Los Angeles Superior Court Complaint
Student vs. Sebastian Dane Sartorius; Jordan Clarke,
Douglas & Marcia Clarke, Brooke & Tina Sartorius et al.
About one in every four children in the United States is bullied regularly. It’s stunning to think that a quarter of our young people are having their lives ruined by the negative actions of others. And when you consider the levels of stress, depression and suicides in youngsters that can be tied in with this worrying epidemic, it brings the issue of bullying even sharper into focus. The situation needs addressing. And fast.
Parents of bullies can be sued:
Defendants‘ Douglas & Marcia Clarkes Motion for Summary Judgment is Denied:
See Court Order here:
Parents of Bullies are Liable Under California Education Code 48904 & Civil Code Section 1714.1
See Court Order dated January 30, 2018:
EDUCATION CODE 48904 IS IN ADDITION TO C.C. SECTION 1714.1
Allowing the additional damages allegation is in the furtherance of justice.
Ed. Code sec. 48904 imposes additional, broader liability on a parent for a child’s willful misconduct in a school setting and states, “Notwithstanding Section 1714.1 of the Civil Code, the parent or guardian of any minor whose willful misconduct results in injury or death to any pupil or any person employed by . . . a school district or private school . . . shall be liable for all damages so caused by the minor. Civil Code section 1714.1 provides that the “liability imposed by this section is in addition to any liability now imposed by law,” and Education Code section 48904 imposes its liability “[n]otwithstanding Section 1714.1 of the Civil Code.”
“Civil Code section 1714.1, subdivision (a) imposes vicarious and strict liability upon a parent for acts of the child if the statutory requirements are met. The obvious purpose of the law is to provide a satisfactory remedy to innocent third parties injured by a minor where, for all practical purposes, none is available under the common law. (Stokes, Insurance: Liability of Insurer Under Personal Liability Policy for Damage Caused by Willful Misconduct of Insured’s Child-Application of New California Statute (1955) 7 Hastings L.J. 98, 99-101.) As one commentator has observed: ‘The rule of public policy would seem to be, and rightly so, that between innocent third parties and parents of a minor child causing damage through willful misconduct, the latter should bear the burden of responsibility.’ (Id., at p. 101.)
“Thus, the obvious purpose of Civil Code section 1714.1, subdivision (a) is to protect and compensate injured innocent third persons by expanding the common law scope of parental liability for willful misconduct by children. At the same time, the amount of statutory liability is limited.” (Robertson v. Wentz, supra, 187 Cal.App.3d at p. 1293, fn. omitted, italics added.)
PARENTAL LIABILITY FOR THEIR BULLY CHILDREN’S CONDUCT
1. The parent defendants are presently liable for a maximum baseline of $62,123.00 for damages caused by their minor child. First, Civil Code section 1714.1 has a max liability limit of $25K as of 1995, and that limit increases with the California Consumer Price Index. The California Rules of Court, Appendix B indicates that the maximum statutory liability amount is $40,600 as of July 1, 2015. Using the formula contained in the CRC, Appendix B, the current maximum statutory limit as of February 2017 = $42,923.00. http://www.courts.ca.gov/rules.htm
2. Second, Education Code section 48904 adds in a $10,000 amount for damages, adjusted by inflation. For inflation, Ed. Code section 48904(a)(2) states that, “The Superintendent annually shall compute an adjustment of the liability limits prescribed by this subdivision to reflect the percentage change in the average annual value of the Implicit Price Deflator for State and Local Government Purchases of Goods and Services for the United States, as published by the United States Department of Commerce for the 12-month period ending in the prior fiscal year. The annual adjustment shall be rounded to the nearest one hundred dollars ($100) and for 2017, that dollar amount is $19,200.00. (http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/ac/co/parentliability2017.asp)
The Rutter Group’s, California Practice Guide, Personal Injury provides the following discussion of these statutes:
(a) Civil Code 3291 creates an absolute right to 10% prejudgment interest on the compensatory damages portion of a personal injury (or wrongful death) award when a rejected CCP 998 settlement demand is exceeded by the judgment. [CC 3291; Lakin v. Watkins Associated Industries (1993) 6 C4th 644, 656-661, 25 CR2d 109, 116-119; see McKinney v. California Portland Cement Co. (202) 96 CA4th 1214, 1229-1232, 117 CR2d 849, 860-862]
(b) The jury also has a “discretionary” right under Civil Code 3288 to award prejudgment interest in all non contract cases “and in every case of oppression, fraud or malice”…hence in all unliquidated tort actions. This has been characterized as a “necessary element of compensatory damages to insure a plaintiff is made whole” and hence part of plaintiff’s “actual damages”; it represents the accretion of wealth which money or particular property could have produced during a period of loss (between the time of the injury and verdict). [See Greater Westchester Homeowners Ass’n v. City of Los Angeles (1979) 26 C3d 86, 102-103, 160 CR 733, 741; 1)
Parents in New York Town Could Face Jail, Fine Under New Anti-Bullying law
Parents could be fined $250 and sentenced to 15 days in jail, according to North Tonawanda City Attorney Luke Brown.
Parents could face punishment if their child violates the city’s curfew or any city law, including bullying, twice over the course of 90 days.
The new law is modeled after a similar push in Wisconsin to hold parents accountable, according to Brown. The law went into effect in North Tonawanda Oct. 1, 2017.
“We hope to never need to use this law but it’s there in extreme cases,” North Tonawanda City School District Superintendent Greg Woytila said. “But we need to do a better job and we are continually trying to do that.”
Nearly 30 percent of students from sixth- to 12th-grade say they have been bullied, according to StopBullying.gov, a bullying prevention and awareness website run by the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services and Justice.
The Cities of Malibu, CA and Santa Monica, CA should consider adopting the same law and hold parents accountable for their bully children’s conduct.
See North Tonawanda Law
The financial and emotional consequences are potentially devastating
See Article here:
See Santa Monica Dispatch Article Concerning Severe Bullying at Malibu High School Entitled:
“Victim Becomes Villain in Malibu Controversy”
SPECIAL INTERROGATORY NO. 13:
LIST THE FULL NAME AND JOB TITLE OF THOSE INDIVIDUALS AT SMMUSD (AND/OR MALIBU HIGH SCHOOL) RESPONSIBLE AMENDING/REVERSING CANCELING AND OR OTHERWISE MODIFYING THE DISCIPLINARY SUSPENSION OF DEFENDANT SEBASTIAN SARTORIUS ISSUED IN OR AROUND NOVEMBER 2012.
RESPONSE TO SPECIAL INTERROGATORY NO. 13:
SANDRA LYON, SUPERINTENDENT OF THE SANTA MONICA-MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT.
SIGNED UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY AT SANTA MONICA, CA ON 12/20/2013.
SEVERE BULLYING AT MALIBU HIGH SCHOOL AND THE SMMUSD SUPERINTENDENT SANDRA LYON’s RATIFICATION OF THE CONDUCT
A couple of incidents in the bleachers that overlook the swimming pool at Malibu High School two years ago are still reverberating through the school and the community and, ironically, the young victim has become the villain of the piece.
In November and December, 2012, on several occasions, during water polo team practice, a Varsity team player, Sebastian Sartorius committed what have been officially described as “multiple counts of battery” on a younger, smaller Junior Varsity team member who was sitting in the bleachers. On learning of the incident, High School principal Jerry Block removed Sartorius from the team.
Following the incidents, the younger boy left the team and discontinued his 9th grade PE class. He also told officials about two previous instances in which Sartorius had allegedly roughed him up.
Not only did members of both the Junior Varsity and Varsity water polo teams continue to harass the young boy, some parents and students spread stories that the so-called victim had exaggerated, describing what was obviously innocent water polo horseplay as serious assaults. At the same time, an online campaign expressed outrage at Sartorius’ being charged with battery and suspended, and some parents threatened to retaliate by withholding contributions they’d agreed to make to the school.
In a letter SMMUSD’s school psychologist, Dr. Juliette Boewe, wrote to the boy’s parents, she said, “I am very sorry that you…are having to deal with the fallout of (your son’s) reporting. He did the right thing by telling us and we believe him. Each of us has said that we wished he had said something much sooner.
“Unfortunately, we are not at liberty to share with parents or students what happened. And it seems to me based on what is being said that people are misinformed and underestimating what actually occurred, somehow viewing the other student as the victim in this situation…and listening to rumors being spread by students and parents. I think that (your) response to (name withheld) was appropriate. I think that you have the right to your privacy, but you also have the right to set the record straight to anyone who approaches you with misinformation or tries to minimize what has happened…We cannot do this for you.
“Also, in response to (your) question about the conversation with the sheriff’s officers, (your son) just told them what happened (the teasing and name calling, the episode during homecoming week, the episode in the bathroom at the Cate game, and the episode Monday in PE). He gave a few more details.”
The hostile school environment peaked on December 6, 2012 when the entire Malibu High School water polo team (Junior Varsity and Varsity) and their parents, about 50 people in all, went to court in support of Sartorius. He was ultimately charged with two counts of battery and served six months’ probation.
While he was still on probation, Sartorius was appointed coach of the City of Malibu D-14 water polo team by Malibu High School’s Water Polo Coach Hayden Goldberg.
Santa Cruz Superior Court Criminal Case Number M75882
Location: Santa Cruz CA
*Booking information comes directly from the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office.
Santa Monica Dispatch Article
See pdf copy of Santa Monica Dispatch Article:
There are many other troubling issues with the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District.
Other Superintendent Sandra Lyon’s Errors in Judgment:
“SANTA MONICA TEACHER WAS RIGHT, SUPERINTENDENT WAS VERY, VERY WRONG”
STUDENT vs. WENDY WAX GELLIS & THE SANTA MONICA MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
For details of this pending Federal lawsuit go to: https://lawofficesofbarryfagan.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/santa-monica-dispatch-article-concerning-smmusds-retaliatory-acts-against-students-and-parents-by-filing-false-claims-of-child-abuse-with-the-department-of-children-family-services/
See link to Santa Monica Dispatch Article Concerning Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s Retaliatory Acts Against Students and Parents by filing false claims of child abuse with the Department of Children and Family Services:
- SMMUSD vs. Student
By Debra Shepherd
Good evening Council members. I am the parent of a child in general education and a child who requires special education services. I am also a member of the Working Group.
Although the non-disclosure agreements are no longer being used to my knowledge, the environment that brought about the use of those agreements still exists.
When a problem arises, there does not seem to be an ability to resolve the problem without input from the attorneys. Since November of 2008, the District has been more adversarial toward my family by threatening me with due process litigation at tax payers’ expense. The SMMUSD refuses to even acknowledge that my daughter has an autism spectrum disorder despite multiple pages of detailed assessments from UCLA in a school setting that have been a part of my child’s records for the last 4 years.
The District is also attempting to take needed services and accommodations out of my child’s educational program. I had to fight for two years for my daughter to receive occupational therapy services.
My extended family has also traveled thousands of miles to help me with these issues. The SMMUSD would rather spend thousands of tax payer dollars suing me than pay for a needed assessment for my child or provide her with a free and appropriate education as mandated by law.
I thought that we had reached our lowest point in the journey when school staff filed a false report against me with child services in retaliation against me for hiring an attorney. My youngest child is still not recovered from the trauma of that incident. I am also disturbed by the number of families of color that have left the district. When families of color complain about how they are treated by the district, their address is verified. This whole situation has taken a toll on my health and the well-being of my family.
United States District Court for the Central District of California lawsuit:
2. Student v Wendy Wax Gellis & Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District:
Fast forward to 2014, and this time the SMMUSD is once again being accused in Federal Court of the exact same form of retaliatory conduct against another family specifically because of their advocacy on behalf of their child. The family alleges that the SMMUSD’s common plan was/is to intentionally harass and retaliate against the Plaintiffs for their currently pending tort complaint and for their multiple OCR complaints.
The family alleges that an example of retaliatory action by the SMMUSD taken against this family includes knowingly and maliciously filing a false child rape and domestic violence allegation with the local law enforcement and with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) in retaliation for parent’s exercise of their federally protected right to bring claims against the SMMUSD before the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR).
The family alleges that on December 18, 2013, SMMUSD employee named Wendy Wax Gellis made a knowingly false referral to the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), and to local law enforcement that parent raped her own son. The allegations were determined by all investigating agencies to be unfounded.
The content of Gellis’ report to DCFS was defamatory, reckless, false, and not made in good faith and was for intentional retaliatory purposes as a result of Parents federally protected advocacy on behalf of their child.
The family alleges that Wendy Wax Gellis knowingly lied about the alleged victims absence from school on December 18, 2013, when in fact he was present and available to be spoken to. Gellis used as pretext the fabricated story of a student with a history of habitual lying and psychological issues. This same student had even fabricated her own attempted suicide at school and was suspended for doing so, all of which Gellis was aware of.
The California Suspected Child Abuse Report Form specifically asks the mandated reporter to summarize what they OBSERVED or what the victim said to mandated Reporter. (“What victim(s) said/what the mandated reporter observed/what person accompanying the victim(s) said/similar or past incidents involving the victim(s) or suspect”) Wendy Wax Gellis intentionally chose not to observe or hear anything from the alleged victim solely so she could cause all of the Plaintiffs’ emotional harm.
This filing was a blatant abuse of process as Wendy Wax Gellis and the SMMUSD never observed anything and heard nothing from the alleged victim prior to making this retaliatory report to child services and the police.
The family alleges that the SMMUSD and Wendy Wax Gellis knew exactly what they were doing when they intentionally chose not to speak to the alleged victim and caused all of the family great duress by forcing them to be subjected to the intrusive investigations of both the Police and DCFS.
The family alleges that the SMMUSD and its employees are criminally liable for violations of California Penal Code § 11166 and 11172(a) et seq. for filing a knowingly false child abuse report with child services and the police. A mandated reporter’s immunity is limited to child abuse claims that are based upon a reasonable suspicion and does not provide immunity for those who show a reckless disregard for the truth of the matters asserted.
The family continues to fear that the SMMUSD and staff will continue to take further retaliatory actions against them.
3. STUDENT vs. MARK KELLY; BRANDON GALLAGHER; TARA BROWN; DINA MENDOZA; AL TRUNDLE et al.
THE SANTA MONICA MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
Plaintiffs allege that Mark Kelly’s conduct in baiting student was so outrageous in character and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency,” Mintz, 905 P.2d at 563. Mark Kelly’s knowledge that the plaintiff is peculiarly susceptible to emotional distress by reason of some physical or mental condition rises to both extreme and outrageous conduct.” (“eggshell plaintiff” principle)
Some students may have vulnerabilities which necessitate a greater degree of caution on the part of school districts and their employees. In M.W. v. Panama Buena Vista Union School Dist., supra,
Abuse of Power
See link to many other troubling issues with the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District:
SMMUSD IRRESPONSIBILITY ENDANGERS OUR CHILDREN
The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District demonstrates a consistent pattern of evading responsibility for child safety. The SMMUSD has refused to answer questions about teachers who have sexually abused and sexually harassed children, failed to inform parents when their children have been victims of potentially criminal harassment, destroyed evidence concerning harassment of children, asked parents to destroy emails and not talk to each other about teacher sexual harassment of children, removed evidence of child abuse from its own records, impugned the testimony of its own employees who report child abuse, ordered teacher’s aides to not talk to parents, tried to intimidate students and parents, tried to mislead parents about their legal rights, publicly misrepresented its own legal obligations, and violated California state law.
PROFESSOR MICHAEL CHWE vs. SANTA MONICA MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
Verified Petition for Writ of Mandate Directed to Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District Ordering Compliance with the California Public Records Act
See pdf attachment of Professor Michael Chwe’s Public Records Act lawsuit against the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District:
These are not the actions of an altruistic educational Agency, but rather these are the actions of a few bad apples at the SMMUSD, all of whom truly believe that they can just keep abusing process and get away with it.
It’s time to fire Superintendent Sandra Lyon
See pdf copy:
Email the Santa Monica Unified School District’s Board of Education:
|Oscar de la Torre
|Dr. Jose Escarce