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PAULI v. FARMINGTON CENT. COM. SCH. DIST.

January 12, 1994

CATHY PAULI AND GREGORY PAULI, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
BOARD OF EDUCATION, FARMINGTON CENTRAL COMMUNITY UNIT SCHOOL DISTRICT, DISTRICT 265, LARRY HIPPEN, GARY SCHULZ, SUSAN HAYNES, CITY OF FARMINGTON POLICE DEPARTMENT, LON HOWARTER, AND WILLIAM CALE, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mihm, Chief Judge.

ORDER

Pending before this Court are Defendants' Motion to Dismiss or, in the alternative, for Judgment on the Pleadings (# 34), Plaintiffs' Motion to Strike Affirmative Averments (# 37), Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and Motion to Strike (# 55), and Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (# 69). Based on this order, Defendants' Motion to Dismiss or, in the alternative, for Judgment on the Pleadings (# 34), is granted to the extent that this Court finds Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity. The remainder of that motion is moot because this Court declines to exercise jurisdiction over Plaintiffs' state law claims.

Plaintiffs' Motion to Strike Affirmative Averments (# 37) is moot based on this Court's findings. Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and Motion to Strike (# 55) is duplicative of Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (# 34). Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (# 55) is also granted to the extent this Court finds Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity. The remainder of the motion regarding state law claims is moot. Defendants' Motion to Strike (# 55) is also moot at this point. Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (# 69) is granted to the extent this Court finds Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity. The Court declines to exercise jurisdiction over Plaintiff's state law claims.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs brought this suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and § 1988 claiming that their fourth, fifth, ninth, and fourteenth amendment rights were violated by various local school employees and police officers. Plaintiffs also asserted several pendent state law claims.

Plaintiffs, Cathy and Gregory Pauli, are the parents of Luke Pauli, a minor, who was at all times relevant to this case a student in the Farmington Central Community Unit School District # 265 in Fulton County, Illinois. At all times relevant to this case, Defendant Hippen was the superintendent of District # 265, Defendant Schulz was the principal of Farmington High School, Defendant Haynes was a school social worker employed by District # 265, and Defendants Howarter and Cale were police officers employed by the city of Farmington. On March 23, 1993, this Court granted Plaintiffs' Motion to Dismiss Defendants City of Farmington and Officers Howarter and Cale.

A few weeks after the beginning of his freshman year in high school, Luke broke up with his eighth grade girlfriend. Luke was upset by the break-up. During the week after the break-up, Luke began meeting with Stephanie Churchill, a counselor at the high school, and with Haynes. Luke also recalls meeting with Don Costelli, another counselor at the high school, a few times. In early October 1990, Churchill felt it necessary to have Luke sign a form "contract," in which Luke agreed not to physically injure himself. Prior to October 24, 1990, the Paulis were not informed that Luke had received any counseling by Haynes, Churchill, or Costelli.

The Paulis' Second Amended Complaint alleges that on October 24, 1990, while attending Farmington High School, Luke Pauli informed Defendant Susan Haynes that he did not want to go home because his mother had verbally abused him by saying that he was lazy and calling him a savage. Upon being told by Luke that he did not want to go home, Haynes transported Luke to the county "jail"*fn1 without first contacting his parents. Del Sutter, a Crisis Intervention Counselor, then contacted Cathy Pauli. The Paulis went to the Crisis Intervention Center and were told by Sutter that Haynes had brought Luke there because he did not want to go home and Haynes thought Luke was being abused. Haynes then accused Cathy of "verbally abusing" Luke by calling him a "savage," which Cathy denied. Haynes told the Paulis that Luke would be placed in an alternative living arrangement and could not go home with the Paulis. Cathy Pauli signed a "Consent for Treatment" form on behalf of Luke, but she refused to sign a "Consent for Foster Care" form for him. The Paulis left the meeting after being told that Luke would be staying with another family, the Welkers, for a couple of days.*fn2

Upon returning home that evening, Cathy Pauli telephoned Defendant Schulz at his home and advised him that Haynes had taken Luke to the "jail" and would not let him return home. After speaking with Haynes, Schulz called Cathy back and told her that Luke was going to stay in the alternative living arrangement until the situation was resolved.

On Friday, October 26, Luke became aware of the fact that his parents expected him to ride the bus home that afternoon. Luke then went to school counselors and again stated that he refused to go home. A series of telephone calls to and from Haynes, Cathy Pauli and Del Sutter ensued. The Paulis became aware of the fact that Luke would not be riding the bus home that afternoon. The Paulis and their two older sons then proceeded to Luke's school. Schulz had someone call the Farmington Police Department at about 4:30 and request the presence of an officer. Schulz also called school superintendent Hippen.

The Paulis then met with Haynes, Hippen, and Schulz at the high school to discuss the situation. No one from the Crisis Intervention Center was present or in contact with anyone in the meeting while the meeting was in progress. At the beginning of the meeting, Cathy Pauli asked Luke what was going on. Luke replied that he was sick of things at home and was not going home. Haynes stated that an agreement had been made on Wednesday that Luke would remain outside of the Paulis' home until a counselling session had taken place. The Paulis denied that any such agreement was made. While the meeting was in progress, two uniformed police officers arrived at the school and remained outside Schulz's office until the end of the meeting. After about two hours, the Paulis determined that the Defendants would not permit them to take Luke home, and the Paulis and their two older sons left the high school. Luke was taken back to the Welkers' home by one of the police officers.

On Monday, October 29, the Paulis, Luke, and Del Sutter participated in a counselling session at the Paulis' home. Luke stayed at the Welkers' residence until October 31 when he returned to his parents' home.

DISCUSSION

A. Qualified ...


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