Wednesday, July 13, 2005
H.S. wrestling coach denied qualified immunity on claim he deliberately got the other wrestlers to beat up the plaintiff
In Meeker v. Edmundson, the Fourth Circuit in an opinion by Judge Motz, joined by Judge Gregory and Senior Judge Hamilton, affirmed the denial by District Court Judge Boyle of qualified immunity to a high school wrestling coach who was accused of violating the plaintiff's right to substantive due process by causing other members of the team to beat up on the plaintiff to try to get him to quit the team. The Court relied on its earlier decision in Hall v. Tawney, 621 F.2d 607 (4th Cir. 1980), along with cases from other circuits (all but one of which are in accord with Hall), in concluding that the existence of the constitutional right in the relevant context was clearly established.