Monday, October 26, 2009

High School Teacher Found To Be Prevailing Party For Court Costs Recovery

The clerk's office in federal district court in Santa Anna, California has determined that nearly $20,000 in court costs should be borne by high school student Chad Farnan who sued his high school history teacher James Corbett, the school district and the teachers' union over anti-Christian remarks made by Corbett. While the court found that one statement by Corbett amounted to a violation of the Establishment Clause, it held that Corbett was not liable for damages because he was entitled to qualified immunity. (See prior posting.) That led the clerk's office to decide that Corbett was the prevailing party entitled to receive an award of court costs. The fees are to be paid by Advocates for Faith & Freedom, a Christian legal group that represented Farnan pro-bono. The school district and teachers' union, whose attorneys also represented Corbett, now plan to file a motion to recover over $378,000 in attorneys' fees. Reporting these developments, the Orange County Register says that Farnan's attorney now plans to ask the judge to review the ruling on court costs.