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Date: 12-08-2023

Case Style:

R.W. v. Columbia Basin College

Case Number: 4:18-cv-05089

Judge: Mary K. Dimke

Court: United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington (Benton County)

Plaintiff's Attorney:

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Defendant's Attorney: Nicholas R Ulrich

Description: Richland, Washington employment law lawyers represented the Plaintiff who sued the Defendant on a Family Medical Leave Act violation theory.

R.W., a nursing student at Columbia Basin College, revealed to his doctor that he had homicidal ideations and that he imagined killing his teachers. Upon learning this information from the doctor and conducting further investigation, the College banned R.W. from campus until he met certain conditions for return. R.W. brought a First Amendment claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The district court granted R.W.'s motion for summary judgment and also denied qualified immunity to two college administrators, Lee Thornton and Ralph Reagan, who now appeal. We review qualified immunity decisions de novo and we reverse. Vazquez v. County of Kern, 949 F.3d 1153, 1159 (9th Cir. 2020).

Qualified immunity protects government officials from civil damages liability unless their conduct violates a "clearly established" constitutional right. Pearson v. Callahan, 555 U.S. 223, 231 (2009). "Clearly established" means that "every reasonable official would have understood that what he is doing violates that right." Taylor v. Barkes, 575 U.S. 822, 825 (2015) (per curiam). The key inquiry is whether the official had "fair notice that her conduct was unlawful." Kisela v. Hughes, 138 S. Ct. 1148, 1152 (2018) (quoting Brosseau v. Haugen, 543 U.S. 194, 198 (2004) (per curiam)).

Outcome: Reversed by the Ninth Circuit.

12/08/2023 286 NOTICE OF FILING OF OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT of Jury Trial - Day One (Excluding Voir Dire, PJIs, and Opening Statements). Proceedings held on August 1, 2022 in Richland, Washington before Judge Mary K. Dimke. Volume Number: I Page Numbers: 1-15

Parties have seven (7) business days to file with the court a Notice of Intent to Request Redaction of this transcript. If no such Notice is filed, the transcript may be made remotely electronically available to the public without redaction after 90 calendar days.

Transcript may be viewed at the court public terminal or purchased through the Court Reporter/Transcriber before the deadline for Release of Transcript Restriction. After that date it may be obtained through PACER.

Information regarding the policy can be found on the court website at

To purchase a copy of the transcript contact Court Reporter/Transcriber Kimberly Allen at 509-943-8175 or Redaction Request due 12/29/2023. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 1/8/2024. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 3/7/2024. (Allen, Kim) (Entered: 12/08/2023)

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12/08/2023 292 Order: Before the Court is Defendants' Motion for Reconsideration, ECF No. 285 . IT IS HEREBY ORDERED: Plaintiff shall file a response to Defendants' Motion by no later than December 19, 2023. Defendants' reply, if any, shall be filed no later than December 26, 2023. Text-only entry; no PDF will issue. This text-only entry constitutes the order of the Court. Signed by Judge Mary K. Dimke. (CV, Courtroom Deputy) (Entered: 12/08/2023)

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