Arkansas Citizen Participation in Government Act.16-63-502

Jan 21, 2006

These Poor People Weren't Creole - THEY DID Get Screwed

    ...In the present case, both the perpetrator, W.J., and the victim were students attending the same high school and riding the same school bus. We first inquire into the relationship of the perpetrator, W.J., to the school district, to determine whether he was a state actor. Is there a custodial relationship between the school and W.J. requiring the school to restrict W.J.'s capability to do harm to others? If so, does the school district's failure to maintain restraints on W.J. transform him into a state actor for the purpose of triggering the provisions of the Arkansas Civil Rights Act?

    We have addressed similar questions as issues of first impression in Shepherd v. Washington County, 331 Ark. 480, 962 S.W.2d 779 (1998). In Shepherd, we traced recent federal cases in which the courts have held that a custodial relationship exists between the government and convicted felons in custody. See Martinez v. California, 444 U.S. 277 (1980)(holding that a plaintiff must satisfy three requirements in order to sustain a claim under...