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
  • 140422-Dan_Keplinger003.jpg The Art of Determination

    Artist Dan Keplinger invests passion into his frenetic pieces. His line work teems with energy. An unexpected trait in the often technically precise medium of printmaking.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • 140422-RibbonCutting.jpg Learning center named in Horne’s honor

    Noting his lengthy legacy in educating the region's young people, Valdosta City Schools officially renamed the Pinevale Learning Center Tuesday in honor of the late Maceo A. Horne Jr.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rose: Dismiss ‘Quitman 11’ case

    Following the second mistrial in the case of a Brooks County woman accused of voter fraud, a local civil rights leader has called for the issue to be dismissed, but prosecutors plan to seek prosecution for a third time.

    April 23, 2014

  • Lawsuit challenging Ga. gay marriage ban filed

    A gay rights group filed a federal lawsuit on Tuesday challenging Georgia’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriages.

    April 23, 2014

  • Commission denies City’s annexation request

    Lowndes County received an annexation request from the City of Hahira for five parcels of land that spanned approximately 66 acres, for the purpose of future development, and because the applicant sought city water and sewer.

    April 23, 2014

  • Confederate Memorial Day observed this weekend

    The United Daughters of the Confederacy, Valdosta Chapter 471, will observe Confederate Memorial Day, 10 a.m. Saturday, April 26, at Sunset Hill Cemetery.

    April 23, 2014

  • connell book review.jpg Literary Guild hears Fannie Flagg’s latest

    “Reading for fun is great, but learning while reading is super,” Sandra Connell told the Literary Guild at the April meeting.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Performance index tops Lowndes school board meeting

    Lowndes County Board of Education celebrated the results of the College and Career Readiness Performance Index scores during its regular session Monday night.

    April 23, 2014

  • N1401P14008C.TIF Sheriff hosts Prescription Take-Back Day

    The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office will collect unused medications this Saturday as a part of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140421 - flooding Shiloh Rd B#1.jpg Road re-opens following flooding

    Lowndes County officials re-opened one road Monday while keeping an eye on the area’s waterways for potential flooding.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

Given the amount of rain recently, what's your favorite “rain” song?

Singing in the Rain
Purple Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
November Rain
Rainy Night in Georgia
Other
     View Results