Holcomb v. Kenosha Unified School District No 1 et al

Filing 4

DECISION AND ORDER signed by Judge Rudolph T Randa on 4/20/07 denying 1 plaintiff's motion for a temporary restraining order. (cc: all counsel) (nm)

Download PDF
Holcomb v. Kenosha Unified School District No 1 et al Doc. 4 Case 2:07-cv-00359-RTR Filed 04/20/2007 Page 1 of 3 Document 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN E D I E L. HOLCOMB, P l a i n t i f f, v. K E N O S H A UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 1, ERIC OLSON, PAM STEVENS, J. DAVID FOUNTAIN, BERNARD E. ENGLUND, MARK HUJIK, GILBERT OSTMAN and MARK STALKER, Defendants. C a s e No. 07-C-359 DECISION AND ORDER O n April 16, 2007, the plaintiff, Edie Holcomb ("Holcomb"), filed this lawsuit in K e n o sh a County Circuit Court, alleging that the defendants breached her employment c o n tr a c t and violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Holcomb also f ile d a motion for a temporary restraining order ("TRO") with her complaint. On April 18, 2 0 0 7 , the defendants filed a Notice of Removal, which places the pending motion for a TRO b e f o re this Court. A c c o rd in g to the complaint, Holcomb was hired in 2005 by the Kenosha Unified S c h o o l District No. 1 ("KUSD") to be the Executive Director of Curriculum and Instructional S e rv ic e s ("Executive Director"). When KUSD hired Holcomb, they executed an e m p lo ym e n t contract that gave Holcomb a two year term beginning July 1, 2005, and ending J u n e 30, 2007 ("2005 Employment Contract"). The 2005 Employment Contract contains a Dockets.Justia.com Case 2:07-cv-00359-RTR Filed 04/20/2007 Page 2 of 3 Document 4 p ro v is io n that gives the Superintendent sole discretion to transfer Holcomb to another p o s itio n if the Superintendent deems a transfer to be in "best interest of the District." On January 23, 2007, the KUSD School Board approved a motion to give Holcomb a n o th e r two year term as Executive Director, beginning on July 1, 2007. However, on April 3 , 2007, the KUSD School Board reassigned Holcomb to be principal of Bose Elementary S c h o o l effective July 1, 2007. Holcomb alleges that the School Board's decision was a b re a ch of contract because the 2005 Employment Contract only permits the Superintendent to transfer Holcomb. Furthermore, because the School Board made its decision without g iv in g Holcomb notice or an opportunity for a hearing, she also alleges that she was denied h e r property interest without due process of law. O n Monday, April 23, 2007, the KUSD School Board will meet, and it may appoint a successor to Holcomb for the Executive Director position. Holcomb seeks a TRO to enjoin th e KUSD School Board from appointing her successor until the Court is able to conduct a h e a rin g on her motion for a preliminary injunction. T h e Court will only grant a TRO if "it clearly appears from specific facts shown by a f f id a v it or by the verified complaint that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage w ill result to the applicant before the adverse party or that party's attorney can be heard in o p p o s itio n . " Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(b). Implicit in the requirement that irreparable injury be s h o w n is the requirement that there be some likelihood of success on the merits. See Lerch v . City of Green Bay, 2005 WL 1058889, *1 (E.D. Wis. May 3, 2005). 2 Case 2:07-cv-00359-RTR Filed 04/20/2007 Page 3 of 3 Document 4 H o l c o m b fails to meet her burden. First, she has not shown that she is likely to su c c e e d on the merits. The 2005 Employment Contract that gave the Supervisor sole d is c re tio n to transfer Holcomb expires on June 30, 2007. Holcomb's reassignment, though, w ill become effective on July 1, 2007, immediately after the expiration of the 2005 E m p lo ym e n t Contract. While it is true that the KUSD School Board on January 23, 2007, a p p ro v e d a motion to give Holcomb another two year term as Executive Director, Holcomb d id not provide the Court with the written terms of that contract. It is unclear, therefore, w h e th e r the KUSD School Board has a contractual right to reassign Holcomb effective July 1 , 2007. In addition, Holcomb has not established that she would be irreparably harmed if the K U S D School Board appointed her successor at the April 23, 2007 meeting. Such a decision w o u ld not become effective until July 1, 2007. Also, Holcomb still may collect money d a m a g e s and potentially could be reassigned even she succeeds in this litigation, regardless o f what the KUSD School Board decides at its April 23, 2007 meeting. N O W , THEREFORE, BASED ON THE FOREGOING, IT IS HEREBY O R D E R E D THAT: Holcomb's Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order (Docket No. 1 ) is DENIED. D a te d at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, this 20th day of April, 2007. B Y THE COURT: s /R u d o lp h T. Randa H O N . RUDOLPH T. RANDA C h ie f Judge 3

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?