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John Doe and Jane Doe, As v. Champaign Community Unit

June 22, 2011

JOHN DOE AND JANE DOE, AS PARENTS AND NEXT FRIENDS OF D.M., A MINOR, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
CHAMPAIGN COMMUNITY UNIT 4 SCHOOL DISTRICT, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sue E. Myerscough, U.S. District Judge:

E-FILED

Friday, 22 June, 2012 04:59:21 PM

Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

OPINION

This matter is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation (d/e 20) entered by Magistrate Judge Byron G. Cudmore on February 24, 2012. Plaintiffs have filed an Objection and Appeal from Report and Recommendation of Magistrate Judge (Plaintiffs' Objections) (d/e 21) and Defendants have filed their Partial Objections to Report and Recommendation (Defendants' Objections) (d/e 23). See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b).

In the Report and Recommendation, Judge Cudmore recommends allowing in part and denying in part Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs' Complaint (Motion to Dismiss) (d/e 12). This Court reviews de novo any part of the Report and Recommendation that has been properly objected to. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). For the reasons set forth below, the Court adopts in part and rejects in part Judge Cudmore's Report and Recommendation.

BACKGROUND

On September 20, 2011, Plaintiffs filed a 12-count Complaint (d/e 1) against the following Defendants: Champaign Community Unit 4 School District (District); Rhonda Howard*fn1 , in her individual and official capacities; Arthur Culver*fn2 , in his individual and official capacities; and Sue Grey, Stig Lanesskog, Tom Lockman, Greg Novak, Jamar Brown, Kristine Chalifoux, and David Tomlinson in their official capacities.*fn3

The general allegations of the Complaint are as follows.

On January 21, 2011, Howard entered D.M.'s classroom prior to D.M. arriving at school. Howard detected the smell of cannabis and then left the classroom. Later, D.M. arrived at school and took his seat in the classroom, which had about 30 students in it at the time. D.M. was one of two African-American students in that classroom.

Howard entered the classroom, removed D.M. from the classroom, and took D.M. to her office where she searched D.M.'s coat and backpack. Howard then required D.M. to remove his shirt, unbutton his pants, remove his belt, remove his shoes, and partially disrobe.*fn4 Howard did not find any contraband on D.M. during the search. Howard did not contact D.M.'s parents prior to conducting the search. D.M. then returned to his classroom. Howard did not conduct a search of any other student in the classroom or of any other student's belongings.

According to the Complaint, Howard did not have reasonable cause to conduct this "strip search" of D.M. Howard's actions were taken pursuant to her position as Principal, pursuant to the policies of and direction of Culver and the Board, and under the supervision of Culver and the Board.

Plaintiffs allege the Board and Culver had a policy, procedure, or practice and custom of failing to adequately train and supervise principals and personnel on the appropriate and correct procedures for apprehension, contacting parents of minors, conducting searches, avoiding profiling of students on the basis of race, and preventing violations of the rights of students.

The parties are familiar with the specific allegations in each of the 12 Counts of Plaintiff's Complaint, and this information is fully set out in Judge Cudmore's Report and Recommendation. Because the Parties only object to Judge Cudmore's Report and Recommendation with respect to certain counts of the Complaint, the Court will recite the specific allegations of each count in the "Analysis" section of this Opinion and then only as necessary to address the Parties' specific objections.

B. Defendants' Motion To Dismiss Pursuant To Rule 12(b)(6)

On November 14, 2011, Defendants filed their Motion to Dismiss and a Memorandum of Law in Support of Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs' Complaint (Defendants' Memorandum in Support). In the Motion to Dismiss, Defendants contended that all 12 counts of the Complaint should be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Specifically, Defendants argued as follows:

(1) Counts I through XII should be dismissed because the alleged search of D.M. was reasonable in scope and justified by the compelling interest of safeguarding students and the educational environment from illegal drugs; (2) Counts I through VI, and Count XII alleging claims under §§ 1981 and 1983 should be dismissed because Plaintiffs failed to plead facts that would establish liability against the Board or Howard and Culver in their official capacities; (3) Counts II, IV, VI, and XII alleging claims under § 1981 should be dismissed because Plaintiffs fail to allege they were discriminated against in the making or enforcement of a contract; (4) Counts V and XI should be dismissed because they fail to state a claim for either failure to protect or failure to train; (5) the individual capacity claims against Howard in Counts I and II are barred by qualified immunity ; (6) the state law claim against Howard for intentional infliction of emotional distress in Count VII should be dismissed for failure to state a claim and is barred by the Illinois Local ...


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