Read a law case and answer with the following requierment

Anonymous
timer Asked: Oct 23rd, 2018
account_balance_wallet $15

Question Description

Read the Seamons v. Snow case (attached). Write a case brief according to the How to Write a Good Case Brief document using the template provided.).

Please make sure you have read through the case and the document on writing case briefs before writing this one, as you will be graded based upon your brief in relation to the instructions as well as the content.

Unformatted Attachment Preview

Page 1 206 F.3d 1021, *; 2000 U.S. App. LEXIS 4298, **; 2000 Colo. J. C.A.R. 1461 SHERWIN SEAMONS and JANE SEAMONS, individually and as natural parents of BRIAN SEAMONS, a minor, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. DOUGLAS SNOW, individually and in his capacity as the Coach at Sky View High School, and agent of Sky View High School and the Cache County School District; MYRON BENSON, individually, and as Principal of Sky View High School, and agent of Sky View High School and the Cache County School District; SKY VIEW HIGH SCHOOL; THE CACHE COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT, Defendants-Appellees, No. 98-4152, 98-4155 UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE TENTH CIRCUIT 206 F.3d 1021; 2000 U.S. App. LEXIS 4298; 2000 Colo. J. C.A.R. 1461 March 20, 2000, Filed PRIOR HISTORY: [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Utah. (D.C. No. 94-CV-4-B). D.C. Judge Dee V. Benson. JUDGES: Before SEYMOUR, Chief Judge, BRISCOE and MURPHY, Circuit Judges. OPINION BY: SEYMOUR OPINION [*1023] SEYMOUR, Chief Judge. This case arises out of the locker-room assault of a high school football player, Brian Seamons, by several of his teammates. Brian filed this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the school's football coach and principal, as well as the school district. He argues his rights under the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment were violated when he was suspended and later dismissed from the football team because he refused to apologize for reporting the assault to the police and school authorities. The district [**2] court granted summary judgment in favor of all defendants. Brian appeals. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. I In the fall of 1993, Brian Seamons was a student at Sky View High School in Smithfield, Utah, and a member of the school's football team. On Monday, October 11 of that year, Brian was assaulted in the locker room by a group of his teammates. As Brian emerged from the showers, four teammates grabbed him, forcibly restrained him, and then bound him to a towel rack with highly adhesive athletic tape. Another teammate brought a girl Brian had dated into the locker room so that she could see what had been done to him. Brian and his parents reported this incident to the police and to school authorities, including Myron Benson, Sky View's principal, and Doug Snow, the football coach. Two days after the assault, Brian and his parents met with Principal Benson and Coach Snow to discuss whether Brian would press criminal charges against the team members who assaulted him and whether Coach Snow would take any disciplinary action against them. Coach Snow stated he did not plan to remove any of the assailants from [**3] the team. Brian indicated that, in light of this, he would need to [*1024] think about whether he wanted to remain on the team. On Friday, October 15, the football team was scheduled to play an away game at Logan High School. That afternoon Brian informed Coach Snow that he wanted to remain on the team, and the two attended the traditional pre-game team-only spaghetti dinner in the school cafeteria. Coach Snow told Principal Benson that Brian was back on the team and everything had been worked out. In the meantime, Brian went home to get his uniform so he could dress for the game. When he returned to the school, Coach Snow asked Brian to meet with the four team captains, two of whom had Page 2 206 F.3d 1021, *; 2000 U.S. App. LEXIS 4298, **; 2000 Colo. J. C.A.R. 1461 participated in the assault. The purpose of this meeting, at which the Coach was present, was to allow the boys to clear up any residual hard feelings prior to the game. During this meeting, a confrontation occurred between Brian and Dan Ward, a captain who had also been one of the assailants, over whether Brian should have to apologize to the team for reporting the assault to the police and school authorities. Specifically, Dan stated that he thought Brian had "betrayed the team" by reporting the assault [**4] and that Brian should not be allowed to play with the team until he apologized. Aplt. App., tab 14 at 376, 379. At this point, Coach Snow intervened and told Brian he needed to "forgive and forget and apologize" to the team captains. Id. at 359. When Brian refused, Coach Snow told him to "take the weekend and think about this," because without an apology he couldn't play with the team. Id. at 326. This ended the meeting. Brian did not play in the game that night. He went home and told his parents he wasn't allowed to play because he had refused to apologize to the team. Brian's father, Sherwin Seamons, called the principal and angrily told him what had transpired at the meeting. Principal Benson, surprised to hear that Brian wasn't going to attend the game, drove to Logan High School and discussed the matter with Coach Snow. The following Tuesday, Brian confronted Coach Snow in school, telling him he wasn't going to apologize to the team and he still wanted to play football. At this point, Coach Snow told Brian that he was "sick of [his] attitude, sick of [his] father's attitude," and that he was off of the team. Aplt. App., tab 15 at 432-33. The following day the remainder [**5] of Sky View's football season was canceled. II Brian and his parents filed suit against Coach Snow, Principal Benson, Sky View High School, and the Cache County School District. Brian alleged numerous bases for recovery, including violation of his rights under Title IX and violations of his constitutional rights to procedural due process, substantive due process, freedom of association, freedom of speech, and equal protection. The district court granted defendants' motion to dismiss all of Brian's claims. See Seamons v. Snow, 864 F. Supp. 1111 (D. Utah, 1994) (Seamons I). Brian appealed to this court. We affirmed the district court's dismissal of all but the free speech claim, holding that Brian had properly stated a claim under the First Amendment and that the district court's dismissal had been premature. See Seamons v. Snow, 84 F.3d 1226 (10th Cir. 1996) (Seamons II). We remanded to the district court for further proceedings. The parties engaged in full discovery and deposed all the principal witnesses. Defendants moved for summary judgment and the district court held a summary judgment hearing. Then, in an unusual procedure, the [**6] court sua sponte held an evidentiary hearing at which five witnesses testified. Subsequently, the court granted summary judgment for defendants, and held alternatively that the school officials were entitled to qualified immunity. See Seamons v. Snow, 15 F. Supp. 2d 1150 [*1025] (D. Utah 1998) (Seamons III). Brian appeals these rulings. III We begin with a discussion of the unusual procedure the district court employed in conducting an evidentiary hearing on the summary judgment motion. Stating that it "needed to know more about the facts" after the initial summary judgment hearing, Aplt. App., tab 14 at 317, the court asked each of the parties to present live witness testimony at an evidentiary hearing. Neither party had requested this hearing. Five witnesses, two for plaintiffs and three for defendants, testified, were cross-examined, and were questioned by the court. [HN1] Rule 56 is silent as to whether oral testimony can be introduced at a summary judgment hearing, although it seems to suggest that decisions be based on affidavits and documentary evidence. See FED. R. CIV. P. 56(c) ("pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, . . . admissions [**7] on file, . . . [and] affidavits" are properly considered at summary judgment). [HN2] Rule 43, however, authorizes the use of oral testimony for motions generally. See FED R. CIV. P. 43(e) ("When a motion is based on facts not appearing of record the court may hear the matter on affidavits. . . [or] the court may direct that the matter be heard wholly or partly on oral testimony or deposition."). Other courts have applied Rule 43 to motions for summary judgment. See 10A C. Wright, A. Miller & M. Kane, Federal Practice & Procedure § 2723 at 386 (3d ed. 1998) (citing cases); see also Utah Div. of Parks & Rec. v. Marsh, 740 F.2d 799, 802 n.2 (10th Cir. 1984) (citing authorities and noting lack of objection). The Seventh Circuit has observed that [HN3] oral testimony is an appropriate procedure for those kinds of motions which permit the court to resolve factual disputes, which a summary judgment motion does not: Page 3 206 F.3d 1021, *; 2000 U.S. App. LEXIS 4298, **; 2000 Colo. J. C.A.R. 1461 A judge decides many motions. A motion to dismiss for want of jurisdiction is decided by the court alone. So, too, with motions to quash subpoenas and motions for new trials, two among the many for which Rule 43(e) was designed. A court may choose among methods [**8] for gathering the evidence, when it will resolve all factual disputes. Rule 43(e) gives the judge the full menu - oral testimony, depositions, affidavits, and documents. He may use the one best suited to the occasion. A judge hearing a motion for summary judgment has no similar right to decide which evidentiary materials are the best ones for resolving a disputed question of fact; the judge may not resolve the dispute at all. The power to select among kinds of evidence does not imply a power to resolve disputed questions of fact. Stewart v. RCA Corp., 790 F.2d 624, 628 (7th Cir. 1986) (citations omitted) (emphasis added). Because of the nature of summary judgment motions, the taking of oral testimony poses problems: Oral testimony also could waste a lot of everyone's time. Because the judge may not evaluate the credibility of the witnesses, the principal advantage of oral testimony is unavailable in hearings under Rule 43(e) on motions for summary judgment. If there is no disputed issue, a few affidavits should show that. . . . Oral testimony under Rule 43(e) will be redundant. Because the judge may not resolve evidentiary disputes, he will do the [**9] same thing after hearing the testimony he should have done after reading the affidavits; if the judge denies the motion the same witnesses will need to reappear for the trial, and if he grants the motion the witnesses did not need to appear at all. Either way the witnesses appear too many times. The litigants, their counsel, the witnesses, and the judge all will be the worse for the experience. One trial per case is enough. [HN4] Rule 43(e) hearings on motions for summary judgment therefore should be rare. [*1026] Id. at 628-29. See also Thompson v. Mahre, 110 F.3d 716, 720 (9th Cir. 1997) ("The taking of oral testimony on summary judgment is [probably] so rare [because] it would ordinarily be a waste of time."). While the district court here could use oral testimony at the summary judgment stage, the question remains whether it should have. We agree with those courts that have suggested [HN5] oral testimony on summary judgment motions should be used sparingly and with great care. The purpose of summary judgment, which is to provide quick resolution when there are no disputed issues of fact, would be compromised if the hearing permitted by Rule 43(e) [**10] became a preliminary trial. 1 See, e.g., MacLean v. Parkwood, Inc. 247 F. Supp. 188 (D.N.H. 1965); 10A Federal Practice & Procedure § 2723 at 387 (3d ed. 1998). 1 [HN6] A summary judgment hearing is to be distinguished from a "single-issue trial" which courts may hold, under limited circumstances, pursuant to Rule 42(b). Such an abbreviated trial may resemble a summary judgment proceeding because it deals with a dispositive issue which is often separate from the case's merits. See Brotherhood Shipping Co. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 985 F.2d 323, 327 (7th Cir. 1993). An evidentiary hearing on a motion for summary judgment is clearly not such a situation. Moreover, [HN7] Rule 42(b) requires that the parties' right to trial by jury be "preserved inviolate." In the present case, both parties requested and were entitled to a jury trial. The court could not assume a fact-finding role and usurp the power of the jury. See Stewart, 790 F.2d at 629-30 (finding that, because the plaintiff's time for demanding a jury trial had not yet expired, the "district judge was not-not yet, anyway-the finder of fact entitled to segment the issues and hold a limited trial"). [**11] Moreover, [HN8] oral testimony at the summary judgment stage creates a strong temptation for a judge to assess the witness' credibility. It is axiomatic that a judge may not evaluate the credibility of witnesses in deciding a motion for summary judgment. See, e.g., Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202, 106 S. Ct. 2505 (1986); Koopman v. Water Dist. No. 1, 972 F.2d 1160, 1164 (10th Cir. 1992) (quoting Anderson). This follows from the fact that the court may grant the motion only if there is "no genuine issue as to any material fact." FED. R. CIV. P. 56(c). In the present case, the district court had ample documentary evidence at its disposal. Both parties had completed discovery and the five witnesses who testified at the evidentiary hearing had already been deposed. Given this, it is unclear to us why the district court felt the need to convene the extraordinary evidentiary hearing which may have led it to grant summary judgment in the face of disputed fact issues, a matter to which we now turn. TIV [HN9] We review the entire record on summary judgement de novo in the light most favorable to the party opposing summary [**12] judgment. See Weir v. Anaconda Co., 773 F.2d 1073, 1079 (10th Cir. 1985). We must consider factual inferences tending to show triable issues in the light most favorable to the existence of those issues. See Riley v. Brown & Root, Inc., 896 F.2d 474, 476 (10th Cir. 1990). "Where different ultimate inferences may properly be drawn, the case is not one for a summary judgment." Luckett v. Bethlehem Steel, 618 F.2d 1373, 1377 (10th Cir. 1980) (cita- Page 4 206 F.3d 1021, *; 2000 U.S. App. LEXIS 4298, **; 2000 Colo. J. C.A.R. 1461 tions omitted). Finally, [HN10] if the district court made any findings of fact, they are not entitled to the deference due findings of fact made after a trial on disputed factual issues. See Riley, 896 F.2d at 476-77 & n.5 (determinations made in ruling on summary judgment are not reviewable under the clearly erroneous standard of Rule 52(a), but are reviewed under Rule 56(c) to ascertain whether there is an absence of any genuine issue of material fact). A. First Amendment Claim In ruling on the motion for summary judgment, the district court determined [*1027] that Coach Snow did not ask Brian to apologize for reporting the assault, and that Brian's ultimate failure to be involved [**13] with the football team was unrelated to his speech or refusal to speak. See Seamons III, 15 F. Supp. 2d at 1155, 1157. Given the conflicting testimony presented at the evidentiary hearing and contained in the depositions, we fail to see how the district court could reach these conclusions without resolving factual disputes - something it cannot do at this stage of the proceedings. See, e.g., MacLean, 247 F. Supp. at 190 ("The [HN11] Court's role in summary judgment proceedings is not to resolve issues of fact, but merely to pinpoint those facts which are not at issue."). We note in particular that the district court devoted a large portion of its opinion to a discussion of the differing accounts of the captains' meeting offered by Brian, Coach Snow, and Dan Ward during the evidentiary hearing. See Seamons III, 15 F. Supp. 2d at 1156-57. The district court indicated at the evidentiary hearing that it needed to examine three issues before it could determine whether there were sufficient facts to support a free speech claim: (1) whether Coach Snow asked Brian to apologize to the team captains; (2) the intended scope of this alleged apology; [**14] and (3) if there was such a request for an apology, whether Brian's failure to apologize was a significant factor in his dismissal from the team. We address these issues in turn, taking the evidence in the light most favorable to Brian, the non-moving party. 1. Whether Coach Snow asked Brian to apologize to the team captains The district court found that Brian was not asked to apologize for reporting the hazing incident. In his deposition and at the evidentiary hearing, Brian testified to the following: during the captains' meeting Dan Ward told him he had betrayed the team by reporting the assault and demanded an apology; when Brian refused, Coach Snow said he would need to "forgive and forget and apologize" in order to remain playing on the team; Coach Snow further stated, "we would need an apology before we let you back on the team." Coach Snow admits to making statements of this nature, although he denies ever directly telling Brian to apologize. If we credit Brian's version, and we must at this stage, there is clearly a disputed issue of fact as to whether Coach Snow asked Brian to apologize to the team captains. 2. The intended scope of this apology The district [**15] court found that, even if Coach Snow used the word "apologize," he was not asking Brian to apologize for reporting the assault. Instead, the court concluded that "the request for an 'apology' was not a demand, or a request, for Brian to say he was wrong for reporting the hazing incident; it was rather a request for a mutual reconciliation among Brian and his teammates to allow the boys to function together as friends and teammates." Seamons III, 15 F. Supp. 2d at 1157. Brian testified that Coach Snow's statements regarding the apology came in response to a heated discussion between Brian and Dan Ward, wherein Dan insisted that Brian not be allowed to play unless he apologized for reporting the assault. Coach Snow interrupted the exchange and expressed his desire that Brian apologize in order to remain on the team. Coach Snow further stated that the team would need an apology before Brian could return. When these remarks are taken in context, it is reasonable to infer that Coach Snow was telling Brian he could not return to the team unless he apologized for reporting the assault. In any event, that is how Brian interpreted the statement, and a jury could properly do [**16] the same. Thus, the intended scope of the apology is also a matter of dispute. One difficulty presented here is the fact that the scope of the requested apology is dependent in part on Coach Snow's intent in asking for it. The Coach's purpose in [*1028] making these statements to Brian is not easily ascertained and requires inferences drawn from the Coach's behavior throughout the meeting and the broader controversy. This is precisely why summary judgment is not appropriate at this stage. See, e.g., Hayden v. First Nat'l Bank, 595 F.2d 994, 997 (5th Cir. 1979) (In [HN12] "cases which involve delving into the state of mind of a party, [the] granting of summary judgment is especially questionable."). "If plaintiffs claim that some conduct on the part of defendant abridged their First Amendment rights, summary judgment may be precluded because questions concerning defendant's motives or knowledge must be determined." 10B C. Wright, A. Miller & M. Kane, Federal Practice & Procedure § 2732.2 at 153-54, 177 (3d ed. 1998). 2 Page 5 206 F.3d 1021, *; 2000 U.S. App. LEXIS 4298, **; 2000 Colo. J. C.A.R. 1461 2 We point out that [HN13] cases involving constitutional or civil rights "frequently are unsuitable for summary judgment" because "a necessary element of the claim for relief presents an inquiry into the state of mind of one or more of the parties." See id. at 152. [**17] 3. Whether Brian's failure to apologize was a significant factor in his dismissal from the team The district court found that Brian had failed to produce facts showing a "legal causal connection between his speech and his ultimate failure to be involved with ...
Purchase answer to see full attachment

Tutor Answer

Prof_Ja
School: Boston College

hey dude...

flag Report DMCA
Review

Anonymous
Tutor went the extra mile to help me with this essay. Citations were a bit shaky but I appreciated how well he handled APA styles and how ok he was to change them even though I didnt specify. Got a B+ which is believable and acceptable.

Similar Questions
Hot Questions
Related Tags
Study Guides

Brown University





1271 Tutors

California Institute of Technology




2131 Tutors

Carnegie Mellon University




982 Tutors

Columbia University





1256 Tutors

Dartmouth University





2113 Tutors

Emory University





2279 Tutors

Harvard University





599 Tutors

Massachusetts Institute of Technology



2319 Tutors

New York University





1645 Tutors

Notre Dam University





1911 Tutors

Oklahoma University





2122 Tutors

Pennsylvania State University





932 Tutors

Princeton University





1211 Tutors

Stanford University





983 Tutors

University of California





1282 Tutors

Oxford University





123 Tutors

Yale University





2325 Tutors