Pretzel & Stouffer

Federal Court Dismisses Civil Rights Claims Brought Against Religious Institution

David M. Bennett, Donald Patrick Eckler, and David J. Stein obtained a dismissal with prejudice as to all civil rights claims and pendent state law claims filed against a Chicagoland religious institution. Plaintiffs’ Complaint alleged violations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 1981, and further alleged pendent state law claims for negligent supervision and intentional infliction of emotional distress relating to purported inappropriate treatment of a student at a school located on the property of the religious institution.

The Pretzel & Stouffer team’s Motion to Dismiss argued that Plaintiffs lacked standing to bring their claims against the religious institution, as it received no federal funds and had no contractual relationship with the Plaintiffs. The Court initially denied the Motion to Dismiss, but in a rare move reversed itself after briefing of a Motion for Reconsideration which further argued lack of standing and highlighted the attenuated legal relationship between the religious institution and the school.

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