Campbell v. Gadsden County Dist. School Bd., No. 75-1998

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore GEWIN and AINSWORTH; AINSWORTH
Citation534 F.2d 650
Docket NumberNo. 75-1998
Decision Date02 July 1976
Parties16 Fair Empl.Prac.Cas. 1637, 12 Empl. Prac. Dec. P 11,048 Witt CAMPBELL, Plaintiff-Appellee Cross Appellant, v. GADSDEN COUNTY DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD et al., etc., Defendants-Appellants CrossAppellees.

Page 650

534 F.2d 650
16 Fair Empl.Prac.Cas. 1637,
12 Empl. Prac. Dec. P 11,048
Witt CAMPBELL, Plaintiff-Appellee Cross Appellant,
v.
GADSDEN COUNTY DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD et al., etc.,
Defendants-Appellants CrossAppellees.
No. 75-1998.
United States Court of Appeals,
Fifth Circuit.
July 2, 1976.

Page 652

Brian T. Hayes, Tallahassee, Fla., Richard J. Gardner, Quincy, Fla., for defendants-appellants.

Kent Spriggs, Tallahassee, Fla., Jack Greenberg, James C. Gray, Jr., New York City, for plaintiff-appellee.

Appeals from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida.

Before GEWIN and AINSWORTH, Circuit Judges, and MARKEY, * Chief Judge.

AINSWORTH, Circuit Judge:

In the process of complying with a final desegregation order issued by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida in August of 1970, the Gadsden County School Board transferred Witt Campbell, a black, from a principalship at a black elementary school which was being phased out to an assistant principalship at a high school. Campbell subsequently instituted this action, 1 claiming that his reassignment was imposed on him in violation of Singleton v. Jackson Separate Municipal School District, 5 Cir., 1969, 419 F.2d 1211, cert. denied, 396 U.S. 1032, 90 S.Ct. 612, 24 L.Ed.2d 530 (1970), which prohibits discriminatory demotion or dismissal of faculty and professional staff displaced by the unification of previously segregated school systems, and that accordingly, he is entitled to a position as an elementary school principal, back pay, compensatory seniority, and reasonable attorneys' fees.

Campbell has been employed by the Gadsden County Board of Public Instruction since 1934, and served as principal in a series of black elementary schools until the County's dual school system was eliminated in 1970. Although he had thirty years of administrative experience and was the senior administrator in the Gadsden County system at the time of the final desegregation order, he was transferred in order to avoid "bumping" either of two recently appointed white principals, neither of whom had actually administered an elementary school as principal while school was in session at the time of Campbell's transfer. The District Court issued a permanent injunction, ordering the Gadsden County District School Board, the Superintendent of Schools, and individual members of the Board to assign Campbell to a position as an elementary school principal beginning with the 1975-76 school year. A motion for stay of the injunction pending appeal was denied. The court further held that Campbell was entitled to attorneys' fees, but denied his claim for back pay. Maintaining that no Singleton violation occurred, appellants challenge the award of injunctive relief and attorneys' fees; appellee has preserved the back pay issue by appropriate cross appeal.

I. Jurisdiction

As a preliminary matter, appellants contend that the District Court was

Page 653

without jurisdiction to adjudicate Campbell's claim. They argue that City of Kenosha v. Bruno, 412 U.S. 507, 93 S.Ct. 2222, 37 L.Ed.2d 109 (1973), which held that injunctive relief was not available against a city under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, since a city is not a "person" for purposes of that statute, and Adkins v. Duval County School Board, 5 Cir., 1975, 511 F.2d 690, which held that school boards are not "persons" for purposes of section 1983, preclude federal court jurisdiction in this case. 2 This line of reasoning overlooks the fact that jurisdiction under28 U.S.C. § 1343 3 was asserted not only in connection with a section 1983 cause of action, 4 but also in conjunction with claims arising directly under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution 5 and under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981 6 and 1985. 7 In light of several recent cases sustaining section 1343 jurisdiction with regard to section 1981 claims alleging racial discrimination 8 in employment, see, e. g.,

Page 654

Johnson v. Railway Express Agency, Inc., 421 U.S. 454, 95 S.Ct. 1716, 1720 & n. 6, 44 L.Ed.2d 295, (1975); Kelly v. West Baton Rouge Parish School Bd., 5 Cir., 1975, 517 F.2d 194, 197; Cooper v. Allen, 5 Cir., 1974, 493 F.2d 765, 766 n. 1; Penn v. Schlesinger, 5 Cir., 1973, 490 F.2d 700, 701-03, rev'd on other grounds, 5 Cir., 1974, 497 F.2d 970 (en banc ); Caldwell v. National Brewing Co., 5 Cir., 1971, 443 F.2d 1044, cert. denied, 405 U.S. 916, 92 S.Ct. 931, 30 L.Ed.2d 785 (1972); Sanders v. Dobbs Houses, Inc., 5 Cir., 1970, 431 F.2d 1097; see also Runyan v. McCrary, --- U.S. ---, 96 S.Ct. ----, 47 L.Ed.2d ---, 44 U.S.L.W. 5034, --- (1976); McDonald v. Santa Fe Trail Transportation Co., --- U.S. ---, 96 S.Ct. ----, 47 L.Ed.2d ---, 44 U.S.L.W. 5067, --- (1976), 9 we affirm

Page 655

. . . etc., we affirm the District Court's holding that there was jurisdiction with regard to Campbell's claims against both the individual defendants 10 and the School Board under section 1981 and section 1343.

Appellants further contend that Campbell's claims for back pay and attorneys' fees are barred by the Eleventh Amendment in accordance with Edelman v. Jordan, 415 U.S. 651, 94 S.Ct. 1347, 39 L.Ed.2d 662 (1974). The District Court apparently accepted this argument, at least with respect to the back pay issue, since its denial of back pay was predicated on Edelman concerns. As the Supreme Court in Edelman was careful to note, however,

Page 656

a county does not occupy the same position as a State for purposes of the Eleventh Amendment. . . . (W)hile county action is generally state action for purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment, a county defendant is not necessarily a state defendant for purposes of the Eleventh Amendment.

415 U.S. at 667 n. 12, 94 S.Ct. at 1358 n. 12. Our post-Edelman cases involving actions for retrospective monetary relief against county school boards and similar entities have held that the Eleventh Amendment does not bar such awards so long as the entities sued are locally controlled, essentially local in character, and the funds to defray the award would not be derived primarily from the state treasury. Adams v. Rankin County Board of Education, 5 Cir., 1975, 524 F.2d 928, 929; Hander v. San Jacinto Junior College, 5 Cir., 1975, 519 F.2d 273, 279-80. See also Incarcerated Men of Allen County Jail v. Fair, 6 Cir., 1974, 507 F.2d 281, 287; Miller v. Carson, M.D.Fla., 1975, 401 F.Supp. 835, 848 n. 3; Wright v. Houston Indep. School Dist., S.D.Tex., 1975, 393 F.Supp. 1149, 1151-58; Smith v. Concordia Parish School Bd., W.D.La., 1975, 387 F.Supp. 887, 891; Note, Damage Remedies for Constitutional Violations, 89 Harv.L.Rev. 922, 931-32 & n. 57 (1976). Our analysis of the nature of Florida school boards in the context of determining their similarity to municipalities is sufficient to convince us that they are not the type of entities which are sheltered by the Eleventh Amendment. See Adkins v. Duval County School Board, supra, at 693. The lower court accordingly erred in holding that Edelman precluded consideration of Campbell's back pay claim. Parallel reasoning establishes our authority to consider Campbell's request for reasonable attorneys' fees.

II. The Singleton Claim

Appellants attack Campbell's claim to a position as an elementary school principal under Singleton v. Jackson Separate Municipal School District, 5 Cir., 1969, 419 F.2d 1211, cert. denied, 396 U.S. 1032, 90 S.Ct. 612, 24 L.Ed.2d 530 (1970), on two grounds. First, they maintain that Campbell's reassignment as an assistant principal of a high school, far from being a "demotion" within the meaning of Singleton, was actually a promotion, and thus that Campbell suffered no cognizable Singleton injury. Second, they contend that even if the reassignment did constitute a demotion, no elementary school principalships have become available since the 1970 desegregation order was entered, and that at most, Singleton requires them to offer Campbell a principalship when a vacancy occurs. Neither of these arguments is sound.

In Singleton, "demotion" was defined as

any re-assignment (1) under which the staff member receives less pay or has less responsibility than under the assignment he held previously, (2) which requires a lesser degree of skill than did the assignment he held previously, or (3) under which the staff member is asked to teach a subject or grade other than one for which he is certified or for which he has had substantial experience within a reasonably current period.

419 F.2d at 1218. The District Court correctly applied these criteria in determining that Campbell had been demoted. Although Campbell received $300 more than an elementary school principal with comparable seniority during his first year as Assistant Principal and Desegregation Specialist at Chattahoochee High School, he earned $200 less in 1971-72, $500 less in 1972-73, and $500 less in 1973-74. In addition, Chattahoochee High was located approximately 22 miles from Campbell's home, which necessitated increased expenditure of time and money in getting to and from school. The new position also carried considerably less responsibility and required less skill than the prior principalship. Campbell no longer had responsibility for selecting and hiring faculty, making teacher assignments, presiding over faculty meetings, or officiating at other ceremonial events. As of September 1973, fewer pupils were enrolled at Chattahoochee than had been enrolled in Campbell's elementary school. Finally, the District Court found that an elementary

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school principalship was more prestigious, both in general and in Campbell's specific case, than an assistant principalship at any level. The lower court thus did not err in concluding that Campbell had suffered a demotion as defined in Singleton.

Appellants' second argument misconceives the extent or protection afforded to those whose positions are affected by desegregation orders. It assumes that obligations under...

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58 practice notes
  • Kirchmann v. Unified School Dist., No. E026060.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • September 27, 2000
    ...480 v. Epperson (10th Cir. 1978) 583 F.2d 1118, 1123 [Kansas school district]; Campbell v. Gadsden County Dist. School Bd. (5th Cir. 1976) 534 F.2d 650, 655-656 [Florida school board]; Adams v. Rankin County Bd. of Educ. (5th Cir. 1975) 524 F.2d 928, 929 [Mississippi county school system]; ......
  • Filipino Accountants' Assn. v. State Bd. of Accountancy
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • April 25, 1984
    ...v. Illinois Dept. of Mental Health (N.D.Ill.1982) 538 F.Supp. 414, 417; see Campbell v. Gadsden County Dist. School Bd. (5th Cir.1976) 534 F.2d 650, 655; Skyers v. Port Authority of N.Y. & N.J., supra, 431 F.Supp. at pp. 83-84; 1 Antieau, op. cit. supra, § 33, pp....
  • Gilyard v. South Carolina Dept. of Youth Services, Civ. A. No. 3:84-992-15.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • September 5, 1985
    ...Chambers v. Henderson City Board of Education, 364 F.2d 189 (4th Cir.1966). See also Campbell v. Gadsden County District School Board, 534 F.2d 650 (5th Cir.1976); Singleton v. Jackson Municipal Separate School District, 419 F.2d 1211 (5th Cir.1969). The requirement of opening remaining pos......
  • Chavez-Salido v. Cabell, No. CV 76-0541-IH.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Central District of California
    • March 14, 1977
    ...of Academic Women v. Regents of Univ. of Calif., 343 F.Supp. 636 (N.D.Cal.1972). Cf. Campbell v. Gadsden County District School Board, 534 F.2d 650 (5th Cir. 6 Arunga's papers throughout the record demonstrate that he was both unlearned and confused. The amended complaint is in one count; i......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
58 cases
  • Kirchmann v. Unified School Dist., No. E026060.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • September 27, 2000
    ...480 v. Epperson (10th Cir. 1978) 583 F.2d 1118, 1123 [Kansas school district]; Campbell v. Gadsden County Dist. School Bd. (5th Cir. 1976) 534 F.2d 650, 655-656 [Florida school board]; Adams v. Rankin County Bd. of Educ. (5th Cir. 1975) 524 F.2d 928, 929 [Mississippi county school system]; ......
  • Filipino Accountants' Assn. v. State Bd. of Accountancy
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • April 25, 1984
    ...v. Illinois Dept. of Mental Health (N.D.Ill.1982) 538 F.Supp. 414, 417; see Campbell v. Gadsden County Dist. School Bd. (5th Cir.1976) 534 F.2d 650, 655; Skyers v. Port Authority of N.Y. & N.J., supra, 431 F.Supp. at pp. 83-84; 1 Antieau, op. cit. supra, § 33, pp....
  • Gilyard v. South Carolina Dept. of Youth Services, Civ. A. No. 3:84-992-15.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • September 5, 1985
    ...Chambers v. Henderson City Board of Education, 364 F.2d 189 (4th Cir.1966). See also Campbell v. Gadsden County District School Board, 534 F.2d 650 (5th Cir.1976); Singleton v. Jackson Municipal Separate School District, 419 F.2d 1211 (5th Cir.1969). The requirement of opening remaining pos......
  • Chavez-Salido v. Cabell, No. CV 76-0541-IH.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Central District of California
    • March 14, 1977
    ...of Academic Women v. Regents of Univ. of Calif., 343 F.Supp. 636 (N.D.Cal.1972). Cf. Campbell v. Gadsden County District School Board, 534 F.2d 650 (5th Cir. 6 Arunga's papers throughout the record demonstrate that he was both unlearned and confused. The amended complaint is in one count; i......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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