290 F.Supp. 622 (W.D.Mo. 1968), 16852-4, Esteban v. Central Missouri State College

Docket Nº16852-4.
Citation290 F.Supp. 622
Party NameAlfredo ESTEBAN, by his mother and next friend, Guadaloupe P. Esteban, and Steve Craig Roberds, by his father and next friend, James Roberds, Plaintiffs, v. CENTRAL MISSOURI STATE COLLEGE, Warrensburg, Missouri, Warren C. Lovinger, President of Central Missouri State College, Warrensburg, Missouri, and W.Lester Simpson, President and Joe Herndon, L
Case DateSeptember 25, 1968
CourtUnited States District Courts, 8th Circuit, Western District of Missouri

Page 622

290 F.Supp. 622 (W.D.Mo. 1968)

Alfredo ESTEBAN, by his mother and next friend, Guadaloupe P. Esteban, and Steve Craig Roberds, by his father and next friend, James Roberds, Plaintiffs,

v.

CENTRAL MISSOURI STATE COLLEGE, Warrensburg, Missouri, Warren C. Lovinger, President of Central Missouri State College, Warrensburg, Missouri, and W.Lester Simpson, President and Joe Herndon, Leland J. Culp, Virginia Gottlieb, Byron Constance,and J. N. Cunningham, members of the Board of Regents of Central Missouri StateCollege, Warrensburg, Missouri, Defendants.

No. 16852-4.

United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division.

Sept. 25, 1968

Page 623

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 624

Irving Achtenberg, Kansas City, Mo., for plaintiffs.

Robert L. Wesner, Sedalia, Mo., for defendants.

OPINION

ELMO B. HUNTER, District Judge.

Plaintiffs were students at Central Missouri State College, Warrensburg, Missouri, until March 31, 1967, when by order of defendant Warren C. Lovinger, president of the college, they were suspended for two semesters, with the right thereafter to apply for readmission. Plaintiffs filed a complaint in this Court charging, among other things, that they had been suspended without proper notice and hearing and in violation of their constitutional right to procedural and substantive due process. After a trial on September 6-7, 1967, this Court directed that they be given a new hearing. For the details, see Esteban v. Central Missouri State College, 277 F.Supp. 649.

Pursuant to the Court's direction, on October 18, 1967, written charges and notice of hearing were served on plaintiffs by the college. The new hearing occurred on November 3, 1967, with the result that the previous suspensions were reaffirmed. Plaintiffs then filed their present complaint. 1

Plaintiffs claim the reaffirmed suspensions are tantamount to expulsion and are invalid because:

(1) The college regulation with regard to mass gatherings violates the first amendment guarantee of freedom of speech and assembly.

(2) The college regulation with regard to participating in mass demonstrations violates the first and fifth amendments in that its language is vague, uncertain and overbroad, providing plaintiffs with no reasonable standard for observance and no notice of illegal conduct.

(3) The enforcement of the mentioned regulation as to off campus conduct is beyond the powers of the college and is a denial of due process.

(4) The charge as originally made did not contain the words 'contributing to' which quoted language is not a part of the regulation and hence is unenforceable.

(5) The hearing before Dr. Lovinger lacked procedural due process as required by the fourteenth amendment

Page 625

in that there was no evidence to support a charge of participating in an unruly or unlawful mass demonstration.

Plaintiffs request this Court to declare the college regulation to be void; to enjoin its enforcement; to set aside this suspension; to expunge all mention of their suspension from their college record; and to permit them to reenter the college in good standing.

Defendants strongly deny all plaintiffs' claims. Defendants plead res judicata and mootness, citing the earlier decision which was not appealed, and noting that the condition of the suspension was that plaintiffs were not eligible to reapply for two semesters which have now passed. Defendants also assert this Court should abstain from all action herein until and unless there is a full exhaustion of state court remedies by plaintiffs.

On August 16, 1968, the case was fully tried to the Court on the issues presented. Discussion and disposition of mentioned issues and the varying contentions of the parties are necessary.

November 3, 1968 College Hearing:

A summary of the substance of the evidence presented to Dr. Lovinger in the November 3, 1967 hearing is desirable prior to discussing the issues. The charges related to Mr. Esteban's and Mr. Roberd's activities in connection with mass student demonstrations occurring the evenings of March 29, and March 30, 1967. 2 These demonstrations took place at the intersection of the public street adjacent to the school campus and State Highway 13 and overflowed onto the sidewalks and campus. 3 On the evening of March 29, some 350 students were present in the mass and on March 30, there were some 600 students included. As a partial result of these two mass demonstrations there was in excess of $600 damages and destruction of college property, including broken school building windows and destroyed shrubbery; eggs were thrown; the Dean of Men, Dr. Chalquist, was hanged in effigy, his 'dummy' torn up and set on fire; traffic was halted and blocked, cars were rocked, and their occupants ordered out into the street. The college president directed a number of his personnel, including Dr. Meverden, to go to the scene to restore order.

ESTEBAN EVENT:

Introduced at the November 3rd, 1967 hearing was Mr. Esteban's testimony to the following effect: He was on scholastic probation and only a short time previously had been terminated from disciplinary probation over a knife cutting incident with a fellow student. The evening of March 29, 1967, around 11:30

Page 626

p.m., he left his dormitory about the time the 'disturbance' had subsided. Some of the students were proceeding along the street from the mass demonstration to their dormitories. Esteban proceeded down the sidewalk to within about 100 feet of the intersection of the scene of the mass demonstration and stayed there awhile. Dr. Meverden, a faculty member, who was seeking to disperse students standing outside their dorms, approached Esteban and asked him to go inside the dormitory. Instead of complying, Esteban asked why, and on again being requested to go in, again asked why. He told Dr. Meverden that he was not in violation of any state, county, or federal law and that he had a right to be out there. Dr. Meverden asked for his student identification card which by college regulation he was required to have in his possession at all times. Esteban said ('in rough words' according to one witness) he did not have it. Nor did he give his name. Dr. Meverden again requested him to go in the dormitory and get off the street. Esteban argued with Dr. Meverden and questioned his authority, saying there were no rules limiting the time men could stay outside the dorms. Shortly, and with the encouragement of other students present, he went into the dormitory. Dr. Meverden also went in and asked Gerald Haddock, the resident assistant of Esteban's dormitory, who Esteban was. Haddock was overheard by Esteban telling Dr. Meverden Esteban's name. Esteban, as Dr. Meverden was leaving, called Haddock a prick and a bastard and told him he 'would not be around here very long.' According to Esteban's roommate, Esteban then angrily picked up a waste can and emptied the contents on the floor at the feet of Haddock.

ROBERDS EVENT:

Prior to the mass demonstrations, Roberds had been placed on disciplinary probation and furnished a written statement of the terms of that probation. Dean Chalquist also orally explained those terms to him. He and Dean Chalquist conversed relative to his intention to participate in a demonstration. 4 Roberds asked about the possible repercussions of his involvement in (future) demonstrations or disturbances. He was advised 'that any action on your part which may reflect unfavorably upon either you or the institution can be considered grounds for suspension.' 5 Roberds,

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under date of February 5, 1967, wrote E. J. Cantrell, a Representative from his county in the Missouri Legislature, the following letter:

'* * * I assure you, I do not stand alone in my disgust with this institution. From suppression of speech and expression to ridiculous, trivial regulations this college has done more to discourage democratic belief than any of the world's tyrants. * * * My comrades and I plan on turning this school into a Berkeley if something isn't done.'

Throughout both evenings of the mass demonstrations Roberds was present as a part of the crowd. On March 29, 1967, he arrived at the scene of the demonstration about 10:15 p.m. and returned to his dormitory about 10:45 p.m. On March 30, 1967, he arrived at the scene about...

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24 practice notes
  • 20 Cal.App.3d 83, 28005, Charles S. v. Board of Education
    • United States
    • California California Court of Appeals
    • September 20, 1971
    ...v. Board of Public Instruction of Dade County, D.C., 314 F.Supp. Page 90 285, 290, 292; Esteban v. Central Missouri State College, D.C. 290 F.Supp. 622, 628--629.) In the imposition of such sanctions a 'full dress judicial hearing' is not required. (Goldberg v. Regents of the University of ......
  • 337 F.Supp. 126 (N.D.Fla. 1972), Civ. A. 1745, Center for Participant Ed. v. Marshall
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 11th Circuit Northern District of Florida
    • January 12, 1972
    ...and Soglin, supra, easily distinguishable from the case, sub judice. See Papish, supra, and Esteban v. Central Missouri State College, 290 F.Supp. 622 (W.D.Mo.1968), aff'd 415 F.2d 1077 (8th Cir. Page 133 Plaintiff spearheads his argument with the position that the executive order was not o......
  • 371 F.Supp. 73 (E.D.Ky. 1974), 2538, Depperman v. University of Kentucky
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 6th Circuit Eastern District of Kentucky
    • February 21, 1974
    ...v. Board of Trustees of East Carolina University, E.D.N.C., 330 F.Supp. 904 (1971); Esteban v. Central Missouri State College, W.D.Mo., 290 F.Supp. 622, 631 (1968), aff'd, 8th Cir., 415 F.2d 1077 (1969), cert. denied, 398 U.S. 965, 90 S.Ct. 2169, 26 L.Ed.2d 548 (1970); Jones v. State Board ......
  • 323 F.Supp. 728 (E.D.Ark. 1970), J-70-C-44, Parker v. Fry
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 8th Circuit Eastern District of Arkansas
    • December 11, 1970
    ...rejects this argument; In the school context detailed, specific rules are not required. See Esteban v. Central Missouri State College, 290 F.Supp. 622, 630 (W.D.Mo.1968). It is true that Judge Doyle held to the contrary in Soglin v. Kauffman, 295 F.Supp. 978, 990 (W.D.Wis.1968), but upon th......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
24 cases
  • 20 Cal.App.3d 83, 28005, Charles S. v. Board of Education
    • United States
    • California California Court of Appeals
    • September 20, 1971
    ...v. Board of Public Instruction of Dade County, D.C., 314 F.Supp. Page 90 285, 290, 292; Esteban v. Central Missouri State College, D.C. 290 F.Supp. 622, 628--629.) In the imposition of such sanctions a 'full dress judicial hearing' is not required. (Goldberg v. Regents of the University of ......
  • 337 F.Supp. 126 (N.D.Fla. 1972), Civ. A. 1745, Center for Participant Ed. v. Marshall
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 11th Circuit Northern District of Florida
    • January 12, 1972
    ...and Soglin, supra, easily distinguishable from the case, sub judice. See Papish, supra, and Esteban v. Central Missouri State College, 290 F.Supp. 622 (W.D.Mo.1968), aff'd 415 F.2d 1077 (8th Cir. Page 133 Plaintiff spearheads his argument with the position that the executive order was not o......
  • 371 F.Supp. 73 (E.D.Ky. 1974), 2538, Depperman v. University of Kentucky
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 6th Circuit Eastern District of Kentucky
    • February 21, 1974
    ...v. Board of Trustees of East Carolina University, E.D.N.C., 330 F.Supp. 904 (1971); Esteban v. Central Missouri State College, W.D.Mo., 290 F.Supp. 622, 631 (1968), aff'd, 8th Cir., 415 F.2d 1077 (1969), cert. denied, 398 U.S. 965, 90 S.Ct. 2169, 26 L.Ed.2d 548 (1970); Jones v. State Board ......
  • 323 F.Supp. 728 (E.D.Ark. 1970), J-70-C-44, Parker v. Fry
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 8th Circuit Eastern District of Arkansas
    • December 11, 1970
    ...rejects this argument; In the school context detailed, specific rules are not required. See Esteban v. Central Missouri State College, 290 F.Supp. 622, 630 (W.D.Mo.1968). It is true that Judge Doyle held to the contrary in Soglin v. Kauffman, 295 F.Supp. 978, 990 (W.D.Wis.1968), but upon th......
  • Request a trial to view additional results