Giangrasso v. Kittatinny Regional High School Board of Education
United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
865 F. Supp. 1133 (1994)
Robert Giangrasso (plaintiff), a student at Kittatinny Regional High School (Kittatinny), was suspended after admitting he had been sleeping in class and had threatened to punch his teacher in the head. Attorney Edward Gaffney Jr. filed a claim for Giangrasso against various Kittatinny-related parties (the Kittatinny parties) (defendants), alleging that (1) Giangrasso should have received notice of the charges and evidence and an opportunity to rebut the evidence before being suspended, as required by Goss v. Lopez, 419 U.S. 565 (1975), and (2) certain Kittatinny parties violated Giangrasso’s civil rights by conspiring to convince Giangrasso’s mother to put Giangrasso in a school for the emotionally disturbed. Goss did not require notice and a rebuttal opportunity if a student had admitted the charges. Giangrasso was afforded two hearings and was never placed in a school for the emotionally disturbed. Gaffney had previously filed Goss suits against the Kittatinny school district and had been sanctioned for filing a frivolous Goss claim. The Kittatinny parties moved for summary judgment and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (FRCP) 11 sanctions. Gaffney did not oppose the summary-judgment motion, responded to the sanctions motion only after sanctions had been granted, failed to meet case-management deadlines and provide discovery, and failed to appear or was late for conferences and arguments. The magistrate judge’s report and recommendation found that Gaffney had violated FRCP 11 and Rules of Professional Conduct (RPCs) 3.1, 3.2, and 1.3 and recommended that the court impose monetary sanctions of $100,000, enjoin Gaffney from filing any complaint involving Kittatinny, and refer the matter to the chief judge.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Sarokin, J.)
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