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Doe v. Mazo

United States District Court, D. Nevada

February 22, 2017

JOHN and JANE DOE I, Guardians Ad Litem for JOANN DOE I, a minor, individually and on behalf of all those similarly situated, and JOHN and JANE DOE II, Guardians Ad Litem for JOANN DOE II, a minor, individually and on behalf of all those similarly situated; Plaintiffs,
v.
JEREMIAH MAZO; CLARK COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT; DOES 1 though 20; DOE 1 through 20; ROE CORPORATIONS 1 through 20. Defendants.

          ROBERT T. EGLET, ESQ. Nevada Bar No. 3402 ARTEMUS W. HAM, ESQ. Nevada Bar No. 7001 RICHARD K. HY, ESQ. Attorneys for Plaintiffs

          GREENBERG TRAURIG, LLP. MARK E. FERRARIO, ESQ. Nevada Bar No. 1625 KARA B. HENDRICKS, ESQ. Nevada Bar No. 7743 3773 and- HALL JAFFE & CLAYTON, LLP. STEVEN T. JAFFE, ESQ. Nevada Bar No. 7035 7425 Attorneys for Defendant Clark County School District

          JOHN GEORGE, ESQ. Attorney for Defendant Jeremiah Mazo

          STIPULATION AND ORDER FOR FILING OF FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

         IT IS HEREBY STIPULATED AND AGREED by and between undersigned counsel for Plaintiffs and undersigned counsel for Clark County School District (hereinafter “CCSD”) that, pursuant to Rule 15(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Plaintiffs may file a First Amended Complaint in the above-entitled action within five (5) days from entry of this Stipulation and Order. Plaintiffs seek to amend their original complaint to include the Nevada State Education Association (hereinafter “NSEA”) and the Clark County Education Association (hereinafter “CCEA”) as named Defendants to this action. The deadline to amend pleadings is February 24, 2017; therefore, this stipulation is being entered prior to the due date for amended pleadings. Plaintiffs and existing Defendants agree to work with new Defendants to allow for sufficient time for all discovery to be completed in an efficient and timely manner. A proposed copy of the First Amended Complaint is attached hereto as Exhibit “1”.

         IT IS FURTHER HEREBY STIPULATED AND AGREED that the caption for this action shall be amended to reflect the newly included parties, NSEA and CCEA. The caption shall be amended effective immediately upon approval of this stipulation.

         IT IS SO ORDERED.

         EXHIBIT 1

         [PROPOSED] FIRST AMENDED CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT

          Plaintiffs, JOHN and JANE DOE I, Guardians Ad Litem for JOANN DOE I, a minor, individually and on behalf of all those similarly situated, and JOHN and JANE DOE II, Guardians Ad Litem for JOANN DOE II, a minor, individually and on behalf of all those similarly situated, by and through their attorneys, the law firm EGLET PRINCE, and for their causes of action against the Defendants, complain and allege as follows:

         JURISDICTION AND VENUE

         1. This Court has federal-question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. Section 1331 because the matters in controversy arise under a federal statute, 20 U.S.C. section 1681(a). This Court has supplemental jurisdiction over the state-law claims under 28 U.S.C. section 1367.

         2. Venue is proper in this Court under 28 U.S.C. section 1391(b) because a substantial part of the events that gave rise to Plaintiffs' claims took place within the Southern Division of the District of Nevada.

         GENERAL ALLEGATIONS

         3. That all at all times relevant hereto, Plaintiffs were residents of the County of Clark, State of Nevada.

         4. That Plaintiffs JOHN and JANE DOE I are residents of the County of Clark, State of Nevada, and parents of the minor, JOANN DOE I, age ten (10) who, at all relevant times, was a student at HAYDEN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, which was located in the County of Clark, State of Nevada, and was part of the Clark County School District.

         5. That Plaintiffs JOHN and JANE DOE II are residents of the County of Clark, State of Nevada, and parents of the minor, JOANN DOE II, age nine (9) who, at all relevant times, was a student at HAYDEN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, which was located in the County of Clark, State of Nevada, and was part of the Clark County School District.

         6. That Defendant, CLARK COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT (“District”) is a government entity, which owns or operates HAYDEN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.

         7. That at all times relevant hereto, Defendant NEVADA STATE EDUCATION ASSOCIATION (“NSEA”) is a Nevada non-profit cooperative operating in the County of Clark, State of Nevada.

         8. That at all times relevant hereto, Defendant CLARK COUNTY EDUCATION ASSOCIATION (“CCEA”) is a Nevada non-profit cooperative operating in the County of Clark, State of Nevada.

         9. Upon information and belief and at all times relevant hereto, NSEA represents CCEA at the state level as well as Nevada teachers and education support professionals at the local level, including but without limitation teachers in the County of Clark, State of Nevada.

         10. That on or around July 1, 2005 and effective at all times relevant to this Complaint, the District and CCEA entered into a Professional Negotiation Agreement (“Agreement”) recognizing and declaring that “providing the highest standards of education for the children of the District is their mutual aim and that the character of such education depends predominantly upon the quality and morale of the teaching staff.” The Agreement further provides specific terms in achieving said goals that include without limitation the following:

a. That CCEA is authorized as the “exclusive representative of all licensed personnel employed or to be employed” by the District;
b. That membership dues are automatically deducted from the salaries of employees, including but not limited to teachers of the District, and are paid to CCEA; and
c. That in the event civil or criminal proceedings are instituted against a teacher and the teacher is “cleared of said charge”, the District and CCEA negotiated and agreed that “all written reports, comments, or reprimands concerning actions which the courts found not to have occurred, shall be removed from the teacher's personnel file.”

          11. That Defendant JEREMIAH MAZO (“Mazo”) was, at all relevant times, a resident of the County of Clark, State of Nevada, and was a teacher acting under the color of law and employee of the District, working as a music teacher at HAYDEN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, and other District schools, until he was arrested on April 24, 2015 for sexual misconduct involving elementary school students. Doe Defendants 1-10 are or were officials, supervisors, administrators and/or in a supervisory or management position at the District who had authority to address the discrimination, harassment, abuse and/or molestation alleged herein and, moreover, had authority to institute corrective measures on the District's behalf. At all relevant times, Does 1-10 were residents of Clark County, State of Nevada, and acting under the color of law and employees of the District.

         12. Doe Defendants 11-20 are or were District personnel subject to training by officials, supervisors, administrators and/or in a supervisory or management position at the District, including but not limited to Doe Defendants 1-10. Does 11-20 also had authority to address the discrimination, harassment, abuse and/or molestation alleged herein and, moreover, had authority to institute corrective measures on the District's behalf. At all relevant times, Does 11-20 were residents of Clark County, State of Nevada, and acting under the color of law and employees of the District.

         13. That on or about December 9, 2015, MAZO plead guilty in the Eighth Judicial District Court to three felony counts of attempted lewdness with a child, and he has been sentenced to five (5) to twenty (20) years per count, with the sentences to run consecutively. The charges and conviction stemmed from the fact that between 2008 and April 2015, Mazo sexually molested children who were students enrolled in the District, including, but not limited to, JOANN DOE I and JOANN DOE II, who were students at HAYDEN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.

         14. Previously, in 2008, while Mazo was a teacher with the District, teaching at SIMMONS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, he was arrested and charged with sexually molesting students. Upon information and belief, NSEA and CCEA provided assistance to Mazo which ultimately facilitated dismissal of the criminal charges. After the criminal charges were dismissed, Defendants, acting in concert, not only abandoned the administrative proceedings against Mazo, but agreed to allow for his immediate reinstatement to unsupervised and unmonitored teaching duties at a different school within the District while at the same time ensuring that any and all reference to the 2008 allegations would be kept highly confidential and removed from Mazo's personnel file. In so doing, Defendants sought to provide “the highest standards of education for the children of the District” and to preserve “the quality and morale of the teaching staff.” Instead of terminating his employment or, at a minimum, establishing policies, procedures or parameters to ensure that Mazo would not molest students, the District transferred Mazo to another school and continued to employ him, allowing him to teach young school children at other District schools, including but not limited to, HAYDEN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.

         15. Upon information and belief and at all times relevant thereto, information relating to Mazo's arrest and sexual molestation charges in 2008 while at SIMMONS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL were removed from his personnel file consistent with the terms of the Agreement negotiated by and between the District and CCEA.

         16. That while a teacher at HAYDEN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, from August 2012 through April, 2015, MAZO would ask JOANN DOE I to sit with him behind his desk, and, after the other students had been dismissed from his music class, he would touch her buttocks, and he would rub her private parts, both under her trousers as well as over her clothing.

         17. That as a result of the conduct of the Defendants and each of them, JOANN DOE I objected to going to school, threw temper tantrums in the mornings to avoid going to school, and currently she says that she does not want to have any children because she fears someone will do the same thing to her children that Defendant Mazo did to her.

         18. That while a teacher at HAYDEN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, between August 2014 and April 2015, after music class had concluded, and the other students had left the classroom, MAZO would ask JOANN DOE II to stay with him and to sit on his lap, whereupon, he would touch her buttocks, and on eight (8) to ten (10) occasions, he would rub her private parts.

         19. That during the period of time she was being sexually abused by MAZO, JOANN DOE II did not want to go to school, refused to do her household chores, fought with her parents and her brother, and could not fall asleep at night. If her mother patted her on the bottom, JOANN DOE II would become very angry, and JOANN DOE II was always upset on Wednesdays, which were the days she had music class with MAZO. Defendant MAZO told JOANN DOE II she would be transferred to a different school if she told anyone about what he was doing to her.

         20. That as a result of Mazo's statements, JOANN DOE II was afraid to tell anyone about the abuse she suffered at his hands, and after MAZO was arrested on April 24, 2015, she was afraid to go to school because she thought other students would blame her for having MAZO arrested.

         21. That Jurisdiction is conferred upon this court in accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. Sec. 1681 (a).

         22. That the District's policies, and implementation thereof, have failed to discourage teachers from engaging in sexual relations and/or improper sexual contact with students.

         Additionally, the District has intentionally and/or negligently failed to establish, facilitate and inform students about, or train them how to use, a confidential complaint program that would give students a venue for action.

         23. That as a result of the Agreement negotiated by and between the District and CCEA, it was foreseeable that incidents of sexual relations with minors and/or improper sexual contact with students could have been prevented, including but not limited to incidents that occurred at HAYDEN ELEMENTARY ...


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