(The Return of) Ignatz, by Sam Heldman

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

Eleventh Circuit How's this for a fact pattern, from yesterday's publication by the Eleventh Circuit of a previously non-published opinion:
On May 8, 1999, Dacosta attended a business class at Georgia Military College taught by Appellant. Dacosta asked Appellant a question about his teaching method; he ignored her question, though he answered similar questions posed by male students in the class. Dacosta later asked the same question; this time, Appellant not only failed to answer the question, but walked out of the classroom. Dacosta followed him out the door, seeking to approach Appellant about the question that he had persistently refused to address. Upon seeing that Dacosta had left the classroom herself, Appellant darted back inside the classroom, and slammed the door in Dacosta's face in an effort to deny her reentry to the room. Dacosta held up an arm in an attempt to protect herself from the door; her arm shattered the glass window on the door and became lodged in the cracked pane. Appellant then violently swung the door several times in an attempt to knock Dacosta back from the door. After this effort proved unsuccessful, Appellant reached through the cracked glass pane and shoved Dacosta's face, still trying to forcibly dislodge her arm from the window. At this point, several students in Dacosta's class restrained Appellant until the police arrived and arrested Appellant for criminal battery. Dacosta incurred medical expenses of over $5,000 as a result of the incident.

The Circuit decides that these facts don't consitute a violation of a substantive due process right under the Fourteenth Amendment. Whether that's right or not is something I don't have time to opine on, right now.

posted by sam 11:32 AM 0 comments


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