Miener v. State of Mo., No. 80-1971

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore BRIGHT, HENLEY and ARNOLD; HENLEY
Citation673 F.2d 969
Docket NumberNo. 80-1971
Decision Date04 February 1982
Parties3 Ed. Law Rep. 476 Terri Ann MIENER, by and through her next friend and parent, Clyde J. Miener, Appellant, v. STATE OF MISSOURI, and Joseph P. Teasdale, Governor; Department of Elementary and Secondary Education of the State of Missouri, Arthur L. Mallory, Commissioner of Education of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education of the State of Missouri; Dr. Leonard Hall, Assistant Commissioner of Education, The Division of Special Education of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education of the State of Missouri, The Special School District of St. Louis County, Missouri; The Board of Education of the Special School District of St. Louis County, Missouri; Allan G. Barclay, Gerald K. Braznell, and Gerald B. Hansen, Directors of the Special School District of St. Louis County, Missouri; Mr. Thomas E. Smith, Superintendent of Schools of the Special School District of St. Louis County, Missouri; Department of Mental Health of the State of Missouri, Joe L. Winter, Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health of the State of Missouri; Paul R. Ahr, Acting Director of the Department of Mental Health of the State of Missouri; Mr. John Twiehaus, individually and in his official capacity as the Acting Superintendent of the St. Louis State Hospital; Dr. Milton Fujita, individually and in his former official capacity as Medical Director of the Youth Center of the St. Louis State Hospital, Missouri State Board of Education, Appellees.

Page 969

673 F.2d 969
3 Ed. Law Rep. 476
Terri Ann MIENER, by and through her next friend and parent,
Clyde J. Miener, Appellant,
v.
STATE OF MISSOURI, and Joseph P. Teasdale, Governor;
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education of the
State of Missouri, Arthur L. Mallory, Commissioner of
Education of the Department of Elementary and Secondary
Education of the State of Missouri; Dr. Leonard Hall,
Assistant Commissioner of Education, The Division of Special
Education of the Department of Elementary and Secondary
Education of the State of Missouri, The Special School
District of St. Louis County, Missouri; The Board of
Education of the Special School District of St. Louis
County, Missouri; Allan G. Barclay, Gerald K. Braznell, and
Gerald B. Hansen, Directors of the Special School District
of St. Louis County, Missouri; Mr. Thomas E. Smith,
Superintendent of Schools of the Special School District of
St. Louis County, Missouri; Department of Mental Health of
the State of Missouri, Joe L. Winter, Commissioner of the
Department of Mental Health of the State of Missouri; Paul
R. Ahr, Acting Director of the Department of Mental Health
of the State of Missouri; Mr. John Twiehaus, individually
and in his official capacity as the Acting Superintendent of
the St. Louis State Hospital; Dr. Milton Fujita,
individually and in his former official capacity as Medical
Director of the Youth Center of the St. Louis State
Hospital, Missouri State Board of Education, Appellees.
No. 80-1971.
United States Court of Appeals,
Eighth Circuit.
Submitted April 15, 1981.
Decided Feb. 4, 1982.

Page 971

Steven L. Leonard, Clayton, Mo., for appellant.

Schmitz & Fischer, M. Peter Fischer, Mary Stake Hawker, St. Louis, Mo., for Special School Dist., appellees.

John Ashcroft, Atty. Gen., Robert L. Presson, Asst. Atty. Gen., Jefferson City, Mo., for State of Missouri; Simon Tonkin, Asst. Atty. Gen., St. Louis, Mo., Leslie Ann Schneider, Asst. Atty. Gen., Jefferson City, Mo., of counsel.

L. Steven Goldblatt, Atty., Clayton, Mo., for The American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri.

Before BRIGHT, HENLEY and ARNOLD, Circuit Judges.

HENLEY, Circuit Judge.

Appellant Terri Ann Miener, by and through her guardian and next friend Clyde J. Miener, brought this action against several state and local governmental entities to secure rights allegedly due to her as a handicapped person. She sought declaratory, injunctive

Page 972

and monetary relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983; the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Pub.L. 93-112, 87 Stat. 355 (1973), 29 U.S.C. § 701 et seq. (the Rehabilitation Act); the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975, Pub.L. 94-142, 89 Stat. 773 (1975), 20 U.S.C. § 1401 et seq. (EAHCA or the Education Act); and the equal protection clause of the fifth and fourteenth amendments. 1 Appellant appeals several orders 2 of the district court which, taken together, serve to dismiss her claims to damage relief on the merits prior to hearing.

We assume jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1291. We reverse in part and affirm in part the district court's dismissal, and remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Appellant has a history of serious medical problems highlighted by the occurrence and reoccurrence of a brain tumor, initially at age two, and later at age fourteen. As a result of this condition and attendant surgery, she suffers serious learning disabilities and behavioral disorders.

Appellant alleged 3 that she was a voluntary resident at facilities of the Missouri Department of Mental Health beginning in June, 1977. From this time until April, 1980 when she was removed to a private facility, appellant claimed that she was deprived of an appropriate free education in violation of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1411. She also alleged that defendants denied her equal access to educational facilities, in violation of the antidiscrimination provisions contained in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 794, and in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

Numerous individuals and political bodies and agencies were named as defendants, including the State of Missouri and its Chief Executive Officer, Governor Joseph P. Teasdale; the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and its Commissioner, Arthur Mallory, and Assistant Commissioner, Dr. Leonard Hall; the Missouri Department of Mental Health, its acting Director, Dr. Beverly Wilson, and the Commissioner of Mental Health for the State of Missouri, Norman Tice; the acting Superintendent of the St. Louis State Hospital, John Twiehaus, and the former Medical Director of the Youth Center at that Hospital, Dr. Milton Fujita; the Special School District of St. Louis County, Missouri, its Board of Education, its Directors, Allan Barclay, Gerald Braznell, and Gerald Hansen, and its Superintendent of Schools, Thomas Smith.

Appellant prayed for injunctive relief in the form of equal access to all programs and facilities of the St. Louis State Hospital and participation in the special education programs of the St. Louis County Special School District. She asserted a right to damages in the amount of $50,000.00 for deprivation of her constitutional right of equal protection and statutory rights, and $474,358.00 for violation of her statutory right to a full and adequate education. She sought prospective relief in the form of compensatory educational services to overcome the effects of any past denial of special educational services.

The district court initially ordered appellant to pursue administrative remedies under the EAHCA and Missouri statutes. On January 25, 1980 the court dismissed appellant's claims for damages under the Rehabilitation and Education Acts on the ground that no private cause of action for damages

Page 973

exists pursuant to these statutes. The court also dismissed all claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, while refusing to dismiss the enforcement claims asserted under the Education Act and § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The pendent tort claim and the claim for compensatory education also remained.

In the course of pursuing administrative remedies, the parties eventually settled the enforcement claims. A settlement agreement, approved by the district court on April 23, 1980, provided for appellant's placement, education and psychiatric treatment in the Crittenton Center and Hickman-Mills School District in Kansas City, Missouri.

The state defendants thereafter, on July 8, 1980, filed a motion to dismiss the claim for compensatory education on the ground that this was a claim for damages which must fall in accordance with the district court's dismissal of damage claims in its January 25, 1980 order. On September 19, 1980 the district court agreed, dismissing the claim for compensatory education as a request for damages barred by the eleventh amendment. The state tort claim was dismissed without prejudice. The motion of the St. Louis County Special School District for summary judgment was dismissed as moot.

Appellant's primary allegations on appeal are that the district court erred in (1) ruling that a private right of action for damages is not available under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act; (2) ruling that a private right of action for damages cannot be implied under the Education Act; (3) dismissing her claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for failure to state a claim; (4) dismissing her claim for compensatory education as an action for damages barred by the eleventh amendment. Because we reverse in part the district court's dismissal, we are obliged also to reach the allegation that the district court abused its discretion in denying appellant leave to amend her complaint.

The crux of this appeal is whether a cause of action for damages can be entertained under any of the statutes relied on by appellant. This inquiry necessarily involves a two-step analysis. We ask first whether a private cause of action may be asserted pursuant to the statutes named in her complaint. As a separate question, we examine the propriety of damage relief. Davis v. Passman, 442 U.S. 228, 244, 99 S.Ct. 2264, 2276, 60 L.Ed.2d 846 (1978) (implication of a right of action is analytically distinct and prior to the question of what relief, if any, a litigant may be entitled to receive).

I. PRIVATE CAUSE OF ACTION

(A) Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

The district court held, correctly we believe, that under the test of Cort v. Ash, 422 U.S. 66, 95 S.Ct. 2080, 45 L.Ed.2d 26 (1975), and the authority of Cannon v. University of Chicago, 441 U.S. 677, 99 S.Ct. 1946, 60 L.Ed.2d 560 (1979), individual plaintiffs have a private cause of action under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The weight of authority in this and other circuits supports the implication of a cause of action. See Pushkin v. Regents of the University of Colorado, 658 F.2d 1372 (10th Cir. 1981); Simon v. St. Louis County, 656 F.2d 316 (8th Cir. 1981), petition for cert. filed, 50 U.S.L.W. 3404 (U.S. Nov. 17, 1981) (No. 81-850); Kling v. County of Los Angeles, 633 F.2d 876 (9th Cir. 1980); Carmi v. Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District, 620 F.2d 672, 675 (8th Cir.), cert. denied, 449 U.S. 892, 101 S.Ct. 249, 66 L.Ed.2d 117 (1980); Camenisch v. University of Texas, 616 F.2d 127, 131 (5th Cir. 1980), vacated on other grounds, 451 U.S. 390, 101 S.Ct. 1830, 68 L.Ed.2d 175 (1981); NAACP v. Medical Center, Inc., 599 F.2d 1247, 1258-59 (3d Cir. 1979); Davis v. Southeastern Community College, 574 F.2d 1158, 1159 (4th Cir. 1978), rev'd on other grounds, 442 U.S. 397, 99 S.Ct. 2361, 60 L.Ed.2d 980 (1979); Leary v. Crapsey, 566 F.2d 863 (2d Cir. 1977); United Handicapped Federation v. Andre, 558 F.2d 413, 415 (8th Cir. 1977); Kampmeier v. Nyquist, 553 F.2d 296, 299 (2d Cir. 1977); Lloyd v. Regional Transportation Authority, 548 F.2d 1277, 1284-87 (7th Cir. 1977)

Page 974

(but expressly leaving open the question...

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  • Clark v. Cohen, No. 85-1452
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • June 26, 1986
    ...the case is thus foreclosed by the eleventh amendment. This conclusion comports with the Eighth Circuit's decision in Miener v. Missouri, 673 F.2d 969 (8th Cir.), cert. denied, 459 U.S. 909, 103 S.Ct. 215, 74 L.Ed.2d 171 (1982), in which the plaintiff, a sufferer of "serious learning disabi......
  • Sanders By Sanders v. Marquette Public Schools, No. M81-153 CA2.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District Michigan)
    • April 14, 1983
    ...To date, courts have almost uniformly held that there is an implied cause of action under the EAH. See, e.g., Miener v. State of Missouri, 673 F.2d 969 (8th Cir.1982); Mitchell v. Walter, 538 F.Supp. 1111 (S.D. Ohio 1982); Anderson v. Thompson, 658 F.2d 1205 (7th Cir.1981). Just as uniforml......
  • Manecke v. School Bd. of Pinellas County, Fla., No. 84-3507
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Eleventh Circuit
    • June 11, 1985
    ...Nebraska, 687 F.2d 1164, 1170 (8th Cir.1982), cert. denied, 460 U.S. 1012, 103 S.Ct. 1252, 75 L.Ed.2d 481 (1983), and Miener v. Missouri, 673 F.2d 969, 979 (8th Cir.), cert. denied, 459 U.S. 909, 916, 103 S.Ct. 215, 230, 74 L.Ed.2d 171, 182 (1982), that Sec. 504 "has been interpreted to pro......
  • Dellmuth v. Muth, No. 87-1855
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 15, 1989
    ...Gary A. v. New Trier High School Dist. No. 203, 796 F.2d 940 (CA7 1986); Doe v. Maher, 793 F.2d 1470 (CA9 1986); and Miener v. Missouri, 673 F.2d 969 (CA8 1982) (finding no abrogation). We now reverse. II We have recognized that Congress, acting in the exercise of its enforcement authority ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
179 cases
  • Clark v. Cohen, No. 85-1452
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • June 26, 1986
    ...the case is thus foreclosed by the eleventh amendment. This conclusion comports with the Eighth Circuit's decision in Miener v. Missouri, 673 F.2d 969 (8th Cir.), cert. denied, 459 U.S. 909, 103 S.Ct. 215, 74 L.Ed.2d 171 (1982), in which the plaintiff, a sufferer of "serious learning disabi......
  • Sanders By Sanders v. Marquette Public Schools, No. M81-153 CA2.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District Michigan)
    • April 14, 1983
    ...To date, courts have almost uniformly held that there is an implied cause of action under the EAH. See, e.g., Miener v. State of Missouri, 673 F.2d 969 (8th Cir.1982); Mitchell v. Walter, 538 F.Supp. 1111 (S.D. Ohio 1982); Anderson v. Thompson, 658 F.2d 1205 (7th Cir.1981). Just as uniforml......
  • Manecke v. School Bd. of Pinellas County, Fla., No. 84-3507
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Eleventh Circuit
    • June 11, 1985
    ...Nebraska, 687 F.2d 1164, 1170 (8th Cir.1982), cert. denied, 460 U.S. 1012, 103 S.Ct. 1252, 75 L.Ed.2d 481 (1983), and Miener v. Missouri, 673 F.2d 969, 979 (8th Cir.), cert. denied, 459 U.S. 909, 916, 103 S.Ct. 215, 230, 74 L.Ed.2d 171, 182 (1982), that Sec. 504 "has been interpreted to pro......
  • Dellmuth v. Muth, No. 87-1855
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 15, 1989
    ...Gary A. v. New Trier High School Dist. No. 203, 796 F.2d 940 (CA7 1986); Doe v. Maher, 793 F.2d 1470 (CA9 1986); and Miener v. Missouri, 673 F.2d 969 (CA8 1982) (finding no abrogation). We now reverse. II We have recognized that Congress, acting in the exercise of its enforcement authority ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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