Case: Cooksey v. Caddo Parish School Board

5:17-cv-00607 | U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana

Filed Date: May 5, 2017

Closed Date: Feb. 20, 2018

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This case involved a challenge to Caddo Parish School Board's decision to merge two all-black high schools: Booker T. Washington and Fair Park. Cooksey marks one challenge in a long history of school desegregation litigation efforts in the Caddo Parish School District, captured in SD-LA-0002 in this clearinghouse. The case was assigned to Judge Elizabeth E. Foote in the Western District of Louisiana.A 1981 consent decree required Caddo Parish School Board to provide a qualitatively equal educat…

This case involved a challenge to Caddo Parish School Board's decision to merge two all-black high schools: Booker T. Washington and Fair Park. Cooksey marks one challenge in a long history of school desegregation litigation efforts in the Caddo Parish School District, captured in SD-LA-0002 in this clearinghouse. The case was assigned to Judge Elizabeth E. Foote in the Western District of Louisiana.

A 1981 consent decree required Caddo Parish School Board to provide a qualitatively equal education at Booker T. Washington and Fair Park relative to other schools in the district. This order remains ongoing to this day. In 2017, the Caddo Parish School Board decided to merge these two schools and turn Fair Park into a middle school. The decision, according to the Board, would save money and resources. On May 5, 2017, the plaintiffs, parents of students attending Fair Park and a Fair Park alumni association, brought this suit to enjoin the merger and declare the School Board's actions unconstitutional. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, brought suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging violations of the Equal Protection Clause, as well as violations of the 1981 Consent Order and state law. On the same day, the plaintiffs moved for a temporary restraining order (TRO) enjoining the defendant from merging the schools through the duration of this case.

Three days later, on May 8, the School Board responded in opposition to the TRO. It argued that the claims were unrelated to the 1981 Consent Order and that the conversion of Fair Park was unrelated to race and would aid the students. But on May 16, plaintiffs reported that they no longer intended to move for preliminary relief, and they voluntarily withdrew their motion the next day. At this point, the case was referred to Magistrate Judge Karen L. Hayes for a scheduling conference.

A trial was set for June 18, 2018. On July 26, 2017, however, the plaintiffs moved for an extension of time to amend their complaint. The plaintiffs informed the court that they intended to amend their complaint to make their suit a class action, involve more schools of the Caddo Parish, and include additional issues related to their case. The court granted the extension, giving the plaintiffs until August 27, 2017.

August 27 came and went. The plaintiffs never filed their amended complaint, and during this time, the school merger was completed.

There was no action on the docket until February 13, 2018, when Magistrate Judge Hayes ordered a conference. At this conference, both sides reported that the terms of the 1981 Consent Order did "not affect matters of public policy," and thus, the Consent Order was unrelated to the Board's decision to merge schools. The parties jointly stipulated to dismissal, and the court granted the dismissal on February 20, 2018.

The case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Cade Boland (3/27/2020)

Related Cases

Jones v. Caddo Parish School Board, Western District of Louisiana (1965)

People


Judge(s)

Foote, Elizabeth Erny (Louisiana)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Jones, Pamela R. (Louisiana)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Abrams, Reginald W. (Louisiana)

Carnie, Brian Ross (Louisiana)

Sutherland, Fred H. (Louisiana)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Priestley, William Henry (Louisiana)

Judge(s)

Foote, Elizabeth Erny (Louisiana)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Jones, Pamela R. (Louisiana)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Abrams, Reginald W. (Louisiana)

Carnie, Brian Ross (Louisiana)

Sutherland, Fred H. (Louisiana)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Priestley, William Henry (Louisiana)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

Feb. 20, 2018 Docket
1

Complaint

Cooksey v. Caddo Parish School District

May 5, 2017 Complaint
37

Minutes [00:05]

Cooksey v. Caddo Parish School District

Feb. 20, 2018 Order/Opinion

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT verified against Caddo Parish School Board with Jury Demand (Filing fee $400, receipt number 0536−3357940) filed by Lisila Gregg, Amanda Cooksey, Wendy Watson, Niesha Walpool, Fair Park Alumni Association. (Attachments: # 1 Civil cover sheet)(Attorney Allison Anne Jones added to party Amanda Cooksey(pty:pla), Attorney Allison Anne Jones added to party Fair Park Alumni Association(pty:pla), Attorney Allison Anne Jones added to party Lisila Gregg(pty:pla), Attorney Allison Anne Jones added to party Niesha Walpool(pty:pla), Attorney Allison Anne Jones added to party Wendy Watson(pty:pla))(aty,Jones, Allison) (Entered: 05/05/2017)

May 5, 2017

Judge Elizabeth E Foote and Magistrate Judge Karen L Hayes added. (crt,Bunting, M) (Entered: 05/08/2017)

May 5, 2017
3

RESPONSE IN OPPOSITION to re 2 MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary and Permanent Injunction filed by Caddo Parish School Board. (aty,Abrams, Reginald) Modified docket text to more accurately describe filing on 5/8/2017 (Bunting, M). See document 4 for Memorandum. (Entered: 05/08/2017)

May 8, 2017
4

MEMORANDUM in Opposition re 2 MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary and Permanent Injunction filed by Caddo Parish School Board. (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit James Woolfolk, # 2 Affidavit Keith Burton, # 3 Affidavit T. Lamar Goree)(aty,Abrams, Reginald) Modified to create a docket entry relationship on 5/8/2017 (Bunting, M). See corrective document 9 for additional exhibit. (Entered: 05/08/2017)

May 8, 2017
5

PROPOSED ORDER/JUDGMENT by Caddo Parish School Board. (aty,Abrams, Reginald) (Entered: 05/08/2017)

May 8, 2017
6

SUMMONS ISSUED as to School Board of Caddo Parish (crt,Bunting, M) (Entered: 05/08/2017)

May 8, 2017

Motions Transferred regarding 2 MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary and Permanent Injunction . Motions referred to Elizabeth E Foote. (crt,Bunting, M) (Entered: 05/08/2017)

May 8, 2017
7

NOTICE of Corrective Action to Reginald W Abrams on behalf of School Board of Caddo Parish regarding 3 Memorandum in Opposition to Motion. Action taken: Modified entry to more accurately identify pleading submitted. (crt,Bunting, M) (Entered: 05/08/2017)

May 8, 2017
8

REPLY to Response to Motion re 2 MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary and Permanent Injunction filed by Amanda Cooksey, Fair Park Alumni Association, Lisila Gregg, Niesha Walpool, Wendy Watson. (aty,Jones, Allison) (Entered: 05/08/2017)

May 8, 2017
9

CORRECTIVE DOCUMENT entitled Exhibit filed by School Board of Caddo Parish regarding 4 Memorandum in Opposition to Motion, Attachment Consent Decree p.10 . (aty,Abrams, Reginald) (Entered: 05/08/2017)

May 8, 2017
10

MOTION for Pamela R. Jones to Enroll as Counsel by Amanda Cooksey, Fair Park Alumni Association, Lisila Gregg, Niesha Walpool, Wendy Watson. Motions referred to Karen L Hayes. (Attachments: # 1 Text of proposed order)(aty,Jones, Allison) (Entered: 05/08/2017)

May 8, 2017
11

SUMMONS Returned Executed by Lisila Gregg, Amanda Cooksey, Wendy Watson, Niesha Walpool, Fair Park Alumni Association. School Board of Caddo Parish served on 5/8/2017, answer due 5/30/2017. (aty,Jones, Allison) (Entered: 05/08/2017)

May 8, 2017
12

MINUTE ENTRY: The Court hereby sets a telephone status conference for Tuesday, 5/16/2017, at 10:00 AM, regarding 2 Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary and Permanent Injunction. Plaintiffs' counsel will host the call. All trial counsel must participate. The use of cell phones is prohibited. A hearing on the motion is set for 5/22/2017 at 10:30 AM. Signed by Judge Elizabeth E Foote on 5/8/2017. (crt,Keifer, K) (Entered: 05/09/2017)

May 9, 2017
13

ORDER granting 10 Motion to Enroll as Counsel. Pamela R. Jones enrolled as counsel for Plaintiffs. Signed by Magistrate Judge Karen L Hayes on 5/11/2017. (crt,Leday, A) (Entered: 05/11/2017)

May 11, 2017
15

First MOTION for Leave to File Affidavit and Supplemental Affidavit with opposition by School Board of Caddo Parish. Motions referred to Karen L Hayes. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Affidavit Supplemental Aff. Burton & Supporting Docs, # 2 Proposed Affidavit Affidavit Lowder, # 3 Proposed order)(aty,Sutherland, Fred) Modified attachment description to reflect proposed on 5/12/2017 (Bunting, M). (Entered: 05/12/2017)

May 12, 2017
16

MOTION to Quash filed as a MOTION for Protective Order by School Board of Caddo Parish. Motions referred to Karen L Hayes. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum / Brief, # 2 Exhibit, # 3 Exhibit, # 4 Exhibit, # 5 Exhibit)(aty,Carnie, Brian) Modified event and to reflect deficient status on 5/12/2017 (Bunting, M). Modified to remove deficient status on 5/15/2017 (Bunting, M). See document 19 for proposed order. (Entered: 05/12/2017)

May 12, 2017

Motions Transferred regarding 15 First MOTION for Leave to File Affidavit and Supplemental Affidavit with opposition. Motions referred to Elizabeth E Foote. (crt,Bunting, M) (Entered: 05/12/2017)

May 12, 2017
17

NOTICE of Deficiency to Brian Ross Carnie on behalf of School Board of Caddo Parish regarding 16 MOTION to Quash. Reason: Either no proposed order accompanied this motion or the proposed order was not on a separate page. Please see LR7.4.1 or LR58.1 for additional information. The motion cannot be referred to chambers until this deficiency is corrected. (crt,Bunting, M) (Entered: 05/12/2017)

May 12, 2017
18

ELECTRONIC ORDER granting 14 Motion to Enroll as Counsel. Added as counsel William Henry Priestley, Jr for School Board of Caddo Parish. Signed by Magistrate Judge Karen L Hayes on 5/15/2017. (jud,Hayes, Karen) (Entered: 05/15/2017)

May 15, 2017
19

PROPOSED ORDER by School Board of Caddo Parish re 16 Motion to Quash,. (aty,Carnie, Brian) Modified docket text on 5/15/2017 (Bunting, M). (Entered: 05/15/2017)

May 15, 2017

Motions Transferred regarding 16 MOTION to Quash. Motions referred to Elizabeth E Foote. (crt,Bunting, M) (Entered: 05/15/2017)

May 15, 2017
23

MINUTES for proceedings held before Judge Elizabeth E Foote: STATUS CONFERENCE held on 5/16/2017; granting 15 Motion for Leave to File Affidavit and Supplemental Affidavit; granting 16 Motion for Protective Order. At this time, CPSB is not obligated to respond to any requests that result from the efforts of Plaintiffs' counsel. The hearing scheduled for Monday, 5/22/2017 is UPSET. (crt,Keifer, K) (Entered: 05/18/2017)

May 16, 2017
20

MOTION TO WITHDRAW filed as a NOTICE by Amanda Cooksey, Fair Park Alumni Association, Lisila Gregg, Niesha Walpool, Wendy Watson of Withdrawal of Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction re 2 MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary and Permanent Injunction (aty,Jones, Allison) Modified event to more accurately describe filing and to reflect deficient status on 5/17/2017 (Bunting, M). Modified to remove deficient status on 5/18/2017 (Bunting, M). See document 22 for proposed order. (Entered: 05/17/2017)

May 17, 2017
21

NOTICE of Deficiency to Allison Anne Jones on behalf of Amanda Cooksey, Fair Park Alumni Association, Lisila Gregg, Niesha Walpool, Wendy Watson regarding 20 MOTION to Withdraw. Reason: Either no proposed order accompanied this motion or the proposed order was not on a separate page. Please see LR7.4.1 or LR58.1 for additional information. The motion cannot be referred to chambers until this deficiency is corrected. (crt,Bunting, M) (Entered: 05/17/2017)

May 17, 2017
22

PROPOSED ORDER 20 by Amanda Cooksey, Fair Park Alumni Association, Lisila Gregg, Niesha Walpool, Wendy Watson re 2 Motion for TRO. (aty,Jones, Pamela) Modified to create a docket entry relationship on 5/18/2017 (Bunting, M). (Entered: 05/18/2017)

May 18, 2017
24

ORDER withdrawing 2 Motion for Temporary Restraining Order; granting 20 Motion to Withdraw. The hearing set for 5/22/2017 is cancelled. This matter is REFERRED to Magistrate Judge Hayes for a scheduling conference. Signed by Judge Elizabeth E Foote on 5/18/2017. (crt,Keifer, K) (Entered: 05/18/2017)

May 18, 2017
25

ORDER: Scheduling Conference set for 6/13/2017 at 11:00 AM by phone before Magistrate Judge Karen L Hayes. Rule 26 Conference between parties to take place before 6/2/2017. Initial Disclosures exchanged by 6/9/2017. Signed by Magistrate Judge Karen L Hayes on 5/19/2017. (crt,Leday, A) (Entered: 05/19/2017)

May 19, 2017
26

ELECTRONIC JURISDICTIONAL REVIEW FINDING: Having reviewed the pleadings, and any amended pleadings, the court finds that subject matter jurisdiction exists pursuant to: 28 U.S.C. section 1331. Signed by Magistrate Judge Karen L Hayes on 5/24/2017. (jud,Hayes, Karen) (Entered: 05/24/2017)

May 24, 2017
27

ANSWER to 1 Complaint by School Board of Caddo Parish. (aty,Sutherland, Fred) Modified on 5/30/2017 to remove jury demand. (Putch, A) (Entered: 05/26/2017)

May 26, 2017

NOTICE of Corrective Action to Fred H Sutherland on behalf of School Board of Caddo Parish regarding 27 Answer to Complaint. Action taken: Modified to remove jury demand from entry since jury demand was not reflected in pleading filed. (crt,Putch, A) (Entered: 05/30/2017)

May 26, 2017
28

Case Management Report RULE 26(f) Report by School Board of Caddo Parish, Amanda Cooksey, Fair Parish Alumni Assocition, Lisila Gregg, Niesha Walpool and Wendy Watson. (aty,Sutherland, Fred) Modified filers on 6/8/2017 (Bunting, M). (Entered: 06/08/2017)

June 8, 2017
29

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by School Board of Caddo Parish re 28 Rule 26(f) Report dated June 7, 2017 (aty,Sutherland, Fred) (Entered: 06/08/2017)

June 8, 2017
30

ELECTRONIC MINUTES for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge Karen L Hayes: SCHEDULING CONFERENCE held on 6/13/2017. Scheduling Order to issue separately. (crt,Leday, A) (Entered: 06/13/2017)

June 13, 2017
31

SCHEDULING ORDER: Jury Trial set for 6/18/2018 at 9:00 AM in Shreveport Court House before Judge Elizabeth E Foote. Pretrial Conference set for 5/17/2018 at 11:00 AM in Chambers before Judge Elizabeth E Foote. Pretrial Order due by 5/10/2018. Joinder of Parties and Amendment of Pleadings due by 7/28/2017. Plaintiffs' Witness List due by 12/13/2017. Plaintiffs' Expert Info/Reports due by 12/13/2017. Defendant's Expert Info/Reports due by 1/15/2018. Discovery deadline 1/15/2018. Expert Depositions due by 1/31/2018. Daubert Motions due by 2/21/2018. Dispositive Motions due by 2/13/2018. Proposed Pretrial Order inserts and exhibits exchanged by 4/5/2018. Conference/Meeting of counsel to prepare pretrial order to be held by 4/19/2018. Motions in Limine due by 5/3/2018. Trial Depositions due by 5/28/2018. Trial Brief/Pretrial Submissions due by 6/11/2018. Electronic Exhibits due by 6/11/2018. Signed by Magistrate Judge Karen L Hayes on 6/13/2017. (crt,Leday, A) (Entered: 06/13/2017)

June 13, 2017
32

MOTION for Extension of Time to Amend Complaint with opposition by Amanda Cooksey, Lisila Gregg, Niesha Walpool, Wendy Watson. Motions referred to Karen L Hayes. (Attachments: # 1 Text of proposed order)(aty,Jones, Pamela) Modified on 7/26/2017 to edit text (FinnSld, P). (Entered: 07/26/2017)

July 26, 2017
33

RESPONSE to Motion re 32 MOTION for Extension of Time to Amend Complaint filed by School Board of Caddo Parish. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed order)(aty,Sutherland, Fred) (Entered: 07/27/2017)

July 27, 2017
34

ORDER granting 32 Motion for Extension of Time to Amend 1 Complaint. Amended Pleadings due by 8/27/2017. Signed by Magistrate Judge Karen L Hayes on 7/27/2017. (crt,Crawford, A) (Entered: 07/31/2017)

July 27, 2017
35

MINUTE ENTRY: The Court hereby sets a telephone conference for 2/20/2018 at 1:30 p.m. Plaintiffs' counsel will host the call. All trial counsel must participate. The use of cell phones is prohibited. Signed by Judge Elizabeth E Foote on 2/13/2018.

Feb. 13, 2018
37

MINUTES for proceedings held before Judge Elizabeth E Foote: Telephone STATUS CONFERENCE held on 2/20/2018. (crt,Keifer, K) (Entered: 02/20/2018)

Feb. 20, 2018

State / Territory: Louisiana

Case Type(s):

School Desegregation

Key Dates

Filing Date: May 5, 2017

Closing Date: Feb. 20, 2018

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Parents of students attending Fair Park High School in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Caddo Parish School Board (Caddo), County

Defendant Type(s):

Elementary/Secondary School

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

State law

Constitutional Clause(s):

Equal Protection

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Form of Settlement:

Voluntary Dismissal

Issues

General:

Education

Racial segregation

School/University Facilities

Race:

Black

Type of Facility:

Government-run