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Pro Se Mother Given Considerable Leeway in Claims Against School District Defendants

In the case of Guillard v. Pyle, S.D.Ohio No. 2:22-cv-1960 (Aug. 24, 2022), a federal district court magistrate judge liberally construed an amended complaint of a pro se mother and recommended that her claims against school district defendants to proceed beyond the pleading stage based upon the mother’s allegations that the school district defendants created and allowed an unsafe educational environment by failing to protect her son from alleged abuse by an instructor and classmate. In doing so, the federal magistrate judge advised the mother that the court may still dismiss these claims if it becomes clear to the court that the mother cannot meet her burden of proving such claims.

While the federal magistrate judge gave considerable leeway to the pro se mother as to her claims against the school district defendants, the magistrate judge was not so lenient as to the remaining defendants, each of whom the mother wanted to respond differently to what was happening at her son’s school. As a result, the federal magistrate judge recommended dismissal the remaining defendants including, but not limited to, Governor Mike DeWine, Attorney General Dave Yost, City of Athens and its Mayor, Athens Municipal Courts and its Clerk of Courts, Athens City Police and Athens County Sheriff’s Departments, Athens County Children Services, Southeastern Ohio Legal Services, and Campus Heights and its property manager.

The federal district court judge adopted the report and recommendation of the federal magistrate judge with the sole exception of finding that one of the defendants recommended for dismissal was actually a school district defendant so that one defendant was not dismissed. Guillard, S.D.Ohio No. 2:22-cv-1960 (Sept. 19, 2022)

To read the federal district court magistrate judge’s report and recommendation, click here.

To read the federal district court judge’s order, click here.

Authors: Matthew John Markling and the McGown & Markling Team.

Note: This blog entry does not constitute – nor does it contain – legal advice. Legal jurisprudence is like the always-changing Midwestern weather. As a result, this single blog entry cannot substitute for consultation with a McGown & Markling attorney. If legal advice is needed with respect to a specific factual situation, please feel free to contact a McGown & Markling attorney.

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