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LAW

WORKS
LLC

1906 SW MADISON STREET


PORTLAND, OREGON 97205
T: (503) 227-1928
F: (503) 334-2340
www.law-works.com
LAKE JAMES HAMMOND PERRIGUEY

lake@law-works.com

April 6, 2015
Stephen Jupe, Superintendent
Scappoose School District

Laura LaMarsh, Principal


Warren Elementary School

RE: TORT CLAIM NOTICE


Dear Mr. Jupe and Ms. LaMarsh:
I represented Tina Wells and her daughter, S.W., in response to violations of their civil rights in
association with the interrogation and questioning by uniformed police officers at Warren
Elementary School on February 24, 2015. Ms. Wells reports that, in addition to the unlawful
interrogation of her daughter.
Ms. Wells arranged to speak with Mr. Jupe earlier this week, and understood that he would
phone her on Monday. This did not happen.
Ms. Wells remains committed to ensuring that Scappoose School District administrators follow
the District rules and, based on a lack of appreciation for the damages sustained by her daughter
by the recent failures in administration, intends to seek recompense as a means of encouraging
best practices.
With this letter is a draft of a lawsuit that Ms. Wells intends to file if a resolution cannot be
achieved through direct communication and mediation.
Sincerely,

Lake Perriguey
C:

Will Kessi, School Board Chair

Enclosure

Lake James H. Perriguey, OSB No. 983213


lake@law-works.com
LAW WORKS LLC
1906 SW Madison Street
Portland, OR 97205-1718
Telephone: (503) 227-1928
Facsimile: (503) 334-2340
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF OREGON
PORTLAND DIVISION

TINA WELLS, personally and as guardian


for S.W., a minor,

Case No.:
COMPLAINT

Plaintiffs,
v.
LAURA%LaMARSH,%in#her#capacity#as#
principal#of#Warren#Elementary#School,#
and#STEPHEN%JUPE,%Superintendent%of%
the%SCAPPOOSE%SCHOOL%DISTRICT.%
Defendant.
JURISDICTIONAL ALLEGATIONS
1.
This claim arises under 42 U.S.C. 1983, the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment of the
United States Constitution. This Court has jurisdiction of Plaintiffs federal law claims pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. 1331 and 1343, and 42 U.S.C. 1988.
2.
Venue is proper under 28 U.S.C. 1391(b), in that one or more of the defendants resides in the
State of Oregon and Plaintiffs claims for relief arose in this district.
Page 1

COMPLAINT

MADISON MANOR
1906 SW MADISON ST
PORTLAND, OR 97205
TELEPHONE (503) 227-1928
FACSIMILE (503) 334-2340

lake@law-works.com

Costs and attorney fees may be awarded pursuant to the Civil Rights Act 42 U.S.C. 1988.
3.
The court has jurisdiction over Plaintiffs pendent state law claims under 28 U.S.C. 1367.
PARTIES
At all times material herein, Plaintiff Tina Wells was the mother of S.W. Both are citizens of the
United States residing in the City of Scappoose, located in Columbia County, Oregon. Tina
Wells brings this action on behalf of herself and on behalf of the minor child, S.W.
4.
At all times material herein, Laura LaMarsh was the Principal at Warren Elementary and
Stephen Jupe was the Superintendent of Scappoose School District. They were acting in the
course and scope of their employment with the Scappoose School District, a government entity
located in the State of Oregon.
5.
On February 24, 2015, Plaintiff, S.W., a 6 year-old minor child, discovered graffiti on a
bathroom wall at Warren Elementary school and reported it to her teacher.
6.
According to the Scappoose School District policy, "When a student is a suspect in a criminal act
and is to be questioned by a law enforcement official for the purpose of establishing involvement
in the act, questioning will be allowed on district property only with parental consent."
7.
Laura LaMarsh permitted and suffered two uniformed officers to question S.W. without
supervision, declining to accompany S.W. during the officer interrogation, declining to sit in on
the officer interrogation of S.W., which took place behind closed doors at Warren Elementary
Page 2

COMPLAINT

MADISON MANOR
1906 SW MADISON STREET
PORTLAND, OR 97205
TELEPHONE (503) 227-1928
FACSIMILE (503) 334-2340

lake@law-works.com

School, without a warrant and without parental consent, as required by Scappoose School
District policy.
8.
S.W. understood that she was not free to leave the closed room in which she was questioned by
the two uniformed officers, compelled to provide writing samples, and made to answer questions
without having first been made aware of her right to remain silent, to be represented by counsel,
and to be accompanied by her parents.
9.
At no time before or during the interview did Defendants or their agents make an attempt to
notify S.W.s parents of the officer interrogation, despite Scappoose School District policies
requiring Defendants to do so.
10.
Only after the custodial interrogation did S.W.s parents learn of the event. No criminal charge
was filed nor was a petition filed with the department of human services.
11.
Notwithstanding Scappoose School District policies, LaMarsh and Jupe waited two days to
inform Tina Wells that the Defendants had allowed two uniformed and armed adult male officers
to question S.W. alone in a closed room without parental or other adult supervision.
12.
On February 26, 2015, Jupe and Marsh acknowledged that Defendants violated School District
Policies (see Exhibit 1) by allowing S.W. to be interrogated by armed officers without attempting
to contact and failing to contact S.W.s parents until days after the interrogation.

Page 3

COMPLAINT

MADISON MANOR
1906 SW MADISON STREET
PORTLAND, OR 97205
TELEPHONE (503) 227-1928
FACSIMILE (503) 334-2340

lake@law-works.com

13.
As a direct and foreseeable result of the events that transpired during this incident, S.W. has
suffered emotional damages, has developed a fear of law enforcement, in an amount not more
than $50,000.
14.
Plaintiffs are entitled to all remedies provided by 42 U.S.C. 1983.
15.
Defendants actions were outrageous, stigmatizing, damaging, showed extreme disregard for the
welfare of S.W., and are outside the realm of socially tolerable conduct for public officials. Such
conduct is specifically prohibited by District Rules, which set minimal standards for the manner
in which public school officials may treat students.

FIRST CLAIM FOR RELIEF


(42 U.S.C. 1983; Violation of 4th Amendment Unreasonable Search and Seizure)
16.
Plaintiffs reallege paragaraphs 1-15.
17.
Defendant participated in, suffered, and permitted the seizure of Plaintiff S.W. by the Columbia
County Sheriffs Department on February 24, 2015.
18.
Defendant showed a callous disregard for S.W.s rights 4th amendment to direct the care of her
child and to protect her child.

Page 4

COMPLAINT

MADISON MANOR
1906 SW MADISON STREET
PORTLAND, OR 97205
TELEPHONE (503) 227-1928
FACSIMILE (503) 334-2340

lake@law-works.com

SECOND CLAIM FOR RELIEF


(14th Amendment - Interference with Family Association)
19.
Plaintiffs reallege paragraphs 1-15.
20.
Defendant showed a callous disregard for S.W.s rights and of Tina Wells rights under the 14th
amendment to direct the care of her child and to protect her child.
21.
Defendants actions caused the unreasonable seizure of S.W. and are a direct and proximate
cause of damages suffered by S.W. and Tina Wells.
THIRD CLAIM FOR RELIF
(Failure to train and supervise)
22.
Plaintiffs reallege paragraphs 1-15.
23.
At all relevant times herein, the Scappoose School District had a continued power,
right and duty to control and supervise and train and supervise the manner in which employees
carried out the objectives of their employment, and to see that all orders, rules, instructions and
regulations promulgated by the Scappoose School District, and the actions of its employees,
including Laura LaMarsh, are consistent with the Federal Constitution and Federal laws and
established District Policies.
24.
Scappoose School Districts failure to train and supervise Laura LaMarsh in whether and how to
allow removal of a student from the classroom and submission to armed officer interrogation in a
closed room absent parental notification and absent other adult supervision allowed for an
Page 5

COMPLAINT

MADISON MANOR
1906 SW MADISON STREET
PORTLAND, OR 97205
TELEPHONE (503) 227-1928
FACSIMILE (503) 334-2340

lake@law-works.com

arbitrary deprivation of S.W.s and Tina Wells fundamental liberties and substantive due process
rights under the 14th Amendment.
25.
At all relevant times herein, the Scappoose School District had the power, right and duty to train
the manner in which employees carried out the objectives of their employment in a
manner consistent with State and Federal Constitutions and Federal and State Statutes and laws.
Defendant Scappoose School Districts failure to investigate or train its employees in this
manner was so reckless or grossly negligent that future misconduct is almost inevitable.
26.
Defendants wrongful actions described herein violated Plaintiffs' right to be free from
unlawful interference with familial association guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the
United States Constitution. Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that the right of
familial association guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment is "clearly established" such
that a reasonable administrator would know it is unlawful to remove a child from the care,
custody and control of its parents in such circumstances, without a warrant.
27.
Defendants wrongful actions described herein violated Plaintiffs right to be free from
unlawful interference with familial association guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the
United States Constitution. Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that the right of
familial association guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment is clearly established such
that a reasonable teacher or school administrator would know it is unlawful for the removal a
child from the care, custody and control of its parents in the absence of a warrant or exigent
circumstances.
Page 6

COMPLAINT

MADISON MANOR
1906 SW MADISON STREET
PORTLAND, OR 97205
TELEPHONE (503) 227-1928
FACSIMILE (503) 334-2340

lake@law-works.com

28.
Defendant Scappoose School Districts failure to investigate or train its employees in this
manner was so reckless or grossly negligent that future misconduct is almost inevitable.
duty to train the manner in which employees carried out the objectives of their employment in a
manner consistent with State and Federal Constitutions and Federal and State Statutes and laws.
29.
The action of Defendants showed a callous or reckless disregard for the rights of Plaintiffs.
30.
Plaintiffs are entitled to all remedies provided by 42 U.S.C. 1983.
FOURTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF
(False Imprisonment)
31.
Plaintiffs reallege paragraphs 1-15.
32.
Defendant LaMarsh intended to allow the officers to confine Plaintiff S.W. to a small room for
purposes of conducting an interrogation. Plaintiff S.W. was aware that she was confined and
understood that she was not free to leave. The confinement of Plaintiff S.W. was unlawful and
Defendant LaMarshs actions were the direct and proximate cause of the Plaintiffs S.W.s
injuries as set forth above.
FOURTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF
(Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress)
32.
Plaintiffs reallege paragraphs 1-15.

Page 7

COMPLAINT

MADISON MANOR
1906 SW MADISON STREET
PORTLAND, OR 97205
TELEPHONE (503) 227-1928
FACSIMILE (503) 334-2340

lake@law-works.com

33.
Defendant LaMarsh knew or should have known with certainty that her conduct was likely to
cause emotional distress to Plaintiff S.W. Insofar as Defendants conduct violated the
Scappoose School Districts own rules, Defendants conduct was outside the realm of socially
tolerable behavior. Defendant's conduct caused Plaintiff S.W. to suffer anxiety, emotional
distress, and nightmares. Defendants' actions were the direct and proximate cause of Plaintiff s
injuries as set forth herein.
Wherefore, Plaintiff pray for a judgment as follows:
1.

Compensatory damages in the amount of not more than $50,000;

2.

Special damages according to proof;

3.

Costs and reasonable attorney fees

May 7, 2015.

Page 8

/Lake James H. Perriguey/


Lake James H. Perriguey, OSB 98321

COMPLAINT

MADISON MANOR
1906 SW MADISON STREET
PORTLAND, OR 97205
TELEPHONE (503) 227-1928
FACSIMILE (503) 334-2340

lake@law-works.com

EXHIBIT