A new trial date has been set in a federal discrimination lawsuit against the Board of Education and former Director of Schools Mark Willoughby.
U.S. Magistrate Juliet Griffin has re-set the trial to September 20, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. in Cookeville. The trial is expected to last no more than three days. The case had been set for trial October 20, 2015 but attorneys for both sides sought an extension in the discovery deadline.
In a motion filed April 10, attorneys for the plaintiff Bradley Hendrix and the Board and Director asked that the trial date be moved and that the discovery deadline be extended saying they needed more time to prepare for the case.
Andy L. Allman of Allman and Associates of Hendersonville is representing Hendrix while John D. Schwalb of Franklin is the attorney for the Board and former Director Willoughby.
In her order granting the continuance, Magistrate Griffin wrote that "The parties' motion to extend the discovery deadline and continue trial is granted and deadlines are extended as provided below".
"The deadline for the parties to file a joint mediation report is extended to September 1, 2015".
"The deadline for completion of all discovery is extended to September 29, 2015".
"Any discovery motions shall be filed by September 29, 2015".
"The parties will not use experts in this case".
"The deadline for the parties to file any dispositive motion is extended to October 27, 2015. Any response shall be filed within 28 days of the filing of the motion or by November 24, 2015, if the motion is filed on October 27, 2015. Any reply, if necessary, shall be filed within 14 days of the filing of the response or by December 8, 2015, if the response is filed on November 24, 2015."
"No other filings in support of or in opposition to any dispositive motion shall be made after December 8, 2015, except with the express permission of the Honorable Kevin H. Sharp, Chief Judge".
"In consultation with Chief Judge Sharp's office, the jury trial is rescheduled from October 20, 2015 to Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. in the Cookeville Courthouse".
"The pretrial conference is rescheduled from October 5, 2015 to Monday, September 12, 2016 at 1:30 p.m. in Nashville."
Hendrix, a physical education teacher at Smithville Elementary School and a third district county commissioner, filed the lawsuit on May 29, 2014 in federal court.
In the lawsuit, Hendrix alleges that he has been "subjected to a continuous and ongoing pattern of harassment and retaliation for his votes as a county commissioner on matters pertaining to the school system", particularly his vote against purchasing land to build a new high school. According to the lawsuit, "On or about March 2011, the issue of the land purchase and school construction came before the county commission for approval. Hendrix voted against the measure. From that point on, Hendrix was subjected to harassment and retaliation by Mr. Willoughby in his employment".
Hendrix is suing the Board of Education and the former Director of Schools, both jointly and severally, seeking compensatory and punitive damages. He also wants a jury to try the case.