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FARR v. CHESNEY

September 9, 1977

Jo-Ann FARR, Plaintiff,
v.
Winston R. CHESNEY et al., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MUIR

 I. Introduction.

 Jo-Ann Farr has brought this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, 42 U.S.C. § 1985, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and 28 U.S.C. § 1331(a) alleging that the Defendants have violated her constitutional rights. Farr seeks injunctive and declaratory relief and damages. Testimony in this case was heard concerning liability before the undersigned judge beginning on August 15, 1977 and ending on August 17, 1977. Final arguments of counsel on the question of liability were heard by the Court on August 23, 1977. Following are the Court's findings of fact, discussion and conclusions of law.

 II. Findings of Fact.

 1. Plaintiff is a clinical consulting psychologist, having received her doctorate in psychology from the Pennsylvania State University in November, 1974. (Undisputed)

 3. The Juniata Valley Office of Mental Health and Mental Retardation (Office) implemented the above tri-county program.

 4. The aforesaid three counties had in effect, at the time Plaintiff's alleged cause of action arose, a tri-party agreement, dated March 30, 1976, setting forth their respective powers, duties, and procedures with respect to the Office. (Undisputed)

 5. In January, 1976, all nine of the county commissioners took office for a four-year term having been elected by the electors of their various counties. (Undisputed)

 6. Of these nine persons, seven were new commissioners. (Undisputed)

 7. Plaintiff performed services as a part-time consultant and sex therapist for the office. (Undisputed)

 8. Plaintiff was paid at a daily per diem rate and was not carried on the payroll as a full-time employee.

 9. Social security taxes, federal taxes and state taxes were not deducted from her compensation.

 10. The Plaintiff was retained as a clinical consulting psychologist by the Office in May of 1974.

 11. Plaintiff's work for the Office included development of an evaluation program, development of a consultative education service, and counselling and therapy work for persons served by the Office experiencing sex-related problems. (Undisputed)

 12. Plaintiff performed her services for the Office during the years 1974, 1975, and 1976. (Undisputed)

 13. The Plaintiff initially worked one or two days a week, for compensation of $115.00 a day beginning in May, 1974.

 14. Beginning in the Summer of 1975, the Plaintiff worked three days a week during the summer and one or two days a week during the academic year (September to June), for compensation of $125.00 a day.

 15. State standards for the mental health program set maximum compensation at $100.00 a day for a consultant.

 16. Such services were based on arrangements between the Plaintiff and the Administrator of the Office, which were discussed periodically at the end of a fiscal year, calendar year or school term and the basic terms of service, which were always on a part-time basis, would frequently be set forth in a memorandum from the Administrator to the Plaintiff elaborating upon her duties, rate of compensation, and anticipated expenditure of time through such period. (Undisputed)

 17. The Commissioners who took office in January, 1976 requested an audit of the financial affairs of the Office and audits were made by the Department of Public Welfare and the Department of the Auditor General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

 18. The Plaintiff's counselling and therapeutic work was in the day-treatment program established by the Office.

 19. The Plaintiff's counselling and therapeutic work was conducted with groups and individuals.

 20. The Plaintiff's counselling and therapeutic work involved the exploration of behavior through language descriptive of or involved with the ideas and feelings of those persons with whom she worked.

 21. The Plaintiff's use of language as a tool in her counselling and therapeutic work involved certain words, phrases and expressions with sexual references, including the word "fuck."

 22. Plaintiff's use of these words, phrases and expressions, including the word "fuck," and the nature of her counselling and therapeutic work generally, are probably based on her training, education and experience as a clinical psychologist.

 23. The Plaintiff is a highly esteemed member of her profession.

 25. The Plaintiff's contracts with the Office were initially oral agreements between her and the Office's ...


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