United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Oxford Division
MATTIE BRIGHT, as Guardian and next of kin for her daughter, Jane Doe PLAINTIFF
TUNICA COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT, et al. DEFENDANTS
M. Brown, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
civil rights action is before the Court on: (1) the
“Motion of Defendant Stanley Ellis for Qualified
Immunity, to Dismiss, and for Summary Judgment, ” Doc.
#28; (2) the “Motion of Defendant Milton Hardrict for
Qualified Immunity, to Dismiss, and for Summary Judgment,
” Doc. #32; and (3) the “Motion of Defendant
Bernard Stephen Chandler for Qualified Immunity, ” Doc.
August 24, 2016, Mattie Bright filed an amended complaint on
behalf of her daughter, Jane Doe, in the Circuit Court of
Tunica County, Mississippi. Doc. #2. The amended complaint,
which asserts claims under Title IX and 42 U.S.C. §
1983, names as defendants (1) Tunica County School District;
(2) Bernard Stephen Chandler, the Superintendent of the
District, in his official and individual capacities; (3)
Milton Hardrict, the principal at Coahoma Agricultural High
School, in his official and individual capacities; (4)
Stanley Ellis, the Assistant Superintendent of the District
and the District's Title IX Coordinator, in his official
and individual capacities; and (5) Brittany Brown, a teacher
in the District, in her official and individual capacities.
The amended complaint alleges that the various defendants are
liable for a sexual assault and harassment Jane Doe suffered
while a student in the District.
amended complaint asserts four counts: (1) “Violation
of Title IX as to Defendant Tunica County School District,
” subtitled “The School's Deliberate
Indifference to Alleged Sexual Harassment” (Count I);
(2) “Violation of Title IX as to Defendant Tunica
County School District, ” subtitled “Retaliation
by Withholding Protections Otherwise Conferred by Title
IX” (Count II); (3) “1983 Violation as to
Defendants Tunica County School District, Chandler, Hardrict,
Ellis and Brown” (Count III); and (4)
“Monell Liability for Failure to Train and
Supervise as to Response to Sexual Assault as to Defendant
Tunica County School District (42 U.S.C. § 1983)”
(Count IV). Hardrict and Ellis seek dismissal of Count III.
Doc. #28; Doc. #32.
and the District filed answers to the state court amended
complaint on September 12, 2016. Doc. #5; Doc. #6. Hardrict
filed his answer on October 20, 2016, and Chandler filed his
on December 26, 2016. Doc. #16; Doc. #26. Both Hardrict and
the District subsequently amended their answers on January
12, 2017, and January 15, 2017, respectively. Doc. #27; Doc.
January 12, 2017, Ellis filed a “Motion of Defendant
Stanley Ellis for Qualified Immunity, to Dismiss, and for
Summary Judgment.” Doc. #28. Three days later, on
January 15, 2017, Hardrict filed a motion seeking identical
relief. Doc. #32.
January 26, 2017, Bright docketed a response to Ellis'
motion for summary judgment, which was in substance and by
title a motion for Rule 56(d) relief, along with a memorandum
supporting her Rule 56(d) request. Doc. #34; Doc. #35.
Following a notice of correction from the Clerk of the Court,
Bright re-docketed her response as a motion for extension but
did not file a supporting memorandum. Doc. #36. After
receiving a second notice of correction, Bright filed a third
motion for Rule 56(d) relief, again with no supporting
memorandum. Doc. #38.
February 9, 2017, Ellis and Hardrict filed a “Combined
Response” to Bright's three motions. Doc. #39. The
next day, Ellis and Hardrict filed a “corrected”
response. Doc. #40. Bright replied to the combined response
on February 21, 2017. Doc. #42.
February 22, 2017, Chandler and the District filed a combined
motion to dismiss “and/or” for judgment on the
pleadings. Doc. #43. The following day, Chandler and the
District filed separate “amended” motions seeking
the same relief. Doc. #45; Doc. #47. Bright filed a combined
response to the amended motions on March 30, 2017. Doc. #51.
On April 6, 2017, the District and Chandler filed motions to
extend the deadlines to reply to Bright's response. Doc.
#53; Doc. #54. Two days later, on April 8, 2017, before this
Court could rule on the motions for extension, both Chandler
and the District replied in support of their respective
motions. Doc. #55; Doc. #56.
April 10, 2017, Chandler filed a motion for summary judgment.
Doc. #57. About two weeks later, on April 25, 2016, this
Court issued an order denying the motions for extension as
moot. Doc. #59. Additionally, the order, which interpreted
the first two Rule 56(d) motions as having been mooted by the
third, denied the third motion for Rule 56(d) relief as
improperly supported. Id. Bright filed a Rule 56(d)
motion two days later seeking discovery to respond to
Chandler's motion. Doc. # 63.
19, 2017, this Court denied the Rule 56(d) motion related to
Chandler's motion for summary judgment. Doc. #68.
Approximately two weeks later, on August 4, 2017, Bright
responded in opposition to Chandler's motion for summary
judgment. Doc. #71. Chandler replied in support of his motion
on August 6, 2017. Doc. #73.
September 11, 2017, this Court granted Chandler's and the
District's respective motions for judgment on the
pleadings on the § 1983 claims asserted against Chandler
in Count III and against the District in Count IV. Doc. #77.
Specifically, the Court concluded that Count III and Count IV