Ex parte Monroe County Board of Education and Frankye Beal. PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS: CIVIL (In re: Pamela Jones Al-Sulaibe, as next friend of Rashid Jones, a minor child v. Monroe County Board of Education and Frankye Beal.)

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REL: 05/14/2010 Notice: T h i s o p i n i o n i s s u b j e c t t o f o r m a l r e v i s i o n b e f o r e p u b l i c a t i o n i n t h e advance s h e e t s o f Southern R e p o r t e r . R e a d e r s a r e r e q u e s t e d t o n o t i f y t h e R e p o r t e r o f D e c i s i o n s , A l a b a m a A p p e l l a t e C o u r t s , 300 D e x t e r A v e n u e , M o n t g o m e r y , A l a b a m a 3 6 1 0 4 - 3 7 4 1 ( ( 3 3 4 ) 2 2 9 ¬ 0 6 4 9 ) , o f a n y t y p o g r a p h i c a l o r o t h e r e r r o r s , i n o r d e r t h a t c o r r e c t i o n s may b e made b e f o r e t h e o p i n i o n i s p r i n t e d i n Southern R e p o r t e r . SUPREME COURT OF ALABAMA OCTOBER TERM, 2009-2010 1090387 Ex p a r t e Monroe County B o a r d o f E d u c a t i o n and F r a n k y e Beal PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS (In r e : Pamela Jones Al-Sulaibe, Jones, a minor as n e x t friend of Rashid child v. Monroe County B o a r d o f E d u c a t i o n and F r a n k y e (Monroe C i r c u i t PER Court, Beal) CV-08-900008) CURIAM. The Frankye Monroe Beal, County Board a fifth-grade of Education teacher ("the B o a r d " ) a n d at Beatrice Elementary 1090387 School i n Monroe County, mandamus d i r e c t i n g for to J u d g e Dawn W. a summary j u d g m e n t tort immunity--absolute to the Board; this Hare Court for a writ to grant d i s m i s s i n g Pamela c l a i m s a g a i n s t them b e c a u s e , i m m u n i t y as t o B e a l . as petition motions Jones A l - S u l a i b e ' s they say, they i m m u n i t y as t o t h e B o a r d We g r a n t t h e p e t i t i o n we d e n y t h e p e t i t i o n their of are e n t i t l e d and S t a t e - a g e n t and i s s u e t h e w r i t as t o B e a l . Facts On F e b r u a r y Rashid class. Jones 27, 2007, f o r having Beal disciplined 12-year-old repeatedly disrupted h i s fifth-grade J o n e s was r e p e a t i n g t h e f i f t h older then g r a d e a n d was t w o y e a r s than most of h i s classmates. In the h a l l classroom, Beal initially to using two rulers Jones resisted then told retrieved taped attempted together by p u l l i n g Jones that her paddle h i s hand she would from to outside the "hand-paddle" strike Jones's Jones palms. away s e v e r a l t i m e s . have to paddle the classroom. Beal him, and she She and Jones e n t e r e d an empty c l a s s r o o m n e x t d o o r t o B e a l ' s c l a s s r o o m . instructed paddle and Jones Jones. to touch Jones h i s feet and B e a l attempted Beal to r e p e a t e d l y moved t o a v o i d t h e s p a n k i n g , a t o n e p o i n t he g r a b b e d the paddle 2 and attempted to take 1090387 it away back from Beal. As of h i s thigh. Jones moved, Beal According to Beal, struck h i m on t h e s h e made no further a t t e m p t t o p a d d l e R a s h i d , who t h e n d i s o b e y e d B e a l a g a i n b y n o t returning Beal of to the f i f t h - g r a d e continued to s t r i k e h i s legs Jones from another On a n d an arm. Beatrice school classroom. h i m a n d he s u f f e r e d injuries t o one The n e x t d a y , J o n e s ' s m o t h e r Elementary School w h e r e he f i n i s h e d February According to Jones, 26, 2008, Pamela and the f i f t h Jones removed enrolled him i n grade. Al-Sulaibe, as next f r i e n d of Jones, sued the Board, a s s e r t i n g c l a i m s of n e g l i g e n t e n t r u s t m e n t and n e g l i g e n t asserting According claims of supervision. negligence, to Al-Sulaibe's wantonness, complaint, Beal cause to d i s c i p l i n e Jones a " h a n d - p a d d l i n g , " and B e a l with Jones a l s o t h e p a d d l e , h i t t i n g h i s arm and l e g . answered, On asserting August 31, summary j u d g m e n t . and Beal, assault. d i d n o t have Jones, Beal d i d not f i r s t struck sued good attempt to give Jones several times The B o a r d a n d B e a l immunity. 2009, the Board The B o a r d a s s e r t e d and Beal absolute moved for a immunity; a s s e r t e d S t a t e - a g e n t , s c h o o l m a s t e r ' s , and s t a t u t o r y Beal immunity. To s u p p o r t t h e m o t i o n , t h e B o a r d a n d B e a l s u b m i t t e d a f f i d a v i t s 3 1090387 from all Beal times and h e r s u p e r v i s o r s supporting arguments regarding Al-Sulaibe filed evidence and w i t h o u t Beal acted Board and B e a l ' s motion. f o ra writ an o p p o s i n g addressing s t a t u t o r y and s c h o o l m a s t e r ' s On N o v e m b e r 4, 2 0 0 8 , t h e t r i a l petition that brief Beal's immunity. court summarily denied the The B o a r d a n d B e a l t i m e l y f i l e d o f mandamus. Standard of Review "'While the general rule i s that d e n i a l o f a summary-judgment m o t i o n i s n o t immediately reviewable b y an a p p e l l a t e court, the exception to the general rule i s t h a t a d e n i a l o f a m o t i o n f o r a summary j u d g m e n t g r o u n d e d on a c l a i m o f i m m u n i t y i s i m m e d i a t e l y r e v i e w a b l e by a p e t i t i o n f o r a w r i t o f mandamus ' "Ex at w i t h i n t h e scope o f h e r a u t h o r i t y and i n compliance w i t h the Board's p o l i c i e s . without testifying parte Wood, 852 S o . 2 d 7 0 5 , 708 (Ala. 2002). "'A writ of mandamus i s an e x t r a o r d i n a r y remedy, and i s a p p r o p r i a t e when t h e p e t i t i o n e r c a n show (1) a c l e a r l e g a l r i g h t t o the order sought; (2) a n imperative duty upon t h e r e s p o n d e n t t o p e r f o r m , a c c o m p a n i e d b y a r e f u s a l t o do s o ; (3) t h e l a c k o f a n o t h e r adequate remedy; and (4) t h e p r o p e r l y i n v o k e d jurisdiction of t h e c o u r t . ' "Ex p a r t e BOC (Ala. 2001). Group, I n c . , 823 4 So. 2d 1 2 7 0 , 1272 this 1090387 " ' T h i s C o u r t ' s r e v i e w o f a summary j u d g m e n t i s de n o v o . W i l l i a m s v . S t a t e F a r m Mut. Auto. I n s . Co., 8 8 6 So. 2d 7 2 , 74 (Ala. 2003). We a p p l y t h e same s t a n d a r d o f review as the trial court applied. S p e c i f i c a l l y , we m u s t d e t e r m i n e w h e t h e r t h e m o v a n t h a s made a p r i m a f a c i e s h o w i n g t h a t no g e n u i n e i s s u e o f m a t e r i a l f a c t exists and that the movant is entitled to a j u d g m e n t as a m a t t e r o f l a w . Rule 56(c), Ala. R. C i v . P.; B l u e C r o s s & B l u e S h i e l d of A l a b a m a v . H o d u r s k i , 8 99 So. 2 d 949, 952-53 ( A l a . 2004). In making such a d e t e r m i n a t i o n , we m u s t r e v i e w t h e e v i d e n c e in the light most favorable to the nonmovant. W i l s o n v . B r o w n , 496 So. 2d 7 5 6 , 758 ( A l a . 1 98 6 ) . Once t h e m o v a n t m a k e s a prima facie showing t h a t t h e r e i s no genuine i s s u e of m a t e r i a l f a c t , the burden t h e n s h i f t s t o t h e nonmovant t o produce " s u b s t a n t i a l e v i d e n c e " as t o t h e e x i s t e n c e of a g e n u i n e i s s u e o f m a t e r i a l f a c t . Bass v . S o u t h T r u s t B a n k o f B a l d w i n C o u n t y , 53 8 So. 2d 7 9 4 , 7 9 7 - 9 8 ( A l a . 1 9 8 9 ) ; A l a . C o d e 1975, § 12-21-12. " [ S ] u b s t a n t i a l e v i d e n c e i s e v i d e n c e o f s u c h w e i g h t and q u a l i t y t h a t fair-minded persons i n the exercise of i m p a r t i a l judgment can r e a s o n a b l y i n f e r the e x i s t e n c e o f t h e f a c t s o u g h t t o be p r o v e d . " W e s t v . F o u n d e r s L i f e A s s u r . Co. o f F l a . , 547 So. 2 d 8 7 0 , 871 ( A l a . 1 9 8 9 ) . ' "Dow v. 1038-39 Ex Alabama Democratic ( A l a . 2004)." parte Jackson (Ala. 2008). review, we to trial the will County Bd. P a r t y , 897 of Educ., Additionally, in c o n s i d e r o n l y the court for So. 4 So. conducting factual in 1035, 1099, our material i t s consideration 5 3d 2d 1101-02 appellate submitted deciding the 1090387 summary-judgment Educ., motion. Ex parte Madison County Bd. o f 1 S o . 3 d 9 8 0 , 986 ( A l a . 2 0 0 8 ) . Discussion The the Board motion contends that the t r i a l court erred i n denying f o r a summary j u d g m e n t a s t o i t b e c a u s e , i tsays, claims a g a i n s t t h e Board a r eb a r r e d by a b s o l u t e immunity Ala. Const. o f 1 9 0 1 , § 14. "'Section 14, A l a . Const. 1901, p r o v i d e s " [ t ] h a t t h eS t a t e o f Alabama s h a l l n e v e r b e made a d e f e n d a n t i n a n y c o u r t o f law or e q u i t y . " This section affords the State and i t s agencies an "absolute" immunity from s u i t i n any c o u r t . Ex p a r t e M o b i l e C o u n t y D e p ' t o f Human R e s . , 8 1 5 S o . 2d 5 2 7 , 530 ( A l a . 2001) ( s t a t i n g t h a t A l a . C o n s t . 1901, § 14, c o n f e r s on t h e S t a t e o f Alabama and i t s a g e n c i e s a b s o l u t e immunity from suit i n any court) ; Ex parte T u s c a l o o s a C o u n t y , 796 So. 2 d 1 1 0 0 , 1103 (Ala. 2000)("Under A l a . Const. o f 1901, § 14, the State o f Alabama has a b s o l u t e immunity from lawsuits. This absolute i m m u n i t y e x t e n d s t o arms o r a g e n c i e s o f t h e state ...."). Indeed, this Court has d e s c r i b e d § 14 a s a n " a l m o s t i n v i n c i b l e " " w a l l " o f immunity. Alabama S t a t e Docks v. Saxon, 6 3 1 S o . 2 d 9 4 3 , 946 ( A l a . 1 9 9 4 ) . This "wall of immunity" i s "nearly impregnable," P a t t e r s o n v. Gladwin Corp., 835 S o . 2 d 1 3 7 , 142 ( A l a . 2 0 0 2 ) , a n d b a r s "almost every conceivable type of s u i t . " H u t c h i n s o n v. Board o f T r u s t e e s o f U n i v . o f A l a . , 288 A l a . 2 0 , 2 3 , 256 S o . 2 d 2 8 1 , 283 (1971). Moreover, i f an a c t i o n i s an a c t i o n a g a i n s t t h e S t a t e w i t h i n t h e meaning of § 14, s u c h a c a s e " p r e s e n t s a q u e s t i o n of subject-matter jurisdiction, which 6 under 1090387 c a n n o t be w a i v e d o r c o n f e r r e d by c o n s e n t . " P a t t e r s o n , 835 So. 2 d a t 1 4 2 - 4 3 . ' " H a l e y v . B a r b o u r C o u n t y , 8 8 5 S o . 2 d 7 8 3 , 788 ( A l a . 2004) (emphasis added). For purposes o f § 14 immunity, county boards o f e d u c a t i o n are c o n s i d e r e d a g e n c i e s o f t h e S t a t e . L o u v i e r e v. M o b i l e County Bd. o f E d u c . , 670 S o . 2 d 8 7 3 , 877 ( A l a . 1 9 9 5 ) ( ' C o u n t y b o a r d s o f e d u c a t i o n , as l o c a l a g e n c i e s o f t h e S t a t e , e n j o y [§ 1 4 ] i m m u n i t y . ' ) . T h u s , t h i s C o u r t h a s h e l d t h a t c o u n t y b o a r d s o f e d u c a t i o n a r e immune f r o m t o r t a c t i o n s . See Brown v. C o v i n g t o n C o u n t y Bd. o f E d u c . , 524 S o . 2 d 6 2 3 , 625 ( A l a . 1 9 8 8 ) ; H u t t v . E t o w a h County Bd. o f Educ., 454 S o . 2 d 9 7 3 , 974 ( A l a . 1984)." Ex p a r t e In (Ala. Jackson County Bd. o f Educ., 4 So. 3d a t 1102-03. E x p a r t e H a l e C o u n t y B o a r d o f E d u c a t i o n , 14 S o . 3 d 844 2009), this Court revisited b o a r d s o f e d u c a t i o n w e r e immune the issue from s u i t , whether overruling county Sims v. E t o w a h C o u n t y B o a r d o f E d u c a t i o n , 337 S o . 2 d 1 3 1 0 ( A l a . 1 9 7 6 ) , a n d Kimmons v . J e f f e r s o n 384, 85 So. 774 (1920), County and boards of education are l o c a l clothed i n constitutional immunity The B o a r d o f E d u c a t i o n , 204 A l a . stating that "because agencies of the State, immunity from suit" Board they are and t h a t the accorded a county board of education i s absolute. Board i s a local agency of the State a b s o l u t e i m m u n i t y u n d e r A l a . C o n s t . o f 1901, § 14. the county i s entitled to a summary 7 judgment that has Therefore, and the trial 1090387 c o u r t e r r e d i n d e n y i n g t h e m o t i o n f o r a summary j u d g m e n t the as t o Board. Next, refusing says, Beal contends to enter Al-Sulaibe's a that summary claims Specifically, is the State because, by at the time exercising supervising of h e r judgment indicating that entitled t o State-agent Beal court f o r her because, by as a the incident with school Jones, official and because she exceeded she State- teacher, she was duties f o r there i s no h e r a u t h o r i t y , she i s immunity. "A S t a t e a g e n t s h a l l b e immune f r o m c i v i l liability i n h i s o r h e r p e r s o n a l c a p a c i t y when t h e c o n d u c t made t h e b a s i s o f t h e c l a i m a g a i n s t t h e a g e n t i s b a s e d upon t h e a g e n t ' s II "(5) e x e r c i s i n g judgment i n the discharge of d u t i e s imposed by s t a t u t e , r u l e , o r r e g u l a t i o n i n educating students. "Notwithstanding anything to the contrary i n the f o r e g o i n g statement o f the r u l e , a State agent s h a l l n o t b e immune f r o m c i v i l l i a b i l i t y i n h i s or her personal capacity 8 i n contends t h a t because she o f Alabama students, erred her are barred i n performing and educating evidence trial judgment against agent immunity. certified the 1090387 "(1) when t h e C o n s t i t u t i o n o r l a w s o f t h e U n i t e d States, or the C o n s t i t u t i o n of t h i s State, or laws, rules, or regulations of this State enacted or promulgated f o r the purpose of regulating the activities of a governmental agency require otherwise; or "(2) when the State agent acts willfully, mal i c i o u s l y , f r a u d u l e n t l y , i n b a d f a i t h , b e y o n d h i s or her a u t h o r i t y , o r under a mistaken i n t e r p r e t a t i o n 4o f t V, ^e l1 a w . II h " -,T.T Ex parte Cranman, opinion)(adopted 173 792 S o . 2 d 3 9 2 , 4 0 5 by t h i s (Ala. contends i n Ex p a r t e 2000)(plurality Butts, 775 So. 2 d 2000)). Beal Court (Ala. that when s h e was disciplining Jones was e x e r c i s i n g h e r j u d g m e n t i n p e r f o r m i n g h e r o f f i c i a l as an employee students i n supervising " i n a l l aspects of the education Trottman, Nall, of the Board, 965 S o . 2 d 7 8 0 , 7 8 3 879 So. contention that 2d 541 process." (Ala. 2007). ( A l a . 2003). and In she duties educating Ex parte See a l s o Ex parte support of her s h e was e x e r c i s i n g h e r j u d g m e n t i n p e r f o r m i n g her official duties her a u t h o r i t y , s h e s u b m i t t e d h e r own a f f i d a v i t a n d a f f i d a v i t s from h e r s u p e r v i s o r s affidavit, Beal and t h a t she d i d n o t exceed t h e scope o f w i t h t h e summary-judgment m o t i o n . attested: 9 In her 1090387 "I was a u t h o r i z e d by [the Board] and the principal of Beatrice Elementary School to administer corporal punishment as I deemed necessary. T h e r e w e r e no o t h e r s t u d e n t s p r e s e n t a t t h e time t h a t I t r i e d t o p a d d l e [Jones] and I never succeeded i n p a d d l i n g him. Furthermore, because m i n e was t h e o n l y c l a s s r o o m o n t h e h a l l w a y t h a t was b e i n g u s e d a t t h a t t i m e , my c l a s s was i s o l a t e d f r o m the r e s t of the s c h o o l . My r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s a s a teacher included maintaining s u p e r v i s i o n of my students. In order to o b t a i n another p r o f e s s i o n a l e m p l o y e e t o be p r e s e n t , i t w o u l d h a v e b e e n n e c e s s a r y for me to leave a l l my students unsupervised, i n c l u d i n g [ J o n e s ] a n d t h e o t h e r s t u d e n t who h a d b e e n misbehaving. I t was i m p o s s i b l e f o r me both to m a i n t a i n t h a t amount o f s u p e r v i s i o n o f t h e s t u d e n t s t h a t I b e l i e v e d was n e c e s s a r y a n d a l s o t o go ask a n o t h e r p r o f e s s i o n a l e m p l o y e e t o be p r e s e n t d u r i n g c o r p o r a l punishment. As I i n i t i a l l y i n t e n d e d o n l y t o spank the palms of [Jones's] hand, I d e c i d e d t h a t i t was m o s t a p p r o p r i a t e u n d e r t h e c i r c u m s t a n c e s t o proceed without getting another teacher to be present. T h i s e n a b l e d me to maintain continuous s u p e r v i s i o n o f my c l a s s . I was a t a l l t i m e s c l o s e e n o u g h t o my c l a s s r o o m t o h e a r a n y d i s t u r b a n c e a n d to respond immediately i f necessary. I f I had l e f t t o get another t e a c h e r , however, I would not have b e e n a b l e t o m o n i t o r my c l a s s r o o m a s c l o s e l y a s I t h o u g h t was necessary. " I was n o t a n g r y w i t h [ J o n e s ] a t a n y t i m e w h i l e I a t t e m p t e d t o d i s c i p l i n e h i m . My o n l y i n t e n t i o n was t o c o r r e c t h i s m i s b e h a v i o r , t o have him f o l l o w the c l a s s r o o m r u l e s a n d my i n s t r u c t i o n s a s h i s t e a c h e r , and t o p r e v e n t f u r t h e r d i s r u p t i o n s o f t h e s t u d e n t s ' work. I a c t e d a t a l l times i n a good f a i t h attempt to c a r r y out those r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . I had been g i v e n no s p e c i f i c i n s t r u c t i o n s n o r g u i d e l i n e s to f o l l o w i n d e t e r m i n i n g how t o p r o c e e d i n a s i t u a t i o n l i k e t h i s , w h e r e I was u n a b l e t o c a r r y o u t t w o o f my duties s i m u l t a n e o u s l y and had to choose between 10 1090387 them. In deciding what was best under the c i r c u m s t a n c e s , I r e l i e d u p o n my j u d g m e n t b a s e d on t h e f a c t s I knew a t t h a t t i m e . I a l s o took into account [ J o n e s ' s ] age, s i z e , gender, and p h y s i c a l condition i n d e c i d i n g what punishment would be reasonable and p r o p e r , although I never actually p u n i s h e d him b e c a u s e o f h i s p h y s i c a l r e s i s t a n c e and h i s r e f u s a l t o f o l l o w my i n s t r u c t i o n s . I d i d not h a v e on F e b r u a r y 2 7 , 2 0 0 7 o r a t a n y o t h e r t i m e , a n y i l l w i l l o r m a l i c e t o w a r d [Jones] and I a c t e d a t a l l t i m e s w i t h i n my a u t h o r i t y i n a g o o d f a i t h e f f o r t t o c a r r y o u t t h e d u t i e s a s s i g n e d t o me b y [ t h e B o a r d ] . "On F e b r u a r y 2 7 , 2 0 0 7 , a n d a t a l l t i m e s r e l e v a n t t o t h i s l a w s u i t , I was c e r t i f i e d by t h e S t a t e o f A l a b a m a a s a s c h o o l t e a c h e r a n d was e m p l o y e d b y [ t h e Board]. I a c t e d a t a l l t i m e s w i t h i n t h e s c o p e o f my a u t h o r i t y and employment r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s f o r [the B o a r d ] , i n c o n f o r m i t y w i t h f e d e r a l , s t a t e and l o c a l laws and t h e p o l i c i e s o f [the B o a r d ] . As a r e s u l t of my education, certification, training and e x p e r i e n c e , I am f a m i l i a r w i t h t h e s t a n d a r d o f c a r e r e q u i r e d of p u b l i c s c h o o l t e a c h e r s i n Monroe County, Alabama. I met t h a t s t a n d a r d o f c a r e on February 27, 2007." Additionally, Pleasant, Beal's the Beal principal immediate submitted of supervisor the Beatrice at the affidavit Elementary time of the of Johnny School incident. Pleasant attested: "During the 2006-2007 s c h o o l y e a r , [Beal's] a s s i g n e d c l a s s r o o m was on a h a l l w a y w i t h o n l y one o t h e r room. The r o o m o t h e r t h a n [ B e a l ' s ] was s e t up a s a c o m p u t e r l a b , a n d i t was u s e d a t o n l y c e r t a i n t i m e s d u r i n g t h e d a y . I t i s my u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h a t a t t h e t i m e o f t h e i n c i d e n t made t h e b a s i s o f this lawsuit, the computer lab was not in use. 11 and 1090387 C o n s e q u e n t l y , t h e r e was n o o t h e r t e a c h e r o n [ B e a l ' s ] hallway to witness corporal d i s c i p l i n e of a student. I t would have been n e c e s s a r y f o r [Beal] t o g e t another teacher from the second floor of the b u i l d i n g , o r from another hallway. T h i s c o u l d have r e s u l t e d i n her class being unattended f o r a p e r i o d of time. However, t e a c h e r s i n t h e Monroe County School System are expected to maintain proper supervision, control and d i s c i p l i n e among their students and, t o t h e best o f t h e i r a b i l i t i e s , t o p r e s e r v e a l e a r n i n g environment t h a t i s q u i e t and free of d i s r u p t i o n s and d i s t r a c t i o n s . T e a c h e r s must use t h e i r judgment and d i s c r e t i o n t o d e t e r m i n e t h e degree of s u p e r v i s i o n t h a t t h i s r e q u i r e s f o r a given class or f o r specific students. I had not given [Beal] any s p e c i f i c instructions about how to p r o c e e d i n t h e c i r c u m s t a n c e s t h a t c o n f r o n t e d h e r on February 27, 2007. S h e h a d t o e x e r c i s e h e r own judgment t o determine the appropriate course of a c t i o n under those circumstances. [ B e a l ] a c t e d on F e b r u a r y 27, 2007 w i t h i n h e r d i s c r e t i o n a r y a u t h o r i t y and i n compliance with the requirements of [the Board] f o r student s u p e r v i s i o n . " T h e r e was n o r e a s o n t h a t [ B e a l ] s h o u l d n o t h a v e b e e n a l l o w e d t o s u p e r v i s e s t u d e n t s on F e b r u a r y 27, 2007 o r a t a n y o t h e r t i m e . S h e was c e r t i f i e d b y t h e S t a t e o f A l a b a m a as a s c h o o l t e a c h e r a n d was a t e n u r e d e m p l o y e e o f [ t h e B o a r d ] w i t h no h i s t o r y o f complaints or d i s c i p l i n a r y actions against her." Beal also superintendent submitted of the affidavit the Board of Dennis a t the time of the Mixon, the incident. Mixon a t t e s t e d : " T e a c h e r s i n t h e Monroe County s c h o o l system, as part of their assigned duties, are expected to maintain proper supervision of students i n t h e i r classes. T h i s d o e s n o t mean t h a t t e a c h e r s must 12 1090387 maintain constant visual s u p e r v i s i o n of every student throughout t h e s c h o o l day, however. The degree of s u p e r v i s i o n t h a t i s a p p r o p r i a t e f o r a specific class or for individual students is a matter necessarily left to the judgment and discretion of the teacher. Teachers are also e x p e c t e d t o m a i n t a i n o r d e r a n d d i s c i p l i n e among t h e s t u d e n t s i n t h e i r c l a s s e s and, t o the b e s t o f t h e i r a b i l i t i e s , to preserve a learning environment that i s q u i e t and f r e e o f d i s r u p t i o n and d i s t r a c t i o n s . "I understand that on February 27, 2007, [ B e a l ' s ] c l a s s r o o m was t h e o n l y one o f t h e t w o r o o m s on h e r h a l l w a y t h a t was u s e d f o r c l a s s e s t h r o u g h o u t t h e day. Consequently, i n order f o r [Beal] to get a n o t h e r t e a c h e r t o be p r e s e n t w h i l e she d i s c i p l i n e d a s t u d e n t , i t would have been n e c e s s a r y f o r her t o l e a v e h e r c l a s s u n a t t e n d e d a n d go t o a n o t h e r floor or t o a d i f f e r e n t w i n g of the b u i l d i n g . Under those c i r c u m s t a n c e s , [Beal] had t o d e c i d e whether t o l e a v e her class unattended, w i t h the p o s s i b i l i t y that a d d i t i o n a l d i s r u p t i o n or misbehavior would occur, or to c o r r e c t the s t u d e n t s ' misbehavior w i t h o u t another p r o f e s s i o n a l employee p r e s e n t . I had not given [Beal] any specific instructions about how to proceed i n those circumstances. She h a d t o e x e r c i s e h e r own j u d g m e n t t o d e t e r m i n e t h e a p p r o p r i a t e c o u r s e of a c t i o n . [ B e a l ] a c t e d on F e b r u a r y 2 7 , 2 0 0 7 w i t h i n h e r d i s c r e t i o n a r y a u t h o r i t y and i n c o m p l i a n c e with the requirements of [the Board] for student supervision. " T h e r e was no r e a s o n t h a t [ B e a l ] s h o u l d n o t h a v e b e e n a l l o w e d t o s u p e r v i s e s t u d e n t s on F e b r u a r y 27, 2007, o r a t any o t h e r t i m e . She was c e r t i f i e d b y t h e S t a t e o f A l a b a m a a s a s c h o o l t e a c h e r a n d was a t e n u r e d e m p l o y e e o f [ t h e B o a r d ] w i t h no h i s t o r y o f complaints or d i s c i p l i n a r y a c t i o n s a g a i n s t her." 13 1090387 Beal also the submitted a similar superintendent of j u d g m e n t m o t i o n was The affidavit the Board at from Melanie the time the Ryals, summary- filed. foregoing affidavits assert that a teacher has d i s c r e t i o n i n whether t o f o l l o w r u l e s e s t a b l i s h e d by the Board applicable to the administration However, t h e m a t e r i a l s entirely of before answers given of corporal punishment. us d e s c r i b i n g t h e r u l e s by Beal in her consist deposition, a t r a n s c r i p t o f which she s u b m i t t e d i n s u p p o r t o f t h e motion f o r a summary judgment. unequivocally Beal's deposition established t h a t t h e B o a r d ' s p o l i c y r e q u i r e d w i t n e s s e s t o be p r e s e n t when c o r p o r a l p u n i s h m e n t was a d m i n i s t e r e d . about factors that would justify not f o l l o w i n g she stated: " I t [the u n a v a i l a b i l i t y not justify i t , b u t b y t h e same given me as a t e a c h e r judgment would i n certain think, (Emphasis anything should added.) She a teacher allow every then i n the guideline authorized token, situations. to stipulate of another me to dispense 14 t o u s e my situation regarding as be policy, teacher] may that's professional impossible, that would I occur." to the absence corporal with that the authority I t would testified When a s k e d of punishment that the requirement that 1090387 there be a w i t n e s s present. She f u r t h e r subsequently r e c e i v e d correspondence or the Board, discipline, (Emphasis policy of or both, stating: that the Board's the presence during the administration guidelines." for deviating of another from the professional of c o r p o r a l punishment i s supported o n l y b y h e r o p i n i o n a n d t h o s e o f some o f h e r s u p e r i o r s , the guidelines the corporal she d i d not adhere scope themselves. punishment judgment based 1 Because Beal i n the presence to the Board's of her authority, she " [ I ] f I h a d t o a d m i n i s t e r some Her j u s t i f i c a t i o n requiring that from e i t h e r her p r i n c i p a l i t has t o f o l l o w added.) testified d i d not administer of another policy, employee, she exceeded a n d s h e was n o t e n t i t l e d on S t a t e - a g e n t not by the t o a summary immunity. Although the text of the guidelines i s not i n the record, the evidence concerning their content comes f r o m Beal's d e p o s i t i o n o f f e r e d by B e a l i n s u p p o r t o f h e r motion f o r a summary j u d g m e n t . B e a l d i d not c o m p l a i n about t h e absence o f the best evidence of the g u i d e l i n e s i n the t r i a l c o u r t nor d o e s s h e c o n t e n d t h a t s h e was m i s t a k e n i n h e r d e p o s i t i o n when she c o n f i r m e d t h e e x i s t e n c e o f a g u i d e l i n e r e q u i r i n g t h e p r e s e n c e o f a n o t h e r p r o f e s s i o n a l when a t e a c h e r a d m i n i s t e r s c o r p o r a l p u n i s h m e n t . The a b s e n c e o f a copy o f t h e g u i d e l i n e s t h e m s e l v e s s u g g e s t s t h a t t h e t e x t does n o t s u p p o r t t h e degree of flexibility i n s i s t e d on b e l o w a n d i n t h i s C o u r t as t h e basis f o r State-agent immunity. 1 15 1090387 Although the rules administering of incorporating into not the rules a those rules of guidelines after failure adhere might in to a rule activities of a party w i l l be will be followed. become able I t i s up to were of of of do is from so not immunity the followed, judgment i s t h e r e f o r e because the the a then regulating a not disobedient rule should rulemakers--not exercise appropriate absence of purpose t o r e a s o n s why the more to meaningless to point determine whether the is exercise a circumstances, i t I f we agency by authorizing stemming the governmental c i r c u m s t a n c e where the necessary, for the improved litigation guidelines. promulgated be fashion t h i s C o u r t ' s r e i t e r a t i o n i n Cranman of the when governing provision in exigent Court fact to this the education punishment those province to a board of corporal teacher to d i s r e g a r d is of this not Court--to judgment i n f o l l o w i n g rules desirable. Conclusion The B o a r d has immunity, i t has a clear Jones's claim against i t . to and the and established Board direct We the that i t is entitled l e g a l r i g h t to therefore trial 16 the to dismissal g r a n t the court to absolute enter of p e t i t i o n as a summary 1090387 judgment that i n i t s favor. she i s e n t i t l e d deny t h e p e t i t i o n Beal, however, to State-agent as t o h e r . has not e s t a b l i s h e d immunity; we therefore 2 P E T I T I O N GRANTED I N PART AND DENIED I N PART; WRIT Cobb, C . J . , and Lyons, Woodall, Parker, ISSUED. a n d Shaw, J J . , concur. Stuart, and dissent Smith, Bolin, and Murdock, J J . , concur i n part i n part. The e x t e n t t o which t h e r e i s a c a u s a l r e l a t i o n between t h e m a t t e r s made t h e b a s i s o f t h e c o m p l a i n t a n d t h e d e v i a t i o n from the g u i d e l i n e i s a n i s s u e we do n o t d e c i d e . When e n t e r t a i n i n g i n t e r l o c u t o r y r e v i e w o f t h e d e n i a l o f a summary j u d g m e n t i n t h e c o n t e x t o f i m m u n i t y we do n o t a d d r e s s other matters dealing with the merits of tort l i a b i l i t y . Ex p a r t e Simpson, [Ms. 1 0 8 0 9 8 1 , O c t . 16, 2009] So. 3d (Ala. 200 9 ) . S e e a l s o E x p a r t e H u d s o n , 866 S o . 2 d 1 1 1 5 , 1 1 2 0 ( A l a . 2003)("We c o n f i n e o u r i n t e r l o c u t o r y r e v i e w t o m a t t e r s germane to the issue of immunity. Matters r e l e v a n t t o the merits of the underlying tort claim, such as i s s u e s of duty or causation, are best l e f t to the t r i a l court " ) . 2 17 1090387 STUART, J u s t i c e (concurring I agree with the the conclusion because immunity. i s not also e n t i t l e d of State-agent According facie showing to the majority, that i n dispensing Board's authority. policy not testified allow majority's that on t h e d i d not e s t a b l i s h a prima of material fact existed establishes c o r p o r a l p u n i s h m e n t , she d i d n o t adhere t o that the immunity. f o r the absolute the conclusion deposition testimony she e x c e e d e d that testified of issue witness of that a That f a c t alone, Beal not provide teacher's the p o l i c y of the teacher 18 that when of her the Board a teacher however, i s i s entitled The d i s p o s i t i v e f a c t exercise d i s c r e t i o n on t h e p a r t a whether t h e p o l i c y does conclusion the scope Beal c o r p o r a l punishment. that by t o a summary j u d g m e n t Beal the presence d i s p o s i t i v e of State-agent Beal's I acknowledge administers with that t o a summary i t are barred no g e n u i n e i s s u e p o l i c y and required i s entitled opinion immunity. because, i t concludes, that, against I r e s p e c t f u l l y disagree Frankye Beal basis the claims and d i s s e n t i n g i n p a r t ) . i n the majority Monroe County B o a r d o f E d u c a t i o n judgment the i n part i s whether f o r exceptions discretion. does not provide r e s t s on B e a l ' s to Beal or The for response 1090387 when she was teacher's asked not of unavailability same should stipulate I t would that authorized of listed issue a think" that the guideline regarding may n o t j u s t i f y that's given would justify stating: me I would occur," d i d not include a the " I t[the it, as a judgment impossible, situation See So. 3d a t establishes that Beal i n the guidelines. of m a t e r i a l teacher guideline professional be would b u t by teacher i n certain think, and on "anything" to her that the use of c o r p o r a l punishment w i t h o u t the presence a witness. testimony that punishment, t o u s e my every testimony corporal the authority me situations. the of another teacher] token, allow factors following administration the about . I n my d i d not r e c a l l I t does opinion, any s p e c i f i c s not e s t a b l i s h a genuine f a c t as t o w h e t h e r t h e B o a r d ' s p o l i c y with discretion. qualify The w o r d s Beal's statements "should" and this vests and " I would indicate her u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e g u i d e l i n e s ; t h e usage o f t h o s e words does not e s t a b l i s h a genuine the p o l i c y a l l o w s of corporal principal, issue f o rteacher punishment. of material as t o w h e t h e r d i s c r e t i o n i n the administration Indeed, the superintendent fact the a f f i d a v i t s of Beal's of the Board at the time of the 19 1090387 incident, and t h e s u p e r i n t e n d e n t summary-judgment motion when was f i l e d discretion. that she had r e c e i v e d c o r r e s p o n d e n c e I had t o a d m i n i s t e r follow in attempting Jones B e a l the I do some the Board's g u i d e l i n e s " to d i d not follow foregoing material administer simply not read Beal's from does Beal's admission the Board stating, discipline, that i t has t o to require the conclusion that corporal punishment the Board's p o l i c y . does and indicate that a teacher have "[I]f Moreover, the Board not create a on Rashid I n my o p i n i o n , genuine issue of fact. The evidence showing that submitted Pamela Jones by B e a l presented Al-Sulaibe's a prima claims facie arose from B e a l ' s e x e r c i s e o f h e r judgment i n t h e d i s c h a r g e of h e r d u t i e s i n e d u c a t i n g students and, consequently, t h a t s h e was to then State-agent Sulaibe immunity. to produce The "substantial was n o t e n t i t l e d t o S t a t e - a g e n t willfully, beyond 405 maliciously, [her] a u t h o r i t y . " ( A l a . 2000). evidence, much burden evidence" fraudulently, Ex p a r t e substantial 20 showing i m m u n i t y -- t h a t B e a l i n bad Cranman, A l - S u l a i b e , however, less shifted failed evidence, entitled to A l - that Beal "act[ed] faith, [or] 792 S o . 2 d 3 9 2 , to present to support any her 1090387 contention issue and, c o n s e q u e n t l y , d i d not e s t a b l i s h t h a t a genuine of m a t e r i a l showing that State-agent before on s h e was e n t i t l e d immunity. us e s t a b l i s h t h a t the basis from f a c t e x i s t e d t o overcome B e a l ' s Smith Because judgment based a summary j u d g m e n t f o r B e a l i s proper immunity, conclusion 21 I respectfully dissent otherwise. concur. that on materials and B o l i n , J J . , I believe facie the of State-agent the majority's t o a summary prima 1090387 MURDOCK, J u s t i c e I that concur the (concurring with Monroe the conclusion County Board summary j u d g m e n t b e c a u s e absolute that immunity. i s not I to previously have over-applying immunity. in Ex dissenting in part). the Education claims majority is against the expressed latter to the i t are Watson, 200 9) [Ms. because s u m m a r i z e d i n my 1080368, (Murdock, of effect that exception Oct. J., 30, opinion entitled by judgment. concerns Court I is State-agent special writing 2009] concurring So. in part in part): "Adopting the analysis provided by Ex parte C r a n m a n , 792 So. 2 d 392 (Ala. 2000), t h i s Court i n E x p a r t e B u t t s , 775 So. 2 d 173 (Ala. 2000), h e l d t h a t a S t a t e employee sued i n h i s or her i n d i v i d u a l c a p a c i t y f o r t o r t i o u s wrongdoing enjoys State-agent immunity from l i a b i l i t y i f the wrongdoing occurs w h i l e the employee i s p e r f o r m i n g c e r t a i n types of a c t i v i t i e s p r e v i o u s l y c a t e g o r i z e d as ' d i s c r e t i o n a r y functions.' In addition, consistent with the pre-Cranman r e c o g n i t i o n of immunity f o r s o - c a l l e d ' m i n i s t e r i a l d u t i e s , ' Cranman and B u t t s recognized the availability of State-agent immunity for tortious c o n d u c t c o m m i t t e d by an employee while '"discharging duties i m p o s e d on a department or a g e n c y by s t a t u t e , r u l e , o r r e g u l a t i o n , i n s o f a r as 22 a conclusion this to to barred t o a summary issue the " b e y o n d - a u t h o r i t y " (Ala. dissenting in also entitled These c o n c e r n s are parte , as the of and I r e s p e c t f u l l y d i s s e n t from the Frankye Beal dissent in part 3d and 1090387 statute, rule, or regulation prescribes the the manner f o r p e r f o r m i n g t h e d u t i e s a n d t h e S t a t e agent p e r f o r m s t h e d u t i e s i n t h a t manner."' B u t t s , 775 So. 2 d a t 178 ( q u o t i n g C r a n m a n , 792 S o . 2 d a t 4 0 5 ) . I do n o t t h i n k t h a t t h e c o n v e r s e o f t h e l a t t e r r u l e is part o f o u r i m m u n i t y l a w . T h a t i s , when an employee does not do everything in complete a c c o r d a n c e w i t h an a p p l i c a b l e regulation or other d i r e c t i v e , I do n o t b e l i e v e t h e ' b e y o n d a u t h o r i t y ' exception recognized i n Butts necessarily strips the e m p l o y e e o f a n y S t a t e - a g e n t i m m u n i t y he o r s h e w o u l d otherwise have. " S p e c i f i c a l l y , f r o m t h e p e r s p e c t i v e o f how t h e law v i e w s t h e employee's r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h e i n j u r e d party, I do n o t b e l i e v e that the failure o f an employee t o f o l l o w every a p p l i c a b l e r e g u l a t i o n o r every i n s t r u c t i o n given t o t h e employee by a s u p e r v i s o r n e c e s s a r i l y means t h a t t h e e m p l o y e e , f o r purposes o f a State-agent-immunity a n a l y s i s , has acted beyond the a u t h o r i t y otherwise given t o him or her by law. I n a g i v e n c a s e , i t may b e t h a t t h e e m p l o y e e h a s a c t e d i n b a d f a i t h i n n o t f o l l o w i n g an a p p l i c a b l e d i r e c t i v e (and as a r e s u l t f a l l s w i t h i n the b a d - f a i t h e x c e p t i o n t o State-agent immunity) o r perhaps has acted wantonly (though Alabama has not r e c o g n i z e d an e x c e p t i o n t o S t a t e - a g e n t i m m u n i t y f o r wanton c o n d u c t ) . I am c o n c e r n e d , h o w e v e r , t h a t we are moving t o a place i n our law i n which we consider any v i o l a t i o n o f any r e g u l a t i o n and any v i o l a t i o n o f a memorandum o f i n s t r u c t i o n ( o r f o r that matter even an oral instruction) from a supervisor to deprive an e m p l o y e e of otherwise a p p l i c a b l e S t a t e - a g e n t i m m u n i t y on t h e g r o u n d t h a t he o r s h e i s a c t i n g ' b e y o n d h i s o r h e r a u t h o r i t y . ' " O b v i o u s l y , i n one s e n s e , no S t a t e e m p l o y e e i s 'authorized' t o v i o l a t e any a p p l i c a b l e r e g u l a t i o n , federal or state, or to disregard appropriate i n s t r u c t i o n s from a s u p e r v i s o r . M u s t we n o t b e circumspect, however, i n concluding that merely 23 1090387 b e c a u s e an e m p l o y e e f a i l s t o f o l l o w a r e q u i r e m e n t o f a r e g u l a t i o n or a l lthe i n s t r u c t i o n s g i v e n to him or h e r i n a memorandum f r o m a s u p e r v i s o r , t h e e m p l o y e e , i n s o f a r as a t h i r d p a r t y i s c o n c e r n e d , has a c t e d beyond h i s or her authority as an official or employee of the agency or department i n v o l v e d ? If t h a t i s t h e s e n s e i n w h i c h we a r e t o a d d r e s s t h e m a t t e r , t h e n w o u l d we n o t b e o b l i g e d t o s a y t h a t a n employee t o l d by h i s or her s u p e r v i s o r always t o refrain from any t o r t i o u s c o n d u c t v i s - a - v i s third parties will be acting beyond the employee's authority whenever he or she does otherwise? Indeed, a d i r e c t i v e from a s u p e r v i s o r t o t h i s e f f e c t w o u l d n o t e v e n be n e c e s s a r y b e c a u s e , i n t h i s s e n s e , an employee never has the authority to act t o r t i o u s l y toward others. " T h i s C o u r t has i n t h e p a s t o f t e n l o o k e d t o t h e Restatement (Second) o f T o r t s § 895D (1979) for guidance i n t h i s area. S e e B e l l v . C h i s o m , 421 S o . 2 d 1 2 3 9 , 1240 ( A l a . 1982). The R e s t a t e m e n t , a s i t now r e a d s a n d a s i t h a s r e a d f o r o v e r 30 y e a r s , p r o v i d e s t h e f o l l o w i n g i n s i g h t as t o what i s meant w h e n we s p e a k o f a n e m p l o y e e a c t i n g b e y o n d h i s o r her a u t h o r i t y : "'An i m m u n i t y p r o t e c t s a n o f f i c e r o n l y t o t h e e x t e n t t h a t he i s a c t i n g i n t h e g e n e r a l scope of h i s o f f i c i a l a u t h o r i t y . When he g o e s e n t i r e l y b e y o n d i t and d o e s an a c t t h a t i s not p e r m i t t e d a t a l l by t h a t d u t y , he i s n o t a c t i n g i n h i s c a p a c i t y as a p u b l i c o f f i c e r o r e m p l o y e e a n d he h a s no more i m m u n i t y t h a n a p r i v a t e c i t i z e n . It i s a s i f a p o l i c e o f f i c e r o f one state m a k e s a n a r r e s t i n a n o t h e r s t a t e w h e r e he h a s no a u t h o r i t y . ' 24 1090387 "Restatement (Second) of Torts § 8 95D cmt. g (emphasis added). In o t h e r words, the concept of a S t a t e employee a c t i n g beyond h i s or her a u t h o r i t y c o r r e s p o n d s w i t h t h e c o n c e p t o f an e m p l o y e e a c t i n g outside the line and scope of his or her employment. I t has n e v e r been a c o n c e p t i n t e n d e d to address every situation in which a State employee, w h i l e a c t i n g w i t h i n t h e g e n e r a l l i n e and scope of h i s or her employment, n o n e t h e l e s s v i o l a t e s some f e d e r a l o r s t a t e r e g u l a t i o n , i n s t r u c t i o n s f r o m his or her s u p e r v i s o r , or, taken to i t s l o g i c a l conclusion, Alabama law prohibiting negligent conduct. 1 2 " The 'beyond authority' concept appears to have been borrowed from the law of respondeat s u p e r i o r , and i t s i m p o r t and f i e l d o f o p e r a t i o n f o r purposes of immunity law arguably are guided accordingly. As e x p l a i n e d i n Cranman and c o u n t l e s s other immunity c a s e s d e c i d e d by t h i s C o u r t , t h e whole o b j e c t of our attempt t o a r t i c u l a t e s t a n d a r d s and e x c e p t i o n s i n t h i s a r e a i s t o e x p l a i n under what circumstances j u d i c i a l i n t e r f e r e n c e w i t h or sanction of an employee's conduct is tantamount to i n t e r f e r e n c e w i t h or sanction of conduct of the S t a t e i t s e l f . J u s t as t h e c o n c e p t o f l i n e and scope of e m p l o y m e n t d e s c r i b e s t h e c i r c u m s t a n c e i n w h i c h an employee's c o n d u c t i s t r e a t e d as t h e c o n d u c t o f t h e employer f o r purposes of t o r t law g e n e r a l l y , i t helps describe those s i t u a t i o n s i n which a State e m p l o y e e c a n n o t be c o n s i d e r e d as a c t i n g 'beyond h i s or h e r a u t h o r i t y ' f o r p u r p o s e s o f t h i s e x c e p t i o n t o State-agent immunity." 1 2 (First emphasis Consistent by Beal i n the added.) with the foregoing, case before us 25 the affidavits establish that submitted B e a l was not 1090387 acting beyond Moreover, her the exception "employment understanding expressed above applying our presented here, could inconsistent be current supervisor. discipline Beal her was an unruly student agents yet, the executing Hayles, Even exception situation, like by a need to manual to immunity So. work 2d main the 2d protects discretion, 122 (Ala. 26 I she of the classroom. 1280 (Ala. employees, their judgment (quoting Ex as in parte 2002)). understanding opinion, 1276, State e x e r c i s e of a s u p e r v i s i o n of i n her responsibilities.'" 117, a p p l y i n g the i n the in So. what employee, to proceed w i t h the d i s c i p l i n e 992 that corporal professional maintain of and/or impose e x e r c i s e of her p a r t e Kennedy, State, their 852 nature i s confronted with of another i n the problematic a the instructions ("'State-agent of to generally. "beyond-authority" i n order to maintain control g e n e r a l l y Ex 2008) the employee to i n the presence and the instructions a l s o deemed i t n e c e s s a r y See avoids addition a l s o under of approach i n which In students responsibilities" am of the beyond-authority inclined to agree with 1090387 Justice case. Stuart's view of the evidence in this particular 3 I am n o t p e r s u a d e d t h a t , i n a c a s e w h e r e t h e r e i s no c o n n e c t i o n between t h e a s p e c t i n w h i c h t h e S t a t e agent has a c t e d beyond h i s o r h e r a u t h o r i t y and t h e i n j u r i e s s u f f e r e d by a t h i r d p a r t y , t h i s f a c t w o u l d n o t be g e r m a n e t o t h e i s s u e w h e t h e r t h e e m p l o y e e s h o u l d be d e p r i v e d o f i m m u n i t y u n d e r t h e beyond-authority exception. 3 27