Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

November 24, 2008

Order issued in lawsuit

VALDOSTA — U.S. District Court Judge Charles A. Pannell, Jr. issued his first order in a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by former Valdosta State University student Hayden Barnes, who was expelled last year.

In his order, Pannell granted VSU’s motion to dismiss the first two counts of Barnes’ lawsuit, which allege that all defendants (including VSU, former VSU President Dr. Ronald Zaccari, the Board of Regents and several VSU administrators) deprived Barnes of his First Amendment rights as well as his rights to procedural and substantive due process guaranteed by the U.S. and Georgia Constitutions, according to a press release from the Foundation of Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).

The decision to dismiss the counts was reached after the court found the Eleventh Amendment’s immunity clause, which grants states immunity in federal court, to be applicable in the case.

Nonetheless, the order upheld Barnes’ third and fourth counts, which allege that each defendant, not just VSU and the Board of Regents, could be individually held liable for denying Barnes his right to free speech as well as his right to due process, the release stated.

The order denied VSU’s motion to dismiss Barnes’ final three counts. Count 5 alleges that “VSU and the Board of Regents violated a binding contract with Barnes by failing to observe policies outlined in VSU’s student handbook.” Count 6 alleges that “each individual defendant in their official capacity violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by using Barnes’ visits to VSU counseling center against him,” and Count 7 alleges that “each individual defendant in his or her official capacity violated the Rehabilitation Act by using Barnes’ visit to the counseling center against him.”

Before the case proceeds, VSU is to file an answer to the complaint either admitting or denying the allegations, according to the release. In response to the order, VSU Assistant to the President for Communications Thressea Boyd released the following statement: “As this is a pending legal matter, we are not at liberty to discuss the particulars of this issue at this time.”

Hayden Barnes was expelled in May 2007 after posting a satirical collage on Facebook.com in protest of the construction of two parking decks on VSU’s campus. Barnes’ expulsion was later reversed by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • education.jpg Desegregation status approved

    Forty-three years after an initial lawsuit was filed to force the system to desegregate, Valdosta City Schools has officially been approved for “unitary status.”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • ARociewilliams_002.jpg Woman shares nearly a century of lessons

    With nearly 100 years of life under her belt, Ocie Viola Williams has plenty of advice to share with the world. Her top two pieces of advice: know the importance of education and don’t expect a teacher to raise your child for you. 

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • psst1 photo page copy.jpg PSST! finishes peachy season

    Peach State Summer Theatre concluded its 2014 season Sunday, a season which broke attendance records for the professional musical theatre company.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_2381.jpeg Award-winning young professionals share success secrets

    The Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber’s MetroOne Young Professionals hosted a panel discussion on Tuesday at the Hilton Garden Inn to highlight successful business practices.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140726_summerlibrary002.jpg Library celebrates end of summer reading program

    With the first day of school just around the corner, students are soaking in the last few weeks of summer vacation. The end of summer also means the end of the South Georgia Regional Library’s 2014 summer reading program.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • artseason1 copy.jpg A sneak peek at some area arts organizations’ 2014-15 seasons

    Beethoven. Tennessee Williams. Non-stop art. Two versions of “The Wizard of Oz.” The 2014-15 arts season is coming.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • sabalmap.jpg Sabal Trail explains its position

    Representatives from Sabal Trail Transmission recently sat down with The Times to provide an update on the ongoing pipeline and potential economic development opportunities associated with the project.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072514-MoodyComp007.jpg Moody AFB crews race in load competition

    Moody Air Force Base hosted a weapons load competition Friday morning, a maintenance group tradition in which two 23d Maintenance Group A-10 munition load crews raced against the clock to load munitions onto an A-10C Thunderbolt II.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • moonshine bust.jpg Police close illegal drinking house

    After receiving numerous complaints, the Valdosta Police Department shut down an illegal alcohol sales operation Friday.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • election.jpg Black earns most votes in runoff

    State Rep. Ellis Black led the votes for state Senate District 8 Friday with seven of seven counties reporting certified results, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results