Rich Kitchens, Attorney at Law 925-338-1858
Attorney at Law
Attorney at Law
4418 Water Oak Ct.
Concord, CA. 94521
The content on this website is intended for educational and informational purposes only. We focus on California law. Nothing on the website shall be construed to create an attorney-client relationship. Readers are responsible for obtaining legal advice from their own legal counsel.
The decision in Walnut Valley USD v. Superior Court (Rowland USD) can be found at:
Court of Appeal Upholds District Classification of Coach as Temp Employee
High Court to Weigh Speech Rights of Public Officials
[School Law Blog]
The Nevada Supreme Court ruling in Carrigan v. Commission on Ethics for the State of Nevada is at:
Read Charlie Haynes’ (of the First Amendment Center) (“Garcetti would be unwelcome element in Nevada case”
California Court of Appeal, in split decision, rules in favor of school district in negligent hiring case involving high school counselor
C.A. v. William S. Hart Union High Sch. Dist. (CA 2nd district)
11/5/10: C.A., a minor student, filed a complaint naming as defendants a public high school, the school district, and an individual guidance counselor. The complaint alleged many causes of action, including negligence, negligent supervision, negligent hiring on behalf of the District and sexual battery, assault, and sexual harassment by the counselor. The student alleged that the District “knew that [the guidance counselor] had engaged in unlawful sexually-related conduct with minors in the past, and/or was continuing to engage in such conduct,” but failed to take reasonable steps to prevent further unlawful sexual conduct by the guidance counselor. The District demurred, and the trial court agreed with the District that there were no code sections to which the public District could be held responsible as the counselor behavior, as alleged, was outside the scope of her employment. Also, “[o]n the sexual harassment, Civil Code [sections] 51.9 and 52.4 don‘t provide a statutory basis for those kind [sic] of claims against a public entity.”
C.A. then appealed and the Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court decision. The Court of Appeal ruled that:
1. The facts alleged in the complaint do not support the vicarious liability of the School District.
2. No statute allows a direct action for negligence against the School District.
3. No mandatory duty subjects the School District to liability.
4. C.A.’s other causes of action also fail to state a claim.
However, the decision was not unanimous, and in a dissent it was opined that the Court of Appeal should clearly say that “the school district may be liable for breaching its duty to protect students from physical harm.” “Although the school district cannot be held liable for the intentional misconduct of the guidance counselor, it may be liable through respondeat superior for the negligence of other employees who were responsible for hiring, supervising, training, or retaining her.” The dissent argued that “[u]nder the Dailey-Hoyem-Randi W. trilogy, a school employee may be held personally liable for his or her negligence in failing to supervise students adequately, and the school district may be vicariously liable for the employee‘s negligence.”
To read the entire decision, go to:
Court of Appeals Applies Barthuli to Deny College Administrator Reinstatement
Agosto v. Bd. of Trustees of Grossmont-Cuyamaca [4th District Court of Appeal]
10/18/10: A college administrator requested a writ of mandate to compel reinstatement to his former position. The Court of Appeal concluded “the trial court correctly found Agosto did not have either a statutory right or property right to his position as a community college administrator and therefore was not entitled to a writ of mandate directing District to reinstate him to his former position.” The Court held that Barthuli v. Board of Trustees (1977) 19 Cal.3d 717 is controlling authority and it compared the college district administrator to public school administrators. “[A] community college administrator, like the school district administrator in Barthuli, does not have a right to reinstatement to an administrative position.” For the full opinion, go to:
Three DUIs constitutes "unfitness to teach" under Morrison, says California Court of Appeal
District to appeal ruling on classroom banners
[San Diego Union-Tribune]
The case is Johnson v. Poway Unified School District (2010 WL 768856 (S.D. Cal.)).
[School Law Blog]
The case is Caviness v. Horizon Community Learning Center and can be found at:
To read the full decision in Caviness, go to:
California Supreme Court rules (finally) and upholds District in school mailbox case
To read the story in the Oakland Tribune, go to:
Some of the decision:
“…[A]s the legislative history of section 7054 makes clear, it was designed to avoid the use of public resources to perpetuate an incumbent candidate or his or her chosen successor, or to promote self-serving ballot initiatives, thereby compromising the integrity of the electoral process. The District contends that permitting employee organizations to use the mailboxes to endorse school board candidates will unfairly advantage those organizations and the candidates they endorse, because it allows them, but not other candidates and organizations, to use the mailboxes to communicate with teachers about these endorsements. We agree that this special access to an internal channel of communication to influence elections is a potential abuse that section 7054, and the Stanson [Stanson v. Mott, 1977] decision, were designed to guard against… [W]e conclude, consistent with the purpose of section 7054, that the broad term ?equipment—was intended to encompass mailboxes specially constructed at taxpayer expense to serve as a school‘s internal communication channel, which one group may not use to its exclusive political advantage….We emphasize the narrowness of the decision… We hold only that a rule prohibiting candidate endorsement literature in school mailboxes is a ?reasonable regulation—within the meaning of Government Code section 3543.1, subdivision (b) because it enforces the directive of section 7054.
California Court of Appeal Agrees Priority in Rehiring Should Extend to Full-time Employees with Less Seniority
Court upholds District in Terminating Teacher More Less Seniority Than Others
Cal. Teachers Assoc. v. Public Employ. Relations Bd.
[California Court of Appeal, 4th District]
1/5/09: The California Teachers Association (CTA) petitions for review of an order of the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB or the Board) which dismissed its own complaint against real party in interest Journey Charter School (Journey The complaint stemmed from CTA’s charge that Journey had violated the Educational Employment Relations Act (EERA) (Gov. Code, § 3540 et seq.), when it terminated the employment of three teachers: Stephanie Edwards, Paola Schouten and Marlene Nicholas. After an evidentiary hearing before an administrative law judge, and a review of his findings by the Board, PERB issued a decision dismissing the complaint. That dismissal was based upon the Boards factual conclusion the terminations had not been based upon the CTA unionization efforts, but were instead prompted solely by the letter sent to parent The Board then concluded the letter had not qualified as protected activity under the EERA, and thus the terminations were not actionable. CTA now argues (1) the evidence is insufficient to support the Boas factual determination that the teacher unionizing efforts with the CTA had not been the cause of their terminations; and (2) PERB erred in concluding the letter, which it believed was the cause, did not amount to protected conduct The Court of Appeal concluded the second claim has merit. PERB’s determination the teacher letter did not amount to protected activity cannot be reconciled with its own precedent cited in support of that determination, and thus its decision to dismiss the complaint was clearly erroneous. For the full decision, go to:
Rich Kitchens 4418 Water Oak Ct. Concord, CA. 94521 925-338-1858