A United States District Court judge Feb. 25 denied a Liberty County School System motion to dismiss a civil suit.
Southern District of Georgia Judge B. Avant Edenfield signed the order last week, meaning the civil proceedings filed by a minor plaintiff and her family advance. The plaintiffs are seeking a jury trial and damages related to the district’s handling of a teacher who allegedly sexually solicited the student.
The plaintiff’s name has been withheld to protect her privacy.
The teacher in question, former Lewis Frasier Middle School math teacher Roosevelt Tazewell, was charged in 2010 with criminal intent to entice a child for indecent purposes and child molestation.
Tazewell was named as a defendant as well as LCSS administrators Dr. Judy Scherer, Mary Alexander and Tom Alexander, who, at the time, was principal of the school. The school system also is named as plaintiff.
Savannah attorney Christian J. Steinmetz on Oct. 29 filed the motion to dismiss on behalf of Scherer and the Alexanders.
In the filing, he argued that proceeding against the individuals in their professional capacities only reiterates the filing against the school system, thereby making the school system and Tazewell the only remaining defendants.
The judge’s ruling, however, delineates between different state laws that pertain to liability incurred by “a state official in his or her official capacity when sued for injunctive relief” and “official-capacity actions for prospective relief,” which are not treated as actions against the state.
According to a schedule filed Jan. 31 in the Public Access to Court Electronic Records database, discovery in the case is due by March 18 and civil motions are due by April 4.