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Raduziner v. Congregation of Christian Brothers of Hawaii, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

August 5, 2016

PAUL RADUZINER, Parent and Next Friend of A.R., Plaintiff,
v.
THE CONGREGATION OF CHRISTIAN BROTHERS OF HAWAII, INC., Owners and Operators of DAMIEN MEMORIAL SCHOOL, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING IN PART DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND REMANDING STATE-LAW CLAIMS

          DCRRICK K. WATSON UNITED STATES. DISTRICT JUDGE

         INTRODUCTION

         Raduziner sued The Congregation of Christian Brothers of Hawaii, Inc., Owners and Operators of Damien Memorial High School (“Damien”), in state court after his daughter was sexually assaulted by another student on campus. Damien removed the case and now seeks summary judgment on each of Raduziner’s federal and state causes of action. Because Raduziner concedes that Damien is not liable, and he therefore cannot proceed, under Title IX or 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Damien’s Motion is GRANTED as to Counts I and II. In addition, because these are the only federal claims supporting this Court’s 28 U.S.C. § 1331 jurisdiction, and the Court declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Raduziner’s remaining state-law claims, these remaining claims are REMANDED to state court.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a), a party is entitled to summary judgment “if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”

         DISCUSSION

         Raduziner alleges that his daughter, A.R., was sexually assaulted by a fellow student on the Damien campus on December 13, 2013. Raduziner filed a Complaint against Damien on March 13, 2015 in the Circuit Court of the First Circuit, State of Hawaii alleging the following causes of action: (1) violation of Title IX, 20 U.S.C §§ 1981 et seq. (Count I); (2) violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Count II); (3) sexual assault and battery (Count III); (4) negligent supervision of students (Count IV); (5) negligence (Count V); (6) negligent infliction of emotional distress (Count VI); and (7) intentional infliction of emotional distress (Count VII). Damien removed the case to federal court on April 17, 2015 based solely on Raduziner’s assertion of federal claims in Counts I and II. See Notice of Removal ¶ 5 (asserting federal question jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331). In his opposition to Damien’s Motion, Raduziner concedes Counts I (Title IX), II (Section 1983), and III (Sexual Assault and Battery), but contends that genuine issues of material fact preclude summary judgment on the remaining claims. As set forth below, the Court grants the unopposed Motion as to Raduziner’s Title IX and Section 1983 claims. Because Counts I and II provide the sole basis for this Court’s subject matter jurisdiction, and the Court declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state-law claims, those claims are REMANDED to state court.

         I. Summary Judgment Is Granted on Raduziner’s Federal Claims

         A. Count I: Title IX

         Damien moves for summary judgment on Raduziner’s Title IX claim on the basis that the school does not receive any federal funding. Title IX provides that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” 20 U.S.C. § 1681(a); see also Sherez v. State of Haw. Dep’t of Educ., 396 F.Supp.2d 1138, 1145 (D. Haw. 2005) (dismissing claim because Title IX is directed only at institutional recipients of federal funding).

         There is no dispute that Damien is a private school sponsored by The Congregation of Christian Brothers of Hawaii, Inc. and does not receive any federal funding. Declaration of Bernard Ho ¶¶ 6-8. Raduziner concedes the issue as well as the claim. Mem. in Opp. at 1, 22. Accordingly, the Motion is GRANTED as to Count I.

         B. Count II: Section 1983

         Count II alleges that Damien deprived A.R. of equal protection under the U.S. Constitution in violation of Section 1983. Complaint ¶ 35. In order to state a claim under Section 1983, Raduziner must establish a violation of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States committed by a person acting under color of law. See Florer v. Congregation Pidyon Shevuyim, N.A., 639 F.3d 916, 921 (9th Cir. 2011). Damien contends that, as a private school, it is not a state actor for Section 1983 purposes.[1]

         Raduziner concedes the issue as well as the claim, acknowledging that there is “no evidence to show that any of the Damien faculty and administration were state actors.” Mem. in Opp. ...


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