ILNews

Judge rules law doesn’t require schools to bus students

Jennifer Nelson
December 21, 2012
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A Marion County judge ruled in favor of Franklin Township Community School Corp. on a lawsuit filed by parents after the school contracted its bus transportation services to an outside organization that charged students to ride.

Lora Hoagland and Donna Chapman filed the suit last year and the court created two classes: those who paid for services, represented by Chapman, and those who did not pay for their children to ride, but whose children would have if not for the fee. Hoagland represented those plaintiffs.

Franklin Township Community School Corp. voted in 2011 to not provide bus services for the 2011-2012 school year and contracted with Central Indiana Educational Service Center to provide the busing. CIESC charged more than $400 per child for the school year.

Both sides filed for summary judgment, and after hearing arguments on the matter Oct. 26, Marion Superior Judge Theodore Sosin ruled Monday that the discontinuation of bus services did not violate the Indiana Constitution. He also held that I.C. 20-26-1 et seq. and I.C. 20-27-1, et al. permits but does not require schools to bus students.

Sosin found that paying-class plaintiffs received the entire benefit of CIESC’s services and no private cause of action for damages exists under the Education Clause. Franklin Township is also immune from liability under the Indiana Tort Claims Act.

He entered summary judgment in favor of the defendants and denied the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment. Each party is to pay its own costs.

A week after this suit was filed in November 2011, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller issued a legal opinion that the state constitution and statutes dictate that schools cannot charge fees for student to ride a bus to school to receive public education nor can schools charge bus fees directly or indirectly. The legal opinion was released in response to a request by two legislators on whether school systems can outsource bus services to another entity that charges parents.

Zoeller also ruled the same way in a 2010 legal opinion discussing fees imposed to ride the school bus.

 

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  1. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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