U.S. District Judge Miranda Du today ruled against Trina Olsen in her long-running dispute with the Washoe County School District. Du ruled in favor of the district by denying Olsen’s motion for summary judgment.
An appeal of the decision is already planned.
“We respect Judge Du, but we strongly disagree with the court’s reasoning in this case,” said Luke Busby, Olsen’s attorney. “We will be seeking review of the decision with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.”
Olsen filed the lawsuit seeking damages after she had to hire attorneys to defend herself against being terminated by the district. While the district ultimately reinstated Olsen, she said she had to spend tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees to get her job back.
WCSD’s hired attorneys argued that Olsen was provided due process the entire time the school district spent firing her, a process the began in the spring of 2017 until she was formally dismissed more than a year later.
The district put Olsen on paid leave for more than a year before former Superintendent Traci Davis fired her in July of 2018. The arbitrator found, however, that the district violated Nevada law by firing her prior to undergoing arbitration.
Attorneys hired by the district, Robert Dotson and Justin Vance, repeatedly denied that Olsen was “deprived of due process.”
Judge Du agreed.
“The fact that Plaintiff already won full reinstatement with back pay and benefits further weighs in favor of finding that she received the process she was due,” Du determined.
District’s arguments sidestep school policies
A crux of the district’s defense against Olsen is that she was afforded due process throughout the prolonged effort to fire her. WCSD attorneys said her case should be dismissed because she allegedly did not report her complaints to an outside authority.