472 F.3d 565 (8th Cir. 2007), 06-2309, Granda v. City of St. Louis

Docket Nº:06-2309.
Citation:472 F.3d 565
Party Name:Fayette GRANDA, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. CITY OF ST. LOUIS; Bettye Battle-Turner, Hon., individually and in her official capacity with the City of St. Louis, Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:January 04, 2007
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

Page 565

472 F.3d 565 (8th Cir. 2007)

Fayette GRANDA, Plaintiff-Appellant,


CITY OF ST. LOUIS; Bettye Battle-Turner, Hon., individually and in her official capacity with the City of St. Louis, Defendants-Appellees.

No. 06-2309.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.

January 4, 2007

Submitted: November 13, 2006

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.

William E. Moench, argued, St. Louis, MO (Scott P. Hartl, on the brief), for appellant.

Carl W. Yates, III, Associate City Counselor, St. Louis, MO, for appellee.

Before MURPHY, ARNOLD, and BENTON, Circuit Judges.

Page 566


MURPHY, Circuit Judge.

Fayette Granda brought this § 1983 action against the City of St. Louis and Municipal Judge Bettye Battle-Turner for damages and injunctive relief, alleging violation of her constitutional rights by being incarcerated as a result of her daughter's truancy. The district court1 granted summary judgment to both defendants. Granda appeals only from the judgment entered in favor of the city. We affirm.

The St. Louis mayor appointed Judge Turner to serve as a provisional municipal court judge in 1999 and then in 2001 to a four year term as a judge of the City of St. Louis Municipal Court. Administrative Judge James Sullivan asked Judge Turner to handle the truancy docket when it was established in 2001. The St. Louis truancy ordinance, City Revised Code § 15.120.030, provides that parents are responsible for their minor children's truancy. If parents are found to have knowingly permitted their children to miss school without excuse or exemption, the ordinance permits the imposition of a fine "in an amount not less than twenty-five dollars" for each day of school missed. Granda first appeared before Judge Turner in June 2002 after her daughter failed to attend school; her case was continued for monitoring of the truancy situation.

The daughter's truancy continued, and Judge Turner issued an order on September 18, 2002 which directed her to participate in therapy, to attend school every day, and not to use any force against her parents. The order also directed that "the family is further ordered to participate with the court staff or they may be subject to charges for contempt of court." Granda appeared before Judge Turner in October after having been physically assaulted by her daughter. Judge Turner held the daughter in contempt and encouraged Granda to file criminal charges against her. Granda originally filed such charges, but she dropped them several days later.

Granda appeared before Judge Turner again on December 6, 2002, along with her husband, her daughter, and the daughter's infant son. After a conference in chambers, Judge Turner ordered that Granda be held in custody at a medium security institution until her next court appearance on or about January 21, 2003. The judge signed a form order indicating that Granda was charged with violation of a city ordinance and had previously failed to appear without just cause. In her deposition Judge Turner later stated that she incarcerated Granda for being in contempt of her orders. Although Granda was allowed to leave the institution from December 24, 2002 until January 3, 2003 to spend the holidays with her family, state social workers...

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