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Stead v. Unified School Dist. 259

United States District Court, D. Kansas

March 13, 2015

PAMELA L. STEAD, Plaintiff,
v.
UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 259, SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kansas; and JOHN ALLISON, individually and in his official capacity, Defendants

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For Pamela L. Stead, Plaintiff: M. Kathryn Webb, LEAD ATTORNEY, Law Office of M. Kathryn Webb, Wichita, KS.

For Unified School District No. 259, Sedgwick County, State of Kansas, John Allison, Individually and in his official capacity as Superintendent of Unified School District No. 259, Defendants: Andrew T. Geren, LEAD ATTORNEY, Wichita, KS; Richard W. James, LEAD ATTORNEY, DeVaughn James, LLC, Wichita, KS.

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MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Daniel D. Crabtree, United States District Judge.

Plaintiff Pamela Stead brings this lawsuit asserting various causes of action arising from defendants' conduct investigating, publicizing, and responding to allegations of improprieties during the administration of Kansas state assessment tests. These events ultimately led to plaintiff's resignation as principal of Enterprise Elementary School, part of Unified School District 259 in Wichita, Kansas. This matter comes before the Court on defendants USD 259 and Superintendent John Allison's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 99). Plaintiff has filed a response (Doc. 115), and defendants have filed a reply (Doc. 116). After reviewing the arguments and evidence submitted by the parties, the Court grants defendants' motion for summary judgment for the reasons explained below.

I. Procedural Background

Plaintiff filed this action on September 11, 2013, in the District Court of Sedgwick County, Kansas (Doc. 1-1). Plaintiff's Complaint asserts 11 causes of action: (1) defamation (libel and slander); (2) false light invasion of privacy; (3) negligence; (4) breach of contract; (5) breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing; (6) intentional interference with contract and prospective business advantage; (7) intentional infliction of emotional distress; (8) negligent infliction of emotional distress; (9) fraudulent inducement; (10) negligent misrepresentation; and (11) deprivation of civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (specifically, deprivation of procedural and substantive due process). On October 8, 2013, defendants filed a Notice of Removal (Doc. 1), invoking this Court's jurisdiction over federal questions under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and its supplemental jurisdiction over pendant state law claims under 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c). Plaintiff did not seek remand. Nevertheless, the Court has considered whether it should exercise jurisdiction over all of plaintiff's claims, see 1mage Software, Inc. v. Reynolds & Reynolds Co., 459 F.3d 1044, 1048 (10th Cir. 2006) (" [f]ederal courts have an independent obligation to determine whether subject-matter jurisdiction exists" ), and concludes that this case is properly within its federal question and supplemental jurisdiction.

II. Uncontroverted Facts

The following paragraphs set forth the facts material to defendants' summary judgment motion. These facts are either uncontroverted by the parties or are viewed in the light most ...


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