State-Agent Immunity – Mandamus Procedure

Ex parte Runnels, [Ms. 1200647, Mar. 11, 2022] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2022). The Court (Stewart, J.; Parker, C.J., and Bolin, Shaw, Wise, Bryan, Sellers, Mendheim, and Mitchell, JJ., concur) issues a writ of mandamus to the Baldwin Circuit Court directing the court to grant a motion for summary judgment filed by Susan Runnels, principal of Elsanor Elementary School asserting state-agent immunity on a third-party spoliation-of-evidence claim asserted against her by Amir Michael Fooladi (“Fooladi”), as father and next friend of Malia Fooladi (“Malia”) who was injured on a glider at the school. The glider was put out in the trash by a custodian after Runnels had received a copy of a letter sent by an attorney for the School Board agreeing that the glider would be stored for an indefinite period.

The Court concludes Runnels is entitled to State-agent immunity under the second category identified in Cranman because “the Board had delegated to her the duty of storing the glider on school premises; [and] that, pursuant to that duty, she had exercised her judgment as an administrator of the school when assigning the head custodian the task of storing the glider ....” Ms. *11.

The Court declines to consider Fooladi’s effort to establish a Cranman exception because

In his reply to the mandamus petition, Fooladi argues that Runnels exceeded her authority by failing to obey the “detailed instruction” from the Board and Zeanah “to preserve the ... [the glider].” Significantly, however, none of the arguments raised by Fooladi in response to Runnels’s mandamus petition were raised in the trial court. Thus, Fooladi’s arguments are not properly before this Court, and we decline to address them. See, e.g., Ex parte Green, 108 So. 3d 1010, 1013 (Ala. 2012) (concluding that new argument raised in response to mandamus petition was not properly before this Court); Ex parte Harper, 934 So. 2d 1045, 1048 (Ala. 2006) (declining to address an alternate argument that a transfer was proper under the doctrine of forum non conveniens because “the trial court did not address this ground for transferring the action in its order”); and Ryan’s Family Steak Houses, Inc. v. Regelin, 735 So. 2d 454, 457 n.1 (Ala. 1999) (“[T]he propriety of a ruling on a motion to compel arbitration, like the propriety of a ruling on a summary-judgment motion, must be tested by reviewing the pleadings and the evidence the trial court had before it when it ruled.”)

Ms. **12-13.

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