Articles Posted in Civil Rights

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AltaPointe Health Systems, Inc. (AHS), appealed a Mobile Probate Court's order finding it in contempt of its "Order of Outpatient Commitment" for Donald Bernoudy based on AHS's failure to comply with 22-52-10.3(e), Ala. Code 1975. Bernoudy refused treatment and was appointed a guardian ad litem to appear for several status hearings before the probate court, but the sheriff was unable to find him. When it did, Bernoudy was taken into custody, where subsequently he was deemed a "real and present threat of substantial harm" to himself and the public. At a show cause hearing, the court found that Bernoudy was "a long time mental health consumer, who [was] well known to the Court and should [have been] well known to AHS" and that AHS failed on multiple occasions to comply with its orders with regard to Bernoudy's commitment orders. Upon review, the Supreme Court found that while "[t]he probate court's frustration in this case [was] understandable. . . it [was] clear that the probate court did not find AHS in contempt because it had not complied with a specific provision of its . . . outpatient commitment order. Rather, the probate court found AHS in contempt because it had not complied with the reporting provisions set forth in 22-53-10.3(e). . . a violation of a statute is not a proper ground for a finding of contempt." Accordingly, the Court dismissed this appeal with instructions that the probate court set aside its order finding AHS in contempt. View "AltaPointe Health Systems, Inc. v. Davis" on Justia Law

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Defendants the Colbert County Board of Education ("the Board"); and the individual members of the Board and members of the Colbert County High School appealed a trial court's judgment that granted Plaintiff Felecia James's motion for a preliminary injunction. On or about May 21, 2010, an incident occurred at Colbert County High School (CCHS) involving J.H., Plaintiff's minor child, and another minor enrolled in CCHS. The details of the incident were disputed, but they led the assistant principal of the school to suspend both students for three days for allegedly fighting on school property during school hours. Plaintiff appeared before the Board to discuss the situation. The Board apparently took no action, and Plaintiff "individually and as mother and guardian of J.H." sued the Board and the individually named defendants asserting state-law and federal-law claims She also filed a motion for a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction, and a permanent injunction. Upon review, the Supreme Court found that the Board members in their official capacities were immune from the state-law claims filed against them insofar as those claims sought monetary damages. As such, the trial court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction over those state-law claims against the officials in their official capacities. However, the Board members were not immune from Plaintiff's state-law claims insofar as she sought injunctive relief based upon the Board members' alleged fraud, bad faith, or actions that were beyond the Board members' authority or that were taken under a mistaken interpretation of law. The Court noted that the Board and its members were not immune from the federal-law claims filed against them. Based on the foregoing, insofar as the Board appealed the preliminary injunction against it based upon the state-law claims filed by Plaintiff, the Supreme Court dismissed their appeal for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. Because the Court reversed the preliminary injunction, the Court declined to order the trial court to vacate the preliminary injunction entered against the Board insofar as it was based on those claims. View "Colbert Cty. Bd. of Edu. v. James" on Justia Law