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Opinions

Below is a list of opinions specially selected for public release by judges in the district.  For a detailed search, enter the keyword or case number in the search box above.

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19-CV-137 Doxtator v. O'Brien

Decision and Order Granting Defendants’ Motions For Summary Judgment

Jonathon Tubby was fatally shot by a Green Bay police officer after he was transported to the Brown County Detention Center, or jail, following his arrest on the evening of October 19, 2018.  The officer who shot Tubby claims he thought Tubby had a gun and posed a serious threat to himself and others.  Plaintiffs, Special Administrators of Tubby’s estate, dispute the officer’s account and claim that the shooting is reflective of a widespread practice within the Green Bay Police Department of excessive and often deadly force enabled by a culture of dishonesty.  Plaintiffs also allege that various members of the Brown County Sheriff’s Office violated Tubby’s constitutional rights by failing to intervene before the fatal shots were fired, failing to train officers to avoid such a situation, and creating the danger that caused Tubby’s death.  The Court granted the motions for summary judgment filed by the Green Bay Police Department Defendants and the Brown County Sheriff’s Office Defendants. 

Date:
Wednesday, May 19, 2021

21-MC-17 Qi Qin v. Paul Deslongchamps

Order regarding Petition to Perpetuate Testimony

A petitioner sought permission to take a deposition to perpetuate testimony before an action is filed under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 27(a). The purpose of the deposition was to identify the members of a limited liability company that the petitioner wished to sue in federal court under the diversity jurisdiction. The court held that Rule 27(a) could not be used for this purpose. First, the court held that Rule 27(a) could be used only if the petitioner showed that the contemplated action would be within the subject-matter jurisdiction of a federal court, which the petitioner necessarily could not do because the purpose of the deposition was to identify the proposed defendant’s citizenship. Second, the court held that Rule 27(a) could be used only to preserve testimony that was in danger of being lost; it could not be used to discover facts that the petitioner needed to know to draft a federal complaint.

Judge:
Date:
Friday, May 14, 2021

20-CV-227 / N.J. v. Sonnabend & 20-CV-276 / A.L. v. Kaminski

Decision and Order

These consolidated cases present the question of whether middle and high school administrators can constitutionally prohibit students from wearing shirts bearing images of guns while attending school.  Plaintiffs, by their next friends, brought suit against the principal and associate principal of their respective schools seeking permanent injunctions enjoining the defendant school administrators from enforcing dress code prohibitions of clothing depicting firearms.  The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment.  The Court granted Defendants’ motion for summary judgment and denied Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment.

Date:
Monday, May 3, 2021

20-CV-1585 Crumble v. Kettle Moraine School District

Decision and Order

Ebony Crumble, on behalf of herself and her daughter S.Q., sued the Kettle Moraine School District alleging that the District violated Title VI and the Fourteenth Amendment by failing to adequately address incidents of racial bullying by S.Q’s peers. “[A] school district may be liable for peer-on-peer racial harassment only if the district acts with deliberate indifference to known acts of harassment in its programs or activities.” The District moved to dismiss, arguing that the allegations in the complaint showed that it had responded to the seven incidents over three years that the plaintiffs identified. The plaintiffs responded that the school was required to “eliminate” racial harassment and was liable because it failed to do so. The court noted that the court of appeals had expressly rejected the argument that a school was required to eliminate peer harassment, and the plaintiffs argument to the contrary relied on “troubling misrepresentations regarding legal authority.” Nonetheless, based on the allegations in the complaint, it was plausible that the plaintiffs may be able to show that the District’s responses were insufficient and amounted to deliberate indifference. Accordingly, the court denied the motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ Title VI claim. However, the court granted the District’s motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ constitutional claim because the plaintiffs had failed to adequately allege a basis for the district to be liable. The court also dismissed the plaintiffs’ request for punitive damages.

Date:
Friday, April 30, 2021

21-CV-77 Asphalt Contractors v. R&J Transport Inc, et al

Decision and Order

The court determined that a claim for loss or damage to goods during intrastate shipment by motor carrier did not arise under federal law, and that therefore, in the absence of diversity of citizenship, the motor carrier could not remove the case to federal court. The court determined that a claim for loss or damage to goods during intrastate shipment by motor carrier did not arise under federal law, and that therefore, in the absence of diversity of citizenship, the motor carrier could not remove the case to federal court.

Judge:
Date:
Monday, April 5, 2021

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