U.S. District Judge Sam Lindsay yesterday ordered “John Doe, Jane Doe I, and Jane Doe II v. The Episcopal School of Dallas” back to state court. As you may remember, Jane Doe II is a former ESD student who allegedly had a seven-month sexual relationship with teacher John Nathan Campbell. The girl and her parents sued the school for negligence, and their suit was scheduled to go to trial June 6 in in the court of Judge D’Metria Benson.
But on May 20, ESD’s lawyers requested a change of venue to a federal court because the Does’ attorneys had questioned the school’s 501(c)(3) status. Lindsay lays out several reasons and precedents for denying that request, most of which are far too complicated for some non-lawyer like me to comprehend quickly, but I did love this quote from his order:
Given the acrimonious to-and-fro between the parties and the morass caused by the acrimony, the court “cuts to the chase” and only addresses the real issues that are determinative of the pending motions.
Lindsay also ordered ESD to pay the Does’ fees and costs related to the change-of-venue brouhaha.
We’ll make some phone calls today and try to figure out when to expect a trial in Benson’s court.