This case record includes documents from three separately-filed federal lawsuits: Daniels v. Brevard County School Board, Hartley v. Brevard County School Board, and Landow v. Brevard County School Board, filed in that order, in 1997, in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida .
Daniels, the first case, was filed on September 29, 1997, by a plaintiff on behalf of his two minor daughters; he alleged violations of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq. and state law by the School Board. Represented by private counsel, Daniels asked for preliminary injunctive relief to improve the Merritt Island High School ("MIHS") softball field, claiming unlawful discrimination against the girls' softball team, compared to the boys' baseball programs at MIHS.
On November 25, 1997, the Court (District Judge Anne C. Conway) determined that the Board was violating Title IX and state law and granted plaintiff's request for a preliminary injunction. In its Order, the Court identified specific inequalities, including electronic score-board, batting cage, bleachers, signs, bathroom facilities, concession stand/press box/announcer's booth, and field lighting. Without entering an injunction that day, the Court directed the parties to submit plans describing proposed remedies to the deficiencies it had identified. Daniels v. Sch. Bd. of Brevard Cnty., 985 F.Supp. 1458 (M.D. Fla. 1997).
Before responses to the Court's November 25th order were due, on December 4, 1997, the Daniels plaintiff joined with other parents who, on behalf of their minor daughters and others similarly situated and represented by private counsel, filed the Landow action, a separate class action suit under Title IX and state law, challenging SBBC's treatment of girls' softball, county-wide. In this second suit, plaintiffs complained, inter alia, of the fact that three of the ten high schools in Brevard County had boys' baseball fields, but no girls' softball fields.
On December 9, 1997, Daniels amended his earlier-filed complaint, adding class action allegations, seeking to make his daughters representatives of a class of those similarly situated.
Finally, the Hartley action was filed on December 10, 1997, by another group of plaintiffs on behalf of their minor daughters and others similarly situated, also under Title IX and state law. This third lawsuit also challenged SBBC's treatment of girls' softball on a county-wide basis.
Back in the Daniels case, on December 23, 1997, the Court (Judge Conway) entered the promised preliminary injunction against the Board. Noting that, as a result of the Landow and Harley cases, the Title IX focus had expanded from the softball facilities at one high school to girls' softball programs throughout Brevard County; that these cases presumably sought to force, inter alia, the construction of softball fields at three other high schools; and that the potential financial impact on the School Board had been "dramatically alter[ed];" the Court could not reasonably determine the amount of additional funds the Board should be required to expend to remedy the inequities at MIHS. Accordingly, with the exception of lighting on the MIHS girls' softball field, which SBBC had already committed to install, the Court imposed only injunctive measures that did not require additional funding, including making changes to signage and improving girls' access to extant facilities and equipment. Daniels v. Sch. Bd. of Brevard Cnty., 995 F.Supp. 1394 (M.D. Fla. 1997). On April 22, 1998, the Court (Judge Conway) granted Daniels' attorneys' interim fees totaling $15,958.12.
In the meantime, on January 5, 1998, Judge Conway ordered Hartley and Landow temporarily consolidated, to decide whether either or both should be accorded class treatment. On April 24, 1998, Judge Conway denied the motion for class certification in Hartley and dismissed it (without prejudice). At the same time, Judge Conway granted class certification in Landow and ordered it consolidated with Daniels for all purposes, including trial, with all future pleadings and papers to be filed only in Landow.
The Court (Judge Conway) awarded plaintiffs' counsel an additional $2,437.50 in interim attorneys' fees on May 19, 1998.
Nearly two years passed, and, due to improved conditions at Brevard County high schools, on March 30, 2000, the parties filed a joint stipulation, substantially narrowing their dispute to conditions at just two of them.
On September 12, 2000, Judge Conway ordered that the order and preliminary injunction entered on December 23, 1997 be dissolved; that Daniels be closed; and that any remaining issues in Daniels, including attorneys' fees, be addressed in Landow.
On December 15, 2000, following a bench trial, the Court (Judge Conway) ordered that SBBC had violated Title IX and state law by virtue of disparities between the boys' baseball and girls' softball programs at the two high schools at issue. As a result, the Court determined that plaintiffs were entitled to injunctive relief and directed the parties to submit a joint plan for remedying the inequalities identified in the Court's order, or, if they could not reach agreement, to file separate proposals. Landow v. Sch. Bd. of Brevard County, 132 F.Supp.2d 958 (M.D. Fla. 1997). In accordance with this direction, on March 5, 2001, the parties submitted a stipulated joint plan, under which new softball fields were to be constructed at the two high schools at issue. These fields and their associated amenities were to be substantially equivalent to those provided to the boys' baseball teams at those high schools. On March 7, 2001, Judge Conway approved this plan, and permanently enjoined defendants to carry it out. The case was closed. Heather Turner - 06/01/2014