Blue v. Lexington Indep Sch ( 2005 )

  •                                                               United States Court of Appeals
                                                                           Fifth Circuit
                                                                        F I L E D
                            FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT                       October 13, 2005
                                                                    Charles R. Fulbruge III
                                   No. 05-50339
                                 Summary Calendar
                            JUDY BLUE; HALEY BECKHAM,
                           By next friend, Judy Blue,
                               PATRICK CLARK,
                Appeal from the United States District Court
                      for the Western District of Texas
                              No. A-04-CA-149-SS
    Before JONES, WIENER, and DeMOSS, Circuit Judges.
                Plaintiffs   Haley   Beckham    and   Judy   Blue    appeal     the
    district court’s grant of summary judgment to the defendants.
    Finding no error, we AFFIRM.
                                  I. BACKGROUND
                In May 2001, Patrick Clark, the Superintendent of the
    Lexington    Independent    School    District    (“LISD”),     received      an
    anonymous   letter   alleging    an   affair   between   Beckham,      then    a
                Pursuant to 5TH CIR. R. 47.5, the court has determined that this
    opinion should not be published and is not precedent except under the limited
    circumstances set forth in 5TH CIR. R. 47.5.4.
    student, and one of LISD’s coaches.                In their various complaints,
    Beckham and her mother, Blue,1 complain of Clark’s subsequent
    investigation of the matter.
                  Beckham initially deposed Clark under Texas Rule 202,
    which provides for pre-suit discovery.               About two years later, she
    filed      suit   in   state   court     against    LISD   and    Clark,   alleging
    violations of state law and the federal Family Educational Rights
    and Privacy Act.        Clark and LISD removed the case to federal court,
    and the district judge eventually dismissed Beckham’s case.
                  In the interest of justice, the district court granted
    Beckham’s Rule 59 motion and allowed her to replead her case.                    In
    her latest complaint, Beckham alleged violations of 42 U.S.C.
    §   1983    (purportedly       for    violating    the   Fourth   and   Fourteenth
    Amendments) and 20 U.S.C. § 1681(a), Title IX (purportedly for
    creating a hostile environment).                  Clark and LISD then filed a
    motion for summary judgment, which the district court granted.                   It
    is this grant of summary judgment from which she appeals.
                                         II. DISCUSSION
                  For much of her brief, Beckham strolls through the
    history of English and American law without offering any relevant
    claims of error.2         It appears her main contention is that the
                Because Blue’s cause of action is dependent on Beckham’s, we will
    refer to Blue and Beckham as only “Beckham.”
                We have considered Beckham’s contentions out of an abundance of
    caution. The brief flies in the face of the FED. R. APP. PROC. 28 requirements,
    and normally we will not consider claims on appeal that are not properly
    district court erred in granting summary judgment to LISD and Clark
    on Beckham’s § 1983 and Title IX claims.3
                First, Beckham has not alleged a proper § 1983 claim.
    The allegations and affidavits in opposition to summary judgment
    merely conclude that Clark and LISD violated Beckham’s Fourth and
    Fourteenth Amendment rights.           Specifically, Beckham argues that
    Clark’s investigation of the anonymous letter, and in particular
    his   questioning     of   Beckham     about   it,    constituted     malicious
    prosecution and an unreasonable search and seizure.              Involving the
    sheriff’s department in an investigation of an alleged student-
    teacher relationship is not malicious prosecution.              Moreover, even
    if it were, malicious prosecution alone is not a constitutional
    violation and is thus insufficient to support a claim under § 1983.
    Castellano v. Fragozo, 
    352 F.3d 939
    , 942 (5th Cir.2003) (en banc).
    Further, school officials have the power to summon students for the
    addressed with logical argument and citation to authority.      E.g., Randall v.
    Chevron U.S.A., Inc., 
    13 F.3d 888
    , 911 (5th Cir. 1994).
                At the outset, we also reject Beckham’s argument that the district
    court somehow misapplied the standard for granting summary judgment. The court
    considered matters outside the pleadings, and accordingly, granted summary
    judgment instead of a motion to dismiss. The court’s ruling complied with Rule
    12(c). Further, to the extent Beckham spends much of her brief arguing with the
    district court’s calculation of time, this argument is mooted by the district
    court’s January 31, 2005 order, wherein the district court explained that
    Beckham’s affidavits and memorandum in opposition to summary judgment in no way
    altered its grant of summary judgment.
                The parties also spend a great deal of time discussing qualified
    immunity and TEXAS RULE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 202. We need not reach those issues, as
    our affirmance of the district court’s grant of summary judgment to LISD and
    Clark is sufficient to affirm the district court’s judgment. We also reject
    Beckham’s plea for Rule 11 sanctions on the statute of limitations issue. Given
    the frivolity of most of Beckham’s pleadings, we are hardly apt to award
    sanctions to the other party for a good faith dispute over the limitations issue.
    purposes of questioning them regarding rumors. Milligan v. City of
    226 F.3d 652
    , 655 (5th Cir. 2000).          Beckham’s attempt to
    distinguish Milligan fails, and so do her unreasonable search and
    seizure claims.
               Beckham also fails on the Title IX claim.           Beckham does
    not allege that she herself suffered harassment at the hands of
    school officials; rather, she alleges that these officials violated
    her privacy by investigating the anonymous letter, thus creating a
    hostile    environment.         The   district   court’s     well   reasoned
    explanation of why her claims fail in these respects is not in
    error, and the court properly granted summary judgment to Clark and
               Finding no error, we AFFIRM the district court’s grant of
    summary judgment.      Given our previous warning to Plaintiffs’
    counsel,   see   Cilauro   v.    Thielsch   Eng’g,   Inc.,    No.   04-50602
    (5th Cir. Jan. 18, 2005), we award double costs to appellees.            See
    FED. R. APP. P. 38.