Federal Court Dismisses Mehler’s Suit Against School District, Board Members

On May 26, Federal District Court Judge Cathy Siebel dismissed in sum Osborn School teacher Carin Mehler’s lawsuit against the Rye City School District and individual Board of Education members which was filed in March 2014.

Published June 4, 2015 7:37 PM
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On May 26, Federal District Court Judge Cathy Siebel dismissed in sum Osborn School teacher Carin Mehler’s lawsuit against the Rye City School District and individual Board of Education members which was filed in March 2014.

By Sarah Varney

On May 26, Federal District Court Judge Cathy Siebel dismissed in sum Osborn School teacher Carin Mehler’s lawsuit against the Rye City School District and individual Board of Education members which was filed in March 2014. The suit sought monetary damages, an apology, and punitive and compensatory damages.

In her decision, Judge Siebel summed up her findings with a reminder that charges of civil rights violations are not valid simply because an unfair situation may exist. “The Court understands Plaintiff’s frustration at the situation and understands why Defendants [the District] are keeping Plaintiff out of the classroom when they admittedly cannot prove wrongdoing on her part. But not every situation that seems, or even is, unfair or ill-advised amounts to a federal constitutional violation,” Siebel wrote in her conclusion.

Similarly, Mehler’s charges that the District was denying her due process rights in four protected  areas were denied largely because she is suspended with pay. Citing previous rulings, Siebel wrote, “A suspended teacher ‘cannot’ sustain a claim for deprivation of property without due process ‘even if relieved from job duties,’ however if she continues to be paid.” A similar complaint filed on the state level was dismissed in December 2014.

Calls to Mehler’s lawyer Arthur Schwartz were not returned and District officials declined to comment beyond stating that the federal suit had been dismissed. 

 

 

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