s senior year, and she was unable to graduate with her class, but eventually obtained her high school diploma.  She thereafter commenced this action in the Superior Court against the Lee public schools, the superintendent of the Lee schools, and the town. The question confronting the court is whether the judge erred in allowing the defendants’ motion to dismiss based on the failure to exhaust the administrative remedies available under § 37H1/2.  We conclude that, because the tort recovery a student may seek under G. L. c. 76, § 16, provides a separate and distinct remedy from that available under § 37H1/2, a statute that establishes an expedited process by which a student may seek readmission to school, the plaintiff was not obligated to exhaust the statute’s administrative remedies before pursuing a tort claim under G. L. c. 76, § 16. Background.  The plaintiff was in her senior year of high school when […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 23, 2016 at 4:10 pm

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