United States District Court, D. Kansas
RUBYE L. DAVIS, Plaintiff,
UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 512 K/A SHAWNEE MISSION SCHOOL DISTRICT, Defendant. RUBYE L. DAVIS, Plaintiff,
JOHN MCKINNEY, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER AND ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE
KATHRYN H. VRATIL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
L. Davis brings suit against the Unified School District No.
512, known as Shawnee Mission School District (the
“District”). Under 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
plaintiff asserts that based on race, the District reassigned
her teaching position from Shawnee Mission East High School
(“SME”) to Shawnee Mission West High School
(“SMW”) in violation of her rights under 42
U.S.C. § 1981 and the Equal Protection Clause of the
United States Constitution. The case is set for a five-day
jury trial beginning June 4, 2018. On April 5, 2018, the
Court entered a Memorandum And Order (Doc. #153)
which directed Magistrate Judge James P. O'Hara to
revisit the parties' stipulation reflected in the
Order (Doc. #119) filed July 14, 2017, in which
plaintiff agreed to dismiss without prejudice individual
claims against John McKinney, principal of SME, and Ginny
Lyon, director of certified professionals for the District.
On April 10, 2018, Judge O'Hara entered a Report And
Recommendation (Doc. #160) which recommended that the
Court uphold the parties' stipulation and not allow
plaintiff leave to amend the pretrial order to include the
individual claims. This matter comes before the Court on
Plaintiff's Objections To Magistrate's Report And
Recommendations (Doc 160) (Doc. #161) filed April 25,
2018. For reasons stated below, the Court overrules
plaintiff's objections to the report and recommendations.
April 5, 2018, regarding Shawnee Mission School
District's Motion For Summary Judgment (Doc. #134)
filed October 31, 2017, the Court found that plaintiff had
not demonstrated a genuine issue of material fact regarding
whether under Section 1983, the District is liable for her
claims. See Memorandum And Order (Doc. #153) at 2-6.
More specifically, the Court noted that plaintiff asserted
that McKinney and/or Lyon decided to reassign her but that
she did not show either that McKinney and/or Lyon acted as a
final policy maker or that the District is otherwise liable
for their decision. The Court therefore found that any
complaint about discriminatory conduct by McKinney and/or
Lyon belonged in a suit against them personally. See
id. at 2-6. The Court noted that Magistrate Judge K.
Gary Sebelius had entered an order which allowed plaintiff to
amend the complaint to include claims against McKinney and
Lyon. See id. at 1, 6-7. Thereafter, for reasons not
reflected in the record, plaintiff stipulated to dismiss the
individual claims without prejudice. See id. at 6-7.
Because Judge Sebelius seemed to have been involved in
brokering the stipulation, and because the stipulation
appeared to serve no purpose or benefit to plaintiff, the
Court directed Judge O'Hara to revisit the stipulation
and determine whether the Court should recall the stipulation
and reinstate plaintiff's claims against McKinney and
Lyon individually in this case. See id. at 7-8.
April 9, 2018, Judge O'Hara held a status conference to
discuss the stipulation with the parties. See Report And
Recommendation (Doc. #160) at 2. Following the
conference, Judge O'Hara ordered the parties to file
briefs addressing the following issues: (1) under Tenth
Circuit legal standards, whether the Court should set aside
the stipulation; (2) the applicable statute of limitations
for individual claims against McKinney and Lyon; (3)
procedural ways in which plaintiff could reinstate claims
against McKinney and Lyon; (4) discovery needed if the Court
reinstated the individual claims; and (5) a plan for
mediation. See Order (Doc. #155) filed April 10,
2018 at 1-4.
April 20, 2018, following briefing by the parties, Judge
O'Hara entered a Report And Recommendation (Doc.
#160). Judge O'Hara recommended that the Court enforce
the stipulation and not allow plaintiff leave to amend the
final pretrial order to include individual claims against
McKinney and Lyon. See id. at 2. Regarding whether
to recall the stipulation, Judge O'Hara found as follows:
(1) under Tenth Circuit law, the Court may not disregard a
stipulation or set it aside at will; (2) the Court exercises
discretion in determining whether the interests of justice
require that the stipulation be set aside; (3) the Court may
set aside a stipulation when necessary to prevent manifest
injustice; and (4) although the stipulation was not in
plaintiff's best interest, counsel knowingly and
affirmatively suggested it to keep the action moving toward
resolution. See id. at 7-8. Judge O'Hara
found that plaintiff had not shown that enforcing the
stipulation would result in manifest injustice. See
id. at 7-10. He recommended that the Court enforce the
stipulation and not allow plaintiff leave to amend the
pretrial order to include the individual claims. See
id. at 10. Judge O'Hara noted that it appeared that
nothing precluded plaintiff from filing the individual claims
in a separate lawsuit. See id. at 10-11. He recommended
that if by April 26, 2018, plaintiff filed a new action
asserting individual claims against McKinney and Lyon, the
Court immediately consolidate the new action with this case
to promote efficient use of Court and party resources.
April 25, 2018, plaintiff filed objections to the magistrate
judge report and recommendation. See Plaintiff's
Objections (Doc. #161).
April 26, 2018, plaintiff filed a separate suit asserting
individual claims against McKinney and Lyon. See Davis v.
McKinney, et al., Case No. 18-2206-KHV.
noted, the magistrate judge recommended that the Court
enforce the parties' stipulation and not allow plaintiff
leave to amend the final pretrial order to include individual
claims against McKinney and Lyon. The magistrate judge
further recommended that if by April 26, 2018, plaintiff
filed a new action against McKinney and Lyon, the Court
immediately consolidate the new action with this case.
objects to the report and recommendation. She asserts that
“there are no legal or logistical reasons that John
McKinney and Ginny Lyon should not be joined in the current
action.” Plaintiff's Objections (Doc.
#161) at 1. Plaintiff asserts that if the individual
defendants are joined, she will assert no new claims, the
District will not need to raise new defenses and the parties
will not need to conduct new discovery. See id. at
1. Plaintiff incorporates by reference her brief in response
to the magistrate judge order. See Plaintiff's
Objections (Doc. #161) at 1. There, plaintiff argued
that requiring her to file the individual claims in a
separate lawsuit would require “extensive
discovery” and be “a tremendous waste of time and
resources of the Court and parties.”
Plaintiff's Brief In Response To The Court Order
Document 155 (Doc. #158) filed April 13, 2018.
careful review, the Court agrees in full with Judge
O'Hara's findings and recommendations. Plaintiff has
demonstrated no just reason to set aside the stipulation.
Contrary to her assertions, requiring plaintiff to file the
individual claims in a separate suit will not result in
extensive discovery or a waste of resources. By consolidating
the new suit with this case, the Court and parties will be in
a position to efficiently utilize the discovery and
proceedings that have occurred to date. All discovery
conducted in this case shall be available to the parties in
the second case and shall not be duplicated.
IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Plaintiff's
Objections To Magistrate's Report And Recommendations
(Doc 160) (Doc. #161) filed April 25, 2018 are
IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Court adopts in full the
magistrate judge Report And Recommendation ...