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July 27, 2010     Cape Gazette
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July 27, 2010
 

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Cape Gazette NEWS TUESDAY, JULY 27 - THURSDAY, JULY 29, 2010 5 Claims dismissed in suit against school district Family may refile distress, due process allegations By Rob Kunzig rkunzig@capegazette.com A federal judge has dismissed three claims in a lawsuit against Cape Henlopen school board of- ficials and a teacher filed by a 2009 Cape graduate and his par- ents. Attorneys for Cape teacher Amanda Jester sought to strike down the claim that she inten- tionally inflicted emotional dis- tress upon Roger "Dayne" Woo- leyhan Jr. during an October 2008 incident. Then a Cape sen- ior, Wooleyhan allegedly el- bowed Jester in the chest as she separated him and his girlfriend in the hallway. The incident led to his arrest and suspension." Jester's attorneys also sought to dismiss claims that the teacher abused Wooleyhan's due process fights. Jester's attorneys argued that the Wooleyhans' claims of inten- tional infliction of emotional dis- tress were insufficiently detailed. Though the claim seems to merely recite the Delaware emo- tional distress standard, U.S. Dis- trict Court Judge Michael Bayl- son wrote in the June 28 memo, earlier paragraphs describe Jester's alleged conduct. 't this early stage in the pro- ceedings, prior to discovery, this court will not dismiss Wootey- hans' emotional distress claim for failure to sufficiently plead emotional distress," he wrote. Baylson found flaws in two other emotional distress claims, dismissing both. The Wooley- hans allege that ]ester physically separated the students, Baylson wrote, and falsely accused Roger Jr. of elbowing her; these are the same facts used to claim that Jester defamed Roger Jr. Citing a Supreme Court decision, Bayl- son wrote that emotional dis- tress claims cannot be based on facts that also relate to a defama- tion claim. He dismissed the claim without prejudice, allow- ing Roger Jr. to amend and resub- mit. The iudge dismissed the third-party emotional distress claim of Roger Jr.'s parents, Roger and Elizabeth. Baylson wrote their claim failed to meet the emotional dis- tress standards set by Delaware law: they were not present at the incident, and they did not claim that Jester's actions violated their parental rights. The claim was dismissed with prejudice, mean- ing Roger and Elizabeth cannot re file. Ah abuse of process claim was dismissed without prejudice. Baylson wrote the Wooleyhans only allege Jester abused the 0tt faces more By Henry J. Evans Jr. hevans@capegazette.com Thomas A. Ott, accused of sex- ually assaulting a child younger than 16 years old, faces 45 new charges in addition to 53 charges returned by a grand jury last month. Ott's attorney, Robert H. Robinson Jr., a public defender assigned to the case, entered a not guilty plea at a Superior Rehoboth Continued from page 4 to have a dated and numbered sticker, in an effort to provide an easy opportunity to see which signs are legal. Originally, the stickers would go on general business signs and on real estate signs. Building inspector Terri Sulli- van said, "Right now, I have no idea what signs are permitted be- cause there is no way of know- ing." However, at a July 16 public hearing, the commissioners amended the ordinance to not require real estate signs to have stickers after Realtors raised ob- jections. Bob Reed of RE/MAX Realty said, "What you are talking about is essentially a tax on real estate 'For Sale' signs. I think it's a lot like piling on to add another tax just to put up a sign to sell or rent a property." charges in child Court arraignment in George- town, Thursday, July 22. Ott appeared before Commis- sioner Alicia Howard by video link from the infirmary in the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna. New charges against Ott in- clude 33 counts of first-degree unlawful sexual contact, two counts of third-degree unlawful, sexual contact eight counts of second-degree unlawful sexual ordinance would address con- cerns over sign enforcement raised by building and licensing. "I see it as an unrealistic venue at this point for building and li- censing to police this," she said. Mayor Sam Cooper said the subject of real estate signs is its own separate discussion that the commissioners aRd the Realtors should take up in the future. sex abuse case contact, one count of offensive touching and one count of en- dangering the welfare of a child. Based on the new charges, Howard increased Ott's bond by $178,550 in addition to the $250,000 cash bond on which he is being held. Howard scheduled Ott to ap- pear for a pretrial hearing at 9 a.m., Monday, Aug. 9, in Superior Continued on page 9 "I believe that the Realtors have cooperated to a certain lev- el. But I think if we are going to take on the real estate signs, and I think there are some inconsis- tencies in the code, I think there are some things that are not be- ing enforced that could be en- forced. But I think that really needs to be a discussion all on its own," he said. "the fuzzy side goesup" Realtor Camilla Conlon said, "I think we've worked with the city in good faith. To bring us into this sticker system will be logisti- cally oppressive." Commissioner Kathy McGui- ness moved to amend the section requiring stickers on real estate signs, but said the revised sign what we do. So when you carpet for you home or got hundreds of colors and We know a lot about carpel are ready to purchase business -- come see us. We' styles to choose from, so stop i and let us help you find just what you're looking forI / lF-hrenba ,s s, . Service. Installation Carpet Vinyl. Tile. Cork Laminates Wood Expert Steam Cleaning .4.. All Types of Repairs Style for Today ~ Quality for Tomorrow 1550 Wescoats Corner and Say lnnah Rd., Lewes, Delaware 302-644-8772 (Across from Ha py Harry's beside Lewes Printing) T ..  _ [':  .... I LTIII ..... I . J% . . I LI - 11_i .- Jl" i1" "LI "ifl it li .  ....... process with an underlying ulte- rior motive, resulting in damage to all plaintiffs. "Such a brief conclusory alle- gation that Jester's actions con- stituted abuse of process, with- out any supporting allegations in the complaint suggesting that Jester committed any act or threat not authorized by the process fails to sufficiently plead a claim of abuse of process," he wrote, adding the Wooleyhans may amend the claim to establish an ulterior motive. The suit, fried Feb. 23, in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, names 10 other defendants, in- eluding Superintendent George Stone, Principal John Yore, Assis- tant Principal Dianne Mrazeck, teachers Lisa Coverdale and John Walsh, Student Resource Officer William Matt, Student Services Coordinator Robert Maull and the Delaware State Police. Roger Jr. was cleared of all charges Feb. 3, 200% in Justice of the Peace Court No. 2 in Lewes. Seven counts remain, including mali- cious prosecution, unlawful de- tention and defamation. The case is scheduled to go to trial April 1, 2on. Q: Where's Skip? A: At the BLIH[I00Y 2nd Street & Savannah Rd. Lewes, DE ,, (302) 645-7755 qW " , ,N. TURN YOUR GOLDINTO CASH! Go d p 'ce4s are, going down, but we still p(y the highest prices: Must t,ove vali I'D, ' Sq Remount Di Free Ring ( Chang Je )rvices amonds & Gemstones ;leaning & Inspection e Watch Batteries welry Repairs Engrave