IN THE IOWA DISTRICT COURT FOR CEDAR COUNTY MONICA ROUSE, Plaintiff vs. DURANT COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT, et al.

, Defendants. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) )

NO. LACV034533

APPLICATION FOR RULE TO SHOW CAUSE

COMES NOW Plaintiff Monica Rouse, by and through her attomeys Catherine Z. Cartee and Mark R. Fowler, and in support of her Application for Rule to Show Cause respectfully states to the Court as follows: 1. That the District Court's March 11,2011 Ruling on Petition for Judicial Review

(hereinafter "Ruling") ordered Plaintiff Monica Rouse (hereinafter "Principal Rouse") restored to her position as principal of Durant High School. 2. That Defendants appealed, and the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed the District The Iowa Supreme Court

Court's Ruling in the above-captioned case on January 19, 2012.

denied Defendants' Application for Further Review on April 9, 2012. 3. That counsel for the Defendants sent a letter to Principal Rouse's counsel dated

April 20, 2012, that stated in pertinent part: "Mrs. Rouse will retum to her status as Principal in full compliance with the court order dated March 11,2011, which ordered that Monica Rouse 'be restored to her status as Principal of Durant High School.' When she retums, she will be assigned to duties by the Superintendent she previously performed, including being in charge of curriculum, staff development, special education programming, extra-curricular activities, and co-curricular activities. These are the same duties described by Mrs. Rouse in her hearing testimony and as described by Judge Tabor in her ruling. Mr. Neumann, who is currently under contract as Principal, will continue in his status as a Principal with duties assigned by the Superintendent."

Said letter is attached hereto and incorporated herein as Plaintiff's Exhibit "I". 4. That attached to the April 20, 2012 letter from Defendants' counsel was a press

release that read as follows: DURANT COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT PRESS RELEASE "On April 23, 2012, Monica Rouse will retum as Principal of Durant High School. Tony N eumann, who is currently under contract as principal, will continue in his status as a Principal. The Board of Directors of the school district has requested Superintendent Duane Bennett to formalize the duties of the two principals. The Board expects to formally act on the Superintendent's recommendations during the week of April 23, 2012. Monica Rouse will return to her status as Principal in full compliance with the court order dated March 11, 2011. The Board anticipates that she will retum to duties she previously performed, including being in charge of curriculum, staff development, special education programming, extra-curricular activities, and co-curricular activities. Mrs. Rouse was retumed to the payroll and is receiving the full salary and benefits of Principal. The Board is acting in the best interests of the district and the students. The Board is exercising its legal right and contractual obligation to employ two principals and assign them work appropriate for principals. The Board sincerely hopes for a smooth transition during Mrs. Rouse's retum." Said letter is attached hereto and incorporated herein as part of Plaintiff's Exhibit "1". 5. Prior to Principal Rouse retuming to work, Defendants informed her that she

would be a "Co-Principal" with Tony Neumann, whom they hired after the District Court entered its March 11, 2011 Ruling on Petition for Judicial Review. The District Court ordered Ms. Rouse restored to her position as Principal of Durant High School, not assigned to share duties with a principal hired after the Ruling restored her to that position. 6. Principal Rouse retumed to work on Monday, Apli123, 2012. Superintendent

Duane Bennett met Principal Rouse at the Administration wing of the Durant school building and walked her to the Superintendent's wing of the building, approximately a football field in length from the administration wing.

7.

Superintendent Bennett told Principal Rouse she does not "need" contact or

interaction with teachers or students, as Co-Principal Neumann does teacher evaluations and Ryan Blahosky handles student discipline as Dean of Students. Principal Rouse performed both teacher evaluations and student discipline as part of her duties prior to being walked off Durant school grounds on or about September 17, 2009. 8. Principal Rouse asked Superintendent Bennett if she would be allowed to attend

the staff meeting on Tuesday, April 24, 2012. Superintendent Bennett told her she had to ask Co-Principal N eumann for permission. Principal Rouse asked Co-Principal N eumann if she could participate and he did not invite her to do so. 9. Principal Rouse sat in on staff development on Wednesday, April 25, 2012. She

sat in the back and did not engage with the teachers or otherwise participate as she had prior to being walked off Durant school grounds on or about September. Superintendent Bennett cmne

into the staff development meeting, sat behind Principal Rouse, and did not say anything to her. According to teachers, this was the first staff development Superintendent Bennett had attended all year. 10. Principal Rouse had unfettered access to the entire building prior to being walked

off Durant school grounds on or about September 17, 2009, yet she is now confined to one area. Furthermore, Principal Rouse currently has no access to JMC, the computer-based student management system that contains all information regarding Durant students. Prior to being walked off Durant school grounds on or about September 17, 2009, Principal Rouse had unfettered access to the JMC. 11. Superintendent Bennett installed Principal Rouse in the boardroom of the

Superintendent's wing. The glassed-in panel next to the boardroom door was completely covered over with white butcher paper, a photograph of which is attached hereto and incorporated herein as Plaintiff's Exhibit "2". Superintendent Bennett told Principal Rouse to sit

at the table in the boardroom, or school files, a photograph

and provided her with a laptop with no access to the school system of which is attached hereto and incorporated herein as Plaintiffs

Exhibit "3". Principal Rouse had to ask for pencils and file folders. 12. Superintendent Bennett informed Principal Rouse that she was not allowed to area without his permission, outside the boardroom, He instructed Principal

leave the boardroom

or the surrounding

Rouse to use the restroom immediately superintendent staffs

to obtain her coffee from the

break r00111,and that she was welcome to chip in for Culligan water in the

staff break room, which Principal Rouse politely refused. 13. Prior to being walked off Durant School grounds on or about September wing ofthe Durant school building, 17,2009, with all

Principal Rouse had an office in the Administrative of the other administrative confined to a particular

staff. She was free to move about school grounds at will, and was not Prior to September 17, with

area like a student serving in-school suspension.

2009, Principal Rouse had access to the entire Durant school building and every classroom the exception of the Superintendent's 14. office and boardroom

where she is now currently confined.

Principal Rouse received a key and fob on or about the 24th or 25th of April, 2012. access to the back door of the board room, and the security fob is door from the parking area. According

The single key provides programmed to maintenance administrative administrative 15.

only for access to the main superintendent's personnel,

the key and fob only allow her access to these doors, and not the Even the teachers at Durant have access to the school and

or school doors. doors. Superintendent

Bennett gave Principal Rouse two tasks following

her return to

Durant High School as co-principal.

He directed Principal Rouse Monica to review board policy rotation for textbooks. Principal Rouse cannot

for the 2013 site visit, and to work on curriculum complete either assigmnent

properly without access to her old files or the school network. and was denied.

Principal Rouse has asked for access to her files and the school network,

16.

Principal Rouse worked on curriculum rotation prior to being walked off Durant

school grounds on or about September 17,2009. Superintendent Bennett asked if Principal Rouse could remember the work that she had done prior, and denied her access to all materials she created and relied upon as a principal prior to her termination. 17. Principal Rouse requested access to her former computer in order to perform the

tasks assigned. Superintendent Bennett refused to allow her that access, and informed Principal Rouse that she could request information and he would provide it to her on a flash drive as needed. 18. Principal Rouse requested an office in the Administration wing of the Durant

school building. As it is Defendants' position that Principal Rouse has been sufficiently.restored to her position as a principal, at the least Principal Rouse should be in the Administration wing with her "Co-Principal" Tony Neumann. However, Superintendent Bennett made it clear that he has no interest in reinstating Principal Rouse in the principals' office or Administrative wing. 19. Superintendent Bennett has represented to Principal Rouse that there is "no room"

in the Administrative wing for her to have an office. He is considering placing Ms. Rouse in a former computer room as her permanent office. This room is a glassed in area in the Durant High School wing, in the rear comer of the media center. It has no privacy for taking to parents, students, or teachers. It is not soundproof. Principal Rouse would have to go through library to get access to this r00111.There is currently a high school health class in Principal Rouse's potential office every day at second hour, attended by ten students and a teacher. In addition, special needs students use Principal Rouse's potential office when taking tests or completing work with a paraeducator as required by their Individual Education Plans. 20. There is an office currently available in the Administration wing. It is smaller
It currently contains a few filing cabinets, what

than her f0D11eroffice, approximately 10'xl0'.

appears to be a supply closet, some miscellaneous items, and a small safe.

21.

Defendants have affirmatively stated that they will work toward minimal

disruption of students and the district in restoring Principal Rouse. However, they propose to evict students and staff from an area they regularl y use, rather than locating Principal Rouse in her proper office in the Administrative wing. Apparently, there is unused space for Co-Principal Neumann to use in that wing as well. The glassed-in area Superintendent Bennett proposes Principal Rouse use as an office is as far from the Administration wing as possible, with the exception of the Superintendent's board room where Principal Rouse is currently confined. 22. Superintendent Bennett made it clear to Principal Rouse that she was not allowed

to interact with anyone; and that if she wanted to interact with anyone that she would have to ask his permission. 23. Upon information and belief, Principal Rouse understands that a survey was

distributed to Durant School District teachers and staff in the weeks following the Iowa Supreme Court denial of Defendants' Application for Further Review. On or about April 24, 2012, Superintendent Bennett confirmed to Principal Rouse the existence of the survey, in which he asked K-12 staffto give their opinion as to Principal Rouse's professionalism. Superintendent

Bennett said the survey was for two purposes, the first being for his personal information, and that he would not discuss the second purpose with Principal Rouse. 24. To date, no announcement has been made to the Durant School District staff that

Principal Rouse is restored as Principal of Durant High School. 25. That of all of the duties outlined in Plaintiff's Exhibit 1, Principal Rouse has only

been allowed to perform one task related to her duties prior to being walked off Durant school grounds on or about September 17, 2009, and she was not given access to necessary files and computer systems in order to properly perform that task. 26. That the Defendants voted to terminate Plaintiff's contract as of March 29,2010,

and Plaintiff did not receive her salary and benefits from April 1, 2010 forward.

27.

That upon entry of the March 11, 2012 Ruling on Petition for Judicial Review,

Defendants paid Plaintiff a portion of her salary and benefits, but then ceased upon filing the appeal and entry of the supersedeas bond. 28. That following the Supreme Court's denial oftheir Application for Further

Review, Defendants tendered Plaintiff certain funds, however those funds were far below the sum owed to Plaintiff for her salary and benefits from April 1, 2010 forward. 29. Defendants have failed to tender Plaintiff back pay and benefits already accrued,

including health insurance, IPERS, 403(b) contributions, salary increases including COLAs and raises, the cost of continuing professional education, and any and all other usual compensation appropriate to her position for her salary and benefits from April I, 2010 forward. 30. That the Iowa Legislature in I.C.A. §665.4 outlined the following course of action

for a District Court against a party found to be in contempt: "The punishment for contempt, where not otherwise specifically provided, shall be: 2. Before district judges, district associate judges, and associate juvenile judges by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars or imprisonment in a county j ail not exceeding six months or by both such fine and imprisonment." WHEREFORE the Plaintiff, Monica Rouse, prays that Defendants be required to show cause why they should not be held in contempt for preventing her from performing the duties of her position as Durant High School Principal following her reinstatement by this Court on March 11,2011; that Defendants be ordered to immediately pay Plaintiff the year of back pay and benefits already accrued, including health insurance, IPERS, 403(b) contributions, salary increases including COLAs and raises, the cost of continuing professional education, and any and all other usual compensation appropriate to her position; and that Defendants be ordered to pay reasonable attorney fees to Plaintiff's attorneys for instituting this contempt action and for

the cost of this action; and that a hearing be had forthwith and that they be punished for contempt or otherwise be compelled to comply with the terms of the Court's orders.

Respectfully submitted, MONICA ROUSE, Petitioner

By:

~~~

Catherine ZamoraCartee, AT0001488 Cartee Law Finn, P.C. 125 Kirkwood Boulevard Davenport, Iowa 52803 Telephone: (563) 323-2500 Fax: (563) 323-8335 E-mail: carteec@carteelaw.com

l~

t; UfA1::tJ

Mark R. Fowler, AT0002553 GOMEZ, MAY, SCHUTTE, YEGGY, BIEBER & WELLS 2322 E. Kimberly Road, Suite 120W Davenport, Iowa 52807 Ph: (563) 359-3591 Fax: (563) 359-4230 ATTORNEYS FOR PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE STATE OF IOWA COUNTY OF SCOTT ) ) ss: )

I, MONICA ROUSE, being first duly sworn on oath, do depose and state that I am the Plaintiff named in the foregoing Application; that I have read the same, know the contents thereof, and the statements contained therein are true and correct as I verily believe.

MONICA ROUSE, Petitioner

Subscribed and sworn to before me thisd9

day of

LijoA.--;_l

,2012.

a

04/20/2012.

FRI

15~ 18

FAX

5633241616

r.arie

Ij.

w~term~n

LLP

~002/005

C. Dan!! Waletmatllll Janie.'; A. Me.ivlnsky Dav.id A. DeUmilM· Terry M ..Gil.'bGlstein+ Rand S. Wonio Curtis B. BIl.llDn R. S~ott Van Voorcnt Richard A. Oavid~n* Michael P. Byme' Edmund H. C(lr'r()II' Jeffrey W. Palll· The<ldore F. on mJef't'reY B. L!lrtg'

Joe R.. r,8nc(18S~I931) Charles M. Watem1~~ (1&47·1924)

LANE StWATERMAN

Diu'no B. Puthoff"

AllOI\NMA1lAW SINCE 1&S4 IQWA& ILLLNOls

LLP

Robl:rt V. P, W~tcmian, Jr." Peter J. Benaon·

220 North Main Street, Su ite 600 Davenport, Iowa 5280H9S7 Telephone (5i>3) 324·3246
PIlX (563) 324-1616

W¢ndv S. Meyer" Ian 1. Russell* Benjamin J. Patterson" Douglas R. Lindstrom, Jr. ~ Rim D. WalCrrnlin. Abbey C. Furlong" Sam\I,,1 J. Skon;pa' Kurt P. Spurgeon Scolt L. f1Plbur Joohull J. MQlntyrc"
Regls(f.rVd PaffJl1l AI/orm!)!

April A. Marshall" OfC"'lIn~l

Carlleron A. Dllvidson' Judith L Henmllnnoil RobOrt E. McMonagle. Christophe» J. Cllrran'O Joaeph C. Judr."· Jli$on 1. O'RQurke· Tl'Oy D_ Venner' Tl'oy A_ HoWell" Diane M. Reinsch' Catherine E. E. Hull* Mikkill R. Schiitz'"

Writer's Direct Din!: (563) j33-6639 E-Mail Address:cdavldson@l.wlllw.com www.L-WLaw.com

Robert A. Van Vooren" Thom'96 N_ Krunp
William C. Davidson' Cherles E. Miller· Mloho.el L. Noyes

April 20,2012

fig E-Mail
and Facsimile

• Also Admitted in lllinob '+Only Admitted in Illinois Illinois Office Moline,IL
35517" Skeel, Suile 110

.

61265

Ms. Cathy Cartee ,

Attorney at Law 125 Kirkwood Blvd, Davenport, IA 52803 Re: Your Client: Monica Rouse \ Our Client: Durant Community School District

Dear Ms, Cartee: You have informed us that Monica Rouse will be returning to work after her week of
vacation on Monday, AprU23, 2012. As you know, she has already been returned to the payroll with her full salary and benefits. Mrs, Rouse will return to her status as Principal in full compliance with the court order dated March 11,2011, which ordered that Monica Rouse "be restored to her status as Principal of Durant High School." When she returns, she will be assigned ttl duties by the Superintendent she previously performed, including being in charge of curriculum, Staff development, special education programming, extra-curricular activities, and co-curricular activities. These are the Same duties described by Mrs, Rouse in her hearing testimony and as described by Judge Tabor in her ruling. . . . Mr. Neumann, who is currently under contract as Principal, will continue in b.is status as a Principal with duties assigned by the Superintendent. You have asserted in correspondence that having Mr. Neumann perform some assigned duties as Principal will violate the court order, Nothing could be further from the truth. The school district is a "public employer" pursuant to Iowa Code Section 20.3. Iowa Code Section 20,7 states, in pertinent part: EXHIBIT
:tL

~ ?I~I'\-htt I;)
~

I

04/20/2012

FRI

15! 1 S

FAX 5633241616 ..

Lane ~ waterman ..

LLP

~003/005

LANE &:WATERMAN
Ms. Cathy Cartee
Apri120, 2012 Page 2 "Public employer rights.

A1TORNIlYS AT LAW SINCE 1834 IOWA~llUNOIS

LLP

Public employers shall have, in addition to all powers, duties, and rights established by constitutional provision, statute, ordinance, charter, or special act,
the exclusive power, duty, and the right to: 1. Direct the work of its public employees.

6. Determine and implement methods, means, assignments and personnel by
which the public employer's operations are to be conducted. 7. Take such actions as may be necessary to carry out the mission of the public employer.

9. Exercise all powers and duties granted to the public employer by law. II
Iowa Code Section 279.21 regarding school districts states, in pertinent part:

"Princlpals. The board of directors of a school district may employ principals, under the
provisions of Section 279.23 ."

Section 279.21 goes on to set out the duties of principals, which are in accord with the policies of the DUrant Community School District and lithe principal shall perform such other duties as may be assigned by the superintendent. II Iowa case law is consistent with the noted status. In Gere v, Council Bluffs Corom. Schl. Dist., 334 N.W.2d 307 (Iowa 1983), a school principal asserted that his contract did not permit his being assigned as an attendance officer. The court found that school districts are given broad powers under Iowa Code Section 20.7 in dealing with their staffs in order to achieve efficient governmental operations. The power to assign other duties is not unlimited. IIA principal can hardly be required to act as building custodian or bus driver. But short of such extreme examples, who is to draw the line between 'other duties I which may be assigned and which may not be assigned? We hold that the decision should be in the discretion of the school authorities, with intervention by the courts only in instances which transcend the bounds of discretion." Id, at 310-11. The Court held that the school district did not exceed its discretion in assigning attendance officer duties to Gere.

I

.

I

,I
I

04/2,0(2012

FRI 15:19

F!'X 56~3241616

Lane

60 wate,rman

L~P

~005/00~

DURANT COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT PRESS RELEASE

On April 23, 2012, Monica Rouse will return as Principal of Durant High School. Tony Neumann, who is currently under contract as Principal, will continue in his status as a Principal. The Board of Directors of the school district has requested Superintendent Duane Bennett to formalize the duties of the two Principals. The Board expects to formally act on the Superintendent's recommendations during the week of April 23, 2012.
Monica Rouse will return to her status as Principal in full compliance with the court order dated March 11,2011. The Board anticipates that she will return to duties she previously performed, including being in charge of curriculum, staff development, special education programming, extra-curricular activities, and co-curricular activities,

Mrs. Rouse was returned to the payroll and is receiving the full salary and benefits of
Principal. The Board is acting in the best interests of the district and the students. The Board is exercising its legal right and contractual obligation to employ two principals and assign them work appropriate for principals. The Board sincerely hopes for a smooth transition during Mrs, Rouse's return,

04/4.0/2012

FRI

15! 19

FAX 5633241616

Le.ne

(,0

we.terme.n

LLP

~OO~/005

&tWATERMAN
IOWA~lUINOIS

LANE

'
lLP

A11'OJ\NEYSAT lAW slNcn 111S4

Ms, Cathy Cartee
Apti120,2012

Page 3 Furthermore, the Court found that assigning attendance officer duties was a good faith exercise of the discretion of the school board, The duties being assigned to Mrs. Rouse are consistent with her previous duties as Principal and will be assigned to her when she returns On Monday, Enclosed is a copy of a press release the Board is issuing today. As stated, the Board sincerely hopes for a smooth transition during Mrs. Rouse's return.
Sincerely,

LANE & WATERMAN LLP

By
CAD/vr

Cameron A. Davidson

Enclosure

IN THE IOWA DISTRICT COURT FOR CEDAR COUNTY MONICA ROUSE, Plaintiff vs. DURANT COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT, et al., Defendants. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) )

"., '~\

NO. LACV034533
,'.'1

___.,.-\
~.<)

_-\. "
1•••••. •

ORDER FOR RULE TO SHOW: CAUSE

.......,1 "

...........

NOW on this ).

'7day of _

__,_A--'-f<p"-'(_:_\-'--_--',

2012, this matter comes before the

Court on the Application for Rule to Show Cause; having examined said Application, having reviewed the court file and being fully advised in the premises, the Court finds that this matter should be set for hearing; that notice be given Defendants; and that he be given the opportunity to show cause why he should not be cited for contempt and punished accordingly. IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED, Adjudged and Decreed Defendants shall be, and are hereby ordered to appear before a Judge of this Court on the __________ :,2012 at __ o'clock __ day of

.m. at the Cedar County Courthouse,

Tipton, Iowa, to show cause why they should not be punished for contempt for failing to comply with the Ruling of this Court. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, Adjudged and Decreed that a copy of the Application for Rule to Show Cause, a copy of this Order for Rule to Show Cause, be filed herein and served upon Defendants in the manner of service of an original notice at least twen the date of said hearing.

JUDGE, of the Seventh Judicial District of Iowa

UCfvv\

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful