Third District Would Not Elevate Form Over Substance.
We don’t have that many times to do blogs on fee issues for school districts and tenured teachers. Well, here is one for you both.
In Boliou v. Stockton Unified School Dist., Case No. C068266 (3d Dist. June 25, 2012) (published), the school district filed charges against a tenured teacher, specifying charges it claimed merited dismissal, and litigated for 18 months, only to attempt to dismiss the charges before the merits hearing. The trial court would not have any of it, issuing an administrative writ to say teacher would not be dismissed and should be paid reasonable attorney’s fees and costs--not insubstantial, $114,465 in fees and $9,976.41 in costs under Education Code section 44944(e)(2).
School district’s appeal was not successful. When substance was elevated over form, tenured teacher was entitled to a ruling so he could recover fees and costs. This is an important “form over substance” opinion in this specific area, so we shall see what happens in the future in this substantive area.
Church and public school. Stockton. 1866. Library of Congress.