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Shepard v. The Cleveland School District

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Greenville Division

September 16, 2019

JASMINE SHEPARD PLAINTIFF
v.
THE CLEVELAND SCHOOL DISTRICT; STEVEN CRADDOCK, in his individual capacity; and DR. JACQUELYN THIGPEN, in her individual and official capacity DEFENDANTS

          ORDER

          DEBRA M. BROWN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is the Cleveland School District's “Motion to Strike.” Doc. #159.

         I

         Relevant Procedural History

         On October 16, 2018, Jasmine Shepard filed numerous documents as exhibits to her response to the defendants' motions for summary judgment, including a New York Times article, a Bolivar Commercial article, and a Washington Post article.[1] Because Shepard incorrectly filed these and other exhibits, the Court ordered her to re-file them. Doc. #169 at 7-8. On December 21, 2018, Shepard re-filed the exhibits, [2] including the three newspaper articles. See Docs. #176- 1 (New York Times article); #176-2 (Bolivar Commercial article); #179-2 (Washington Post article).

         On October 29, 2018, the Cleveland School District filed a motion to strike the three newspaper articles and other matters in Shepard's summary judgment response and supporting memorandum brief. Doc. #159. Shepard responded to the motion on November 21, 2018.[3] Doc. #163. The School District replied on November 28, 2018. Doc. #164.

         II

         Discussion

         The School District moves to strike from Shepard's responsive filings (1) the three newspaper articles; (2) certain quotes attributed to “the school board attorney;” (3) references to Jacqueline Thigpen as a “turncoat;” and (4) “repeated” references to Cowan v. Cleveland School District. Doc. #159 at 1-2.

         A. Newspaper Articles

         The School District moves to strike the three newspaper articles as inadmissible hearsay. See Doc. #160 at 4. In response, Shepard argues that the Court should take judicial notice of all three articles, and that the Bolivar Commercial article should be admitted as “trustworthy, relevant and material ….” Doc. #163 at 3.

         1. Judicial notice

         Shepard cites Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Inc. v. Kliebert, 141 F.Supp.3d 604, 645 n.34 (M.D. La. 2015), for the proposition that, pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 201(b), a court “may take judicial notice of public ally-available [sic] documents and transcripts produced by a state or federal agency which were matters of public records directly relevant to the issue at hand.” Doc. #163 at 3. Kliebert concerned the admissibility of a bulletin published by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, a government agency. See Kliebert, 141 F.Supp.3d at 611, 645-46. Shepard does not explain, nor does the Court see, how Kliebert applies to the admissibility of articles published by non-governmental entities such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Bolivar Commercial. Under these circumstances, the Court declines to Doc. #170. This order includes Shepard's arguments nonetheless since none of the arguments mentioned result in relief in her favor. take judicial notice of the newspaper articles.

         2. ...


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