New Cases and Developments

NACUA's Legal Resources staff summarizes current higher education cases and developments and provides the full text of selected cases to members. New cases and developments are archived here for up to 12 months.  Cases provided by Fastcase, Inc.

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Campus Police & Relationships with Local Law Enforcement; Campus Police, Safety & Crisis Management

Rankin v. Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, et al. (11th Cir. April 26, 2018)

Unpublished Per Curiam Opinion affirming Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss. Plaintiff, a Georgia State Patrol corporal who attended a Georgia State University (GSU) football game as an off-duty officer, alleged under section 1983 that his arrest by GSU Public Safety Officers for engaging in a physical altercation with a drunk tailgater amounted to false arrest, false imprisonment, and malicious prosecution. Plaintiff further claimed that the GSU Chief of Police was liable for the officers’ conduct. Concluding that the responding officers did not violate the Fourth Amendment, the court determined that Plaintiff’s arrest was supported by probable cause, reasoning that a reasonable officer viewing the situation from the perspective of the responding officers “would have observed two men in plain clothes fighting on the ground at a crowded tailgate.” Plaintiff’s malicious prosecution claim was similarly dismissed because his arrest warrant was issued with probable cause. The court found Plaintiff’s supervisory liability claim insufficient because his allegations were conclusory and did not allege a causal connection between the actions of the GSU Chief of Police and Plaintiff’s alleged constitutional deprivations.

Campus Police & Relationships with Local Law Enforcement; Campus Police, Safety & Crisis Management

Selby v. Bd. of Trs. Of Moraine Valley Cmt. College, et al. (N.D. Ill. Feb 20, 2018)

Memorandum Opinion and Order granting Defendant’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. Plaintiff, who enrolled and attended Moraine Valley Community College (MVCC) for only one semester, alleged under section 1983 and state law that Defendants used excessive force, falsely imprisoned and arrested him, and  maliciously prosecuted him in connection to his removal from a campus workshop by two MVCC police officers. Plaintiff arrived late to the workshop, but stayed because he was required to attend in order to reenroll at MVCC. MVCC officers were dispatched and upon arriving, warned Plaintiff that he would be arrested for criminal trespass if he did not leave the room. Upon his refusal to do so, Plaintiff was arrested and charged with criminal trespass to property, disorderly conduct, and resisting a peace officer. The court dismissed Plaintiff’s false imprisonment and false arrest claims both under section 1983 and state law because the MVCC officers acted with probable cause. The court also dismissed Plaintiff’s false arrest and excessive force claims against the MVCC employee who contacted campus police because he did not take part in the arrest. Last, Plaintiff’s malicious prosecution claim failed because he could not show that termination of the related criminal proceeding was in his favor, since he agreed to perform 80 hours of community service in exchange for the dismissal of his case. 

Retaliation; Faculty & Staff; Campus Police & Relationships with Local Law Enforcement; Campus Police, Safety & Crisis Management

Hackbarth v. University of Texas at Dallas (Tex. App. Jan. 4, 2018)

Memorandum Opinion affirming the trial court’s award of summary judgment to the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD).  Appellant, a former UTD police officer, alleged that UTD retaliated against him under the Texas Whistleblower Act by terminating his employment after the University of Texas System’s Office of Director of Police (ODOP) concluded that Appellant inadequately responded to a domestic violence incident,  improperly handled public records, and failed to accept responsibility for his actions. The court found that Appellant failed to establish a causal link between his termination and the filing of his whistleblower reports, especially since UTD decisionmakers harbored no negative attitudes toward Appellant and adhered to established policies regarding the termination, and since no evidence suggested that similarly-situated employees were treated differently than Appellant.