Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Simms v. Pennsylvania State University-Altoona

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

April 23, 2018

GRACE G. SIMMS, Plaintiff,
v.
PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY-ALTOON A, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          KIM R. GIBSON JUDGE

         I. Introduction

         Pending before the Court is Plaintiff Grace Simms' Motion for Certification of Judgment as Final and Appealable (ECF No. 25). The Motion has been fully briefed (see ECF Nos. 26, 28) and is ripe for disposition. For the reasons stated below, the Court will DENY Simms' motion.

         II. Background

         A. Procedural Background

         Simms filed a five-count complaint before this Court. (ECF No. 1.) Subsequently, Simms voluntarily dismissed two claims outright and all of her claims against the individual defendants. (ECF No. 12 at 6.) Thus, three claims remained against Defendant Perm State Altoona: (1) a Fourteenth Amendment procedural due process claim (Count I); (2) a Fourteenth Amendment substantive due process claim (Count II); and (3) a Title VI claim for race discrimination (Count III).

         Penn State Altoona filed a Motion to Dismiss Simms' procedural due process and substantive due process claims (ECF No. 8), which this Court granted. Simms v. Pennsylvania State Univ.-Altoona, No. 3:17-CV-201, 2018 WL 1413098 (W.D. Pa. Mar. 20, 2018). Simms now asks this Court to enter a final judgment on her procedural due process claim.

         B. Simms' Procedural Due Process Claim

         Penn State Altoona did not allow Simms' attorney to "actively participate" in Simms' Student Conduct Board hearing when Simms also faced criminal charges arising from the same conduct.[1] (See ECF No. 12.) Simms alleged that this violated her right to procedural due process. This Court rejected Simms' argument. The Court concluded that when a student faces criminal charges in addition to student disciplinary charges, "the due process clause does not require that an accused student's attorney actively participate in her disciplinary hearing." Id. at 6.

         III. Legal Standard

         Rule 54 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permits the Court to "direct entry of a final judgment as to one or more, but fewer than all, claims or parties ... if the court expressly determines that there is no just reason for delay." Fed.R.Civ.P. 54.[2]

         "A decision to certify a final decision under Rule 54(b) involves two separate findings: (1) there has been a final judgment on the merits, i.e., an ultimate disposition on a cognizable claim for relief; and (2) there is 'no just reason for delay.'" Berckeley Inv. Grp., Ltd. v. Colkitt, 455 F.3d 195, 202 (3d Cir. 2006) (quoting Curtiss-Wright Corp. v. General Elec. Co., 446 U.S. 1, 7-8 (1980)). The Court issued a final judgment on the merits of Plaintiff's procedural due process claim when it dismissed it under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).[3] Accordingly, the Court must determine whether there is "no just reason for delay." See Jankowski v. Lellock, No. 2:13-CV-194, 2014 WL 5712243, at *6 (W.D. Pa. Nov. 5, 2014) (McVerry, J.).

         District Courts in the Third Circuit should analyze five factors when ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.