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Take HS Coach to Court for Damages

Discussion in 'Small Claims & Municipal Court' started by Realistic-Parent, Nov 13, 2018.

  1. Realistic-Parent

    Realistic-Parent Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    The HS coach has an AAU basketball team during summer. My son joined. I had to remove him from the team and I heard the coach was upset about this.

    The coach asked for $157 in email in which I did not owe. I ignored it. He approached my son at school asking about it. My son told him he never got a uniform. No more said.

    On HS Bball tryouts, the coach cut my son. In email I asked if this had anything to do with AAU. He shortly answered "one thing has nothing to do with the other".

    He sent me the scores and told me my son got a 278 and 285 was the cutoff.

    I replied on him, me, and God knows the truth and I hope it weighs on his conscience.

    ++The coach told the kids if they ran a mile under 8 minutes, they'd get 100 points. My son did it in 7:33. Has 3 friends to prove it. The coach gave him a 90.

    ++Also, in the up-down drills the coach told the kids if they finish under a minute, they'd get 100 points. He told my son he did not touch the line twice and my son got 1 minute 1 sec on his second try. The first try he got :56 seconds.

    I emailed this to the coach hoping he would look into it. Instead he insulted my faith in God and said he's not going back and forth with me over the cuts and told me to talk to the head coach.

    I have an appointment with the head coach and athletic director tomorrow. I am hoping they'll change this. But if not, I want that coach held accountable. Can I take him to court?
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You can't take anyone to court but yourself.

    You CAN file a lawsuit against anyone you wish to sue, even El Presidente de los Estados Unidos de América.

    Yes, you can file a lawsuit against El entrenador de baloncesto (The basketball coach).

    You will have to prove damages.

    So far, I see none.

    However, if you still wish to sue the basketball coach (El entrenador de baloncesto), proceed as you wish.
     
  3. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Held accountable for what?

    Anyone can sue anyone for anything, but nothing in your post suggests you have any legal basis for doing so. In particular, nothing in your post suggests you or your son suffered any legally cognizable damages.

    Politics play a HUGE role in high school/AAU sports.
     
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  4. Realistic-Parent

    Realistic-Parent Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you. The damages:

    Intentionally Destroyed my sons dream of playing basketball. Caused him stress and embarrassment in front of peers who knew he should of made it.

    It's one thing to not make the team because you failed the tryouts, but it's another thing when it's because the coach intentionally cut you.
     
  5. Realistic-Parent

    Realistic-Parent Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you. The damages:

    Intentionally Destroyed my sons dream of playing basketball. Caused him stress and embarrassment in front of peers who knew he should of made it.

    It's one thing to not make the team because you failed the tryouts, but it's another thing when it's because the coach intentionally cut you.
     
  6. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Courts are unable to compensate anyone for hurt feelings, damaged pride, personal slights, insults, etc...

    Damages are compensation for causing loss or injury through negligence, a deliberate act causing one harm, or a breach of contract.

    Court's can award of a sum of money as a fine for breach of a contract or of a legal duty.

    There are several types of damages none of which you have recited above.

    Just to make sure you fully understand your dilemma, it can't hurt for you to discuss this with a local attorney.

    Most attorneys meet with prospective clients initially to discuss their legal issues at no cost.
     
  7. Realistic-Parent

    Realistic-Parent Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks.. Yeah, It's called "intentional infliction claim". A case was won over a friend intentionally breaking another friend's Mother's URN. He was awarded for damages. This coach intentionally inflicted trauma for my son and myself by causing him to not want to play a sport he has played for 8 years any longer, by intentionally dropping his score so he would not make the cut off. But I will speak to a local attorney. I knew a few lawyers in the Navy before I retired a GS and they always got the UCMJ mixed into the civilian laws. Now saying you are one of them, it's just that the courts don't always run on common sense. Some judges are very liberal, some are hardened. I guess having the right court helps too.
     
  8. hrforme

    hrforme Active Member

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    Did you not expect this --> "The HS coach has an AAU basketball team during summer. My son joined. I had to remove him from the team and I heard the coach was upset about this." <-- to not have any negative consequences? You conveniently didn't say why you "had to remove him from the team".... nor whether you let your son tell the coach that his mom removed him.... as a coach, they want committed players and parents and for some reason (whether valid or not) you proved you (and he) were neither. I'd say YOU were the one to hurt his chances...

    And if you signed up for AAU and backed out later, you might truly still owe him for the uniform cost especially if it was specifically ordered for your son (name/size, etc)

    if anything you really need to be letting your son handle this...how embarrassing is it going to be if you get him back on the team? I can guarantee all these kids will know what mom did...
     
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  9. Realistic-Parent

    Realistic-Parent Law Topic Starter New Member

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    So smart you are. My mother was dying from cancer, and yes, I did inform him of this. I never said I didn't tell him. And we never received a uniform.

    Another reason I left was because we drove 2 1/2 hours to play a game and the game was oved. No one told us about this game change. They never added us to the text list. Another reason was because I gave him a $450 bank cashier check and he lost it. I had to pay $35 to cancel it.

    Doesn't matter why I left, if you think it's ok for a coach to purposely fudge the score to get even, then you're no different than he.
     
  10. hrforme

    hrforme Active Member

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    You go mama bear... just realize what you present and ho me you attack will be remembered... maybe positively or negatively....

    I do have to ask if you have involved your son in any of these decisions along the way?
     
  11. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Yes, I used shorthand for it in LAW SCHOOL where it was called INTENTIONAL INFLECTION of EMOTIONAL DISTRESS, (IIED) where I graduated number THREE in my class.

    IIED is much doiscussed, but few who pursue an IIED claim succeed.

    I was admitted to the Bar upon recommendation of the law school faculty because of my grades, never having to take a bar exam. I do know the common law tort called IIED.

    Back to your purported IIED claim, if you proceed in small claims court, expect it to soar the way the cute PENGUIN soars through the clear, blue Antarctic skies. :D

    I would avoid small claims, choosing to hire a lawyer, if you are bound and determined to pursue RETRIBUTION.

    I would urge you to discuss this FACE to FACE with a lawyer near you.

    As suggested earlier, the initial consultation is normally offered at no charge to a prospective client.

    As far as my JAG experiences, they have nothing to do with my civil/criminal law experiences as judge, prosecutor, and law firm founder, where I remain a "founding partner" to this day.

    But hey, I retired as a Brigadier, so what the hell do I know?

    I know that Uncle Sam deposits some nice coin in my bank account each month for nothing, and will continue to do so until I take my last breath.

    You decide what you want to do, and do it.

    That's one of the thousand things I still love about the USA.
     
  12. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    If you want a frank answer, I'll give you one. You can file the court complaint, but if your real question is whether you have realistic shot at winning, the answer to that is no. There is not a remedy in court for every slight or insult you receive, every bad decision that goes against you, or every wrong that you suffer. That's something that everyone needs to learn — sometimes other people will do things that upset you and you cannot do anything about it but shrug it off and move on. How your kid faces that kind of adversity will have a lot to do with how far he does in this life.

    As already discussed, in order to sue for money damages, you have to be able to prove legally recognized damages. The disappointment over not being able to play on the team is not something for which the law will compensate your son. Damages cannot be speculative, and even if you think your son might have qualified for an athletic scholarship someday or even hit the pros, it is pure speculation that either of those things might happen, or that it was this decision by the coach that doomed his chances. And that kind of speculation is not good enough.

    And even before you get to damages, you need to have a valid legal claim. Negligence is a nonstarter because there is nothing in the law that says the coach or team has a duty to him to put him on the team if he qualifies. And without a duty there can be no breach of that duty, which is what forms the basis of a negligence claim.

    Intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED) is also not a good claim here. Virginia recognizes this tort, and sets out the standard as follows:

    We adopt the view that a cause of action will lie for emotional distress, unaccompanied by physical injury, provided four elements are shown: One, the wrongdoer's conduct was intentional or reckless. This element is satisfied where the wrongdoer had the specific purpose of inflicting emotional distress or where he intended his specific conduct and knew or should have known that emotional distress would likely result. Two, the conduct was outrageous and intolerable in that it offends against the generally accepted standards of decency and morality. This requirement is aimed at limiting frivolous suits and avoiding litigation in situations where only bad manners and mere hurt feelings are involved. Three, there was a causal connection between the wrongdoer's conduct and the emotional distress. Four, the emotional distress was severe.

    Womack v. Eldridge, 215 Va. 338, 342, 210 S.E.2d 145, 148 (1974).

    You'd have a hard time proving the first prong, that the coach had a specific purpose of inflicting emotional distress or that he knew his actions would cause such distress rather than the coach simply not wanting your kid on the team.

    The second prong is even harder. The conduct must have been "outrageous." The Virginia Supreme Court in a later case defined just how high a standard that is:

    Under the second prong, it is insufficient for a defendant to have “acted with an intent which is tortious or even criminal.” Restatement comment d. Even if a defendant “has intended to inflict emotional distress,” or his conduct can be “characterized by ‘malice,’ or a degree of aggravation which would entitle the plaintiff to punitive damages for another tort,” the requirement of the second prong has not been satisfied. Id. “Liability has been found only where the conduct has been so outrageous in character, and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency, and to be regarded as atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community.” Id.

    Russo v. White, 241 Va. 23, 27, 400 S.E.2d 160, 162 (1991)(Bolding added). Note in particular the last sentence I put in bold: the conduct has to be so outrageous that it goes beyond all bounds of decency, something regarded as atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civilized community. Cutting a kid from a team happens every day, and sometimes just because the coach doesn't like the kid. It is disappointing to the kid, but comes nowhere close to being the kind of behavior that is "utterly intolerable in a civilized community."

    And then there is the last prong: the distress has to be severe. Kids get cut from teams all the time. They suffer disappointment, but not severe emotional distress. Life has lots of set backs and people learn to deal with those without suffering severe emotional distress. If your kid has suffered severe emotional distress then I assume you'd have mentioned that he was getting treatment for that. Hopefully the treatment would include learning how to deal with life's disappointments.

    By all means, as Army Judge suggested, see a local personal injury lawyer about this. Most will give you a free initial consultation. Just don't get your hopes up very high that any will say it's a good case, let alone have any interest in representing your son
     
  13. Realistic-Parent

    Realistic-Parent Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks everyone, I didn't mean anything personal judge, I just saw how full birds acted in and out of the court and the lawyers as well. I seriously think military lawyers are the most conceded no-it-alls, doesn't matter the rank. Anyways, I'm a 100% disabled veteran.

    HRFORME seems to just follow the lead. No real advice here, thought he's do better on yahoo answers. Sort of speaks before thinking.

    I probably should have done more research before coming here. Anything is possible with the right lawyer, even OJ was freed. And being retired a few times, I probably could match some retirement checks on here no doubt.

    I'll go to the meeting and if common sense doesn't prevail, I'll push for a school board review. And still talk to a good lawyer.

    Thanks everyone, maybe I'll start answering questions by asking google too..
     
  14. Disabled Vet

    Disabled Vet Active Member

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    Unreal.... Your son will grow up to be a weak person in life. That mommy isn't there to take care of his issues. Sad deal that a military person has this type of thought process. You were given great advice yet you want to be a smart ass. You say your a 100% disabled vet from the navy, did you fall down some stairs on the ship. Your son was cut because he failed to make the team. Next time...... he should spend some time getting ready. With this AAU team also being a HS coach team. He could have gotten rides from other members on the team. YOU FAILED your son.... YOU..
     
  15. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    He can play all the basketball he wants, just as you and I can. If you're talking about a "dream" of playing professional basketball, that not anything for which he/you can sue because, among other things, the chances of any particular kid playing professionally are infinitessimal.

    There are some situations in which "stress" can be an element of damages. However, to recover for "stress" requires a valid legal claim, which you and your son don't have.

    I can see why keeping a kid who "should of [sic] made it" off the team would be embarrassing for the coach, but it shouldn't be embarrassing for the kid.

    I agree. It sucks and (if I assume that your kid is sufficiently skilled that he should have made the team) shows that the coach lacks integrity and isn't properly focused on winning. But there's no legal wrong here.

    Perhaps you're talking about intentional infliction of emotional distress. A cause of action for IIED requires what is commonly referred to as "extreme and outrageous conduct," which is typically defined to mean conduct beyond the bounds of human decency. A coach not selecting a kid for a high school team who might otherwise be qualified for the team because of personal animosity is unprofessional, but it's not even close to the sort of conduct that gives rise to an IIED claim.

    If you want to have an intelligent discussion about a published case, please provide a citation so that we may read it.
     
  16. hrforme

    hrforme Active Member

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    Actually I am a mom who has successfully raised three kids -two have completed college and are pursuing careers and one is currently attending his first choice college. While they weren’t involved in sports, they each suffered plenty of disappointments where they were cut or didn’t make a group/team. Actually#3 failed to make the golf team after we moved states when we weren’t part of the “right” group.....And they learned more and grew more through the adversity than they ever would have being in the group/team itself. If I had rushed in each time, I would have stunted their growth... yes there was a time with each child, all in elementary school age, where I had to be more of a mama bear. But I learned by Middle/high school that they needed to take over.....

    A lawsuit isn’t going to teach your son much except entitlement....,
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018
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  17. cynthiag

    cynthiag Active Member

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    During my life, I've watched my children and now my grandchildren face a number of situations like this. It's painful to watch your child go through disappointments in life, but if you insist on jumping in and screaming about how unfair it is and threatening lawsuits because your child was disappointed, then your child will never learn how to properly function in the real world.

    Part of our job as parents is to make sure that our children understand that adversity & disappointment are all part of life. When I was raising my kids and they complained that "it's not fair!", usually the first words out of my mouth was that nobody ever said life was always going to be fair. I could commiserate with them and agree that it sucked and that I was sad for them, but I also wanted them to understand the way the world actually works. There will always be disappointments in life, but the way we learn to handle them is a very important part of growing up.

    Raising a child with the attitude that mom will always jump in and rescue him from any situation he's unhappy with or disappointed over will only serve to create an entitled man who will never really grow up and who will never be able to understand the concept of personal responsibility - because clearly, it's always someone else's fault. Mom said so!
     
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  18. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I wonder if anyone will be disappointed when someone loses a lawsuit?
     
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