Hurd v. Hansen

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BRANDY HURD, a minor by and through her legal representative, IVAN HURD, Plaintiff - Appellant,
v.
JULIE HANSEN; TOM BATES, Superintendent, Island Union School District, Defendants - Appellees.

No. 05-16747

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT

April 18, 2007,[1] Submitted, San Francisco, California

April 24, 2007, Filed

NOTICE: PLEASE REFER TO FEDERAL RULES OF APPELLATE PROCEDURE RULE 32.1 GOVERNING THE CITATION TO UNPUBLISHED OPINIONS.

PRIOR HISTORY: Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. D.C. No. CV-04-05560-DLB. Dennis L. Beck, Magistrate Judge, Presiding.

COUNSEL: For BRANDY HURD, a minor by and through her legal representative, IVAN HURD, Plaintiff - Appellant: Kevin Little, Fresno, CA.

For JULIE HANSEN, TOM BATES, Superintendent, Island Union School District, Defendants - Appellees: Robert J. Rosati, Esq., Fresno, CA.

JUDGES: Before: SCHROEDER, Chief Circuit Judge, TROTT and W. FLETCHER, Circuit Judges.

OPINION MEMORANDUM[2] Before: SCHROEDER, Chief Circuit Judge, TROTT and W. FLETCHER, Circuit Judges.

Appellant Ivan Hurd, on behalf of his minor daughter Brandy Hurd, appeals from summary judgment against his claims that schoolteacher Julie Hansen violated Brandy's substantive due process and equal protection rights by giving her a "C" grade in a seventh-grade physical education class. Appellee Tom Bates was alleged to be liable as the supervisor of appellee Hansen. We affirm.

Assuming, without deciding, that Hansen's grading decision could have implicated property or liberty interests protected by substantive due process, it was not arbitrary. Regents of the Univ. of Mich. v. Ewing, 474 U.S. 214, 223, 106 S. Ct. 507, 88 L. Ed. 2d 523 (1985). That is, the grading decision was not "such a substantial departure from accepted academic norms as to demonstrate that [Hansen] did not actually exercise professional judgment." Id. at 225.

Further, Hurd has failed to establish, as a disputed issue of fact, that Hansen's grading decision was motivated by improper racial bias or personal animus towards Brandy rather than by Brandy's failure to cooperate and poor effort in class. Therefore, summary judgment on Hurd's equal protection claim was proper.

Because we affirm summary judgment on the grounds relied on by the magistrate judge, we need not reach appellees' alternative arguments for dismissal.

AFFIRMED.

References

  1. This panel unanimously finds this case suitable for decision without oral argument. See Fed. R. App. P. 34(a)(2).
  2. This disposition is not appropriate for publication and is not precedent except as provided by 9th Cir. R. 36-3.