Saturday, October 6, 2007

Lawsuits and Smyrna

About this time last year I posted on a lawsuit that had been filed against the town of Smyrna, the council, and several other town employees.
Last nights town meeting started with a lawsuit for $800,000.00. I was setting up my camera and a lady walked around handing out some xerox papers that had been stapled together. Thinking it was the meetings agenda, that I already had, I declined. She said this is a lawsuit and gave me a copy.
The situation that brought about this suit started in 2000 over a fence built on the Shelton's neighbors property, next to 106 Vanderford Lane. This was followed by code complaints, issues with the town council, issues with the codes department, possible uninformed code changes, and complaints of being denied the right to address the city council.
At the September 27th town council workshop town attorney Michele Elliott announced that the case had been dismissed with prejudice. Meaning that it could not be refiled.

She also announced that the city had won a partial summery judgement in a lawsuit that involved Percy priest lake and water rights. I don't know enough on this subject to give details, but Smyrna AM or the DNJ will have an article in the near future with more details. I do know that it involved a multi-million dollar claim against the city.

Remember the Jena 6 t-shirt at the Smyrna High School? Seems that the student has filed a lawsuit against the school district.
A student who was not allowed to wear her "Free the Jena Six" T-shirt to her high school filed a lawsuit on Thursday against the Rutherford County Board of Education and her school's assistant principal, alleging they violated her First Amendment rights.
The Supers' attorney, W. Alan Alder, is a civil rights attorney in Nashville. He said the school does not have the authority to censor shirts based only on a fear that something might happen.

"It must be substantially more than that," he said, citing Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, a 1969 Supreme Court case that ruled public schools may only censor student speech if they can reasonably forecast it will cause a material disruption or invade the rights of others.

The lawsuit asks for an injunction to allow students to wear shirts that say "Free the Jena Six" to school. The Supers also are asking for a non-specified amount in damages and attorney fees.
I wonder how many Jena lawsuits against schools are being filed, or planned.

Well that's it for This is Smyrna, TN.'s lawsuit roundup.

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