STATE IMMUNITY - STATE AGENT IMMUNITY - EX PARTE MONTGOMERY COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION, ET. AL
In Ex parte Montgomery County Board of Education, et. al., [Ms. 1101401, Jan. 27, 2012] __ So. 3d __(Ala. 2012), the Supreme Court of Alabama granted a petition by the defendants, Montgomery County School Board, its board members, and an employee, requesting that the Supreme Court vacate the Montgomery Circuit Court's Order denying the defendants' motion for summary judgment on the basis of immunity. This case arose out of a third grade student who was injured in a school restroom. The student's mother sued the school board, the board members in their official capacities, and the student's teacher, individually and in her official capacity, asserting claims of negligence and wantonness and seeking compensatory and punitive damages. The board, the board members, and the teacher filed motions for a summary judgment asserting there were no genuine issues of material fact and that all the defendants were immune from suit under the doctrine of state-agent immunity. The circuit court denied the motions. On appeal, the Supreme Court held that the school board, the board members and the teacher, in her official capacity, were entitled to immunity under ¤14 of the Alabama Constitution. The Court further held that the teacher was entitled to state-agent immunity for the claims asserted against her in her individual capacity because under a Cranman analysis, the minor failed to present substantial evidence that the teacher exceeded her discretionary authority. Therefore, the Supreme Court granted the defendants' petitions and entered a writ ordering the Montgomery Circuit Court to vacate its order denying the summary judgment motions and to enter summary judgment on all claims.