United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Norfolk Division
DANA M. SERRANO, et al., Plaintiffs,
RAFAEL SERRANO, et al., Defendants.
OPINION & ORDER
COKE MORGAN JR. SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court pursuant to two related motions.
Defendant Rafael Serrano ("Rafael") filed a Motion
to Dismiss the claims against him in Plaintiffs Dana M.
Serrano's (''Dana's"), H.S.'s,
D.S.'s, and S.S.'s (the latter three collectively,
"Minor Plaintiffs'" or
"Children's", and all four collectively,
"Plaintiffs'") Second Amended Complaint
("Rafael's Motion to Dismiss"). Doc. 43.
Defendants Tara W. Moore ("Moore"), Maria Hiring
("Eiring"), and the School Board for the City of
Suffolk ("the School Board") (collectively,
"School Defendants") also filed a Motion to Dismiss
the claims against them in Plaintiffs' Second Amended
Complaint ("School Defendants* Motion to Dismiss").
Doc. 45. For the reasons set forth herein, the Court GRANTS
the School Defendants' Motion to Dismiss IN PART,
granting it as to Count Nine (9).
a domestic relations case. Doc. 42 ("Second Am.
Compl.") <|4. Plaintiff Dana and Defendant Rafael are
the parents of the Minor Plaintiffs. Id.
¶¶ 4, 7. Plaintiff Dana has sole custody of the
Children, while Defendant Rafael has some visitation rights.
See Id. ¶ 7.
13, 2014, Defendant Rafael filed a complaint with Child
Protective Services ("CPS") alleging that the
Children were abused or neglected by Plaintiff Dana.
Id. ¶ 22. After investigation, CPS determined
that the allegations were unfounded. Id.
October 13, 2015 until February 8, 2016, Defendant Rafael
periodically visited the Children at Northern Shores
Elementary School. Id. ¶¶ 8, 30. These
visits violated court orders regarding visitation rights and
did not occur with Plaintiff Dana's permission. See
Id. ¶ 8. During these visits, Defendant Rafael
encouraged the Children to complain to school officials about
Plaintiff Dana. Id. He also shared information about
"court activities" with the Children and with
school officials. Id. At one point, on May 12, 2015,
Defendant Rafael attempted to kidnap the Children.
Id. He further encouraged Defendant Eiring to call
Plaintiff H.S. to her office to discuss possible abuse by
Plaintiff Dana. Id. In addition, he discussed the
alleged abuse with Defendant Moore. Id. ¶ 30.
These school visits by Defendant Rafael were also approved by
Defendant Moore and by the Defendant School Board despite
knowledge that Defendant Rafael was not permitted to visit
the Children at those times. Id., ¶¶ 13,
Defendant Moore's authorization and without Plaintiff
Dana's knowledge or approval, Defendant Eiring began
counseling sessions with Plaintiff H.S. Id. ¶
19. She physically restrained H.S. at some point in
counseling. Id. ¶ 16. She eventually filed a
CPS complaint alleging that Plaintiff Dana abused or
neglected the Children. Id. ¶ 26. She filed
this CPS complaint solely to assist Defendant Rafael in his
custody proceedings. Id. She also filed notes and
affidavits with Suffolk Juvenile Court stating that only
Defendant Rafael and not Plaintiff Dana should receive
information about the counseling sessions. Id.
the counseling and CPS investigations, Plaintiffs are
fearful, anxious, and nervous. Id. ¶ 37. They
incurred "mental and emotional suffering, fright,
anguish, shock, nervousness, and anxiety." Id.
The Minor Plaintiffs "suffer intense feelings of fear,
anger, confusion, and sadness." Id.
filed a thirty-four (34) page Complaint containing seven (7)
counts in the Circuit Court for the City of Suffolk on June
9, 2016. Doc. 1, Ex. 1. On July 22, 2016, Defendants removed
the case to this Court under its federal question
jurisdiction over Plaintiffs' claims under 42U.S.C.
§§ 1983, 1985, 1988, and the First and Fourteenth
Amendments to the Constitution. Id. at 2.
receiving an extension of time from the Court, Doc. 8,
Plaintiffs filed the Amended Complaint on August 22, 2016,
Doc. 9 ("Am. Compl."). The Amended Complaint
spanned one hundred twenty-seven (127) pages, had one hundred
seventy-four (174) pages of exhibits, and contained twelve
(12) counts across seven hundred twenty-seven (727) numbered
paragraphs and forty-six (46) unnumbered paragraphs. See id
On January 23, 2017, the Court GRANTED a Motion to Strike
Plaintiffs' Amended Complaint, Doc. 16, for violation of
Rule 8(a)(2), which mooted several other pending motions.
Docs. 40-41. The Court also directed Plaintiffs to file a
Second Amended Complaint no more than thirteen (13) pages in
length within ten (10) days of January 23, 2017. See id.
filed the Second Amended Complaint on February 1, 2017. See
Second Am. Compl. Defendant Rafael filed his Motion to
Dismiss on February 10, 2017. Doc. 43. The School Defendants
filed their Motion to Dismiss on the same day. Doc. 45.
Plaintiffs filed their opposition briefs on February 24,
2017. Docs. 47-48. Defendant Rafael filed his reply brief on
March 2, 2017. Doc. 49. The School Defendants filed their
reply on the same day. Doc. 50. Final Pretrial Conference was
scheduled for May 4, 2017, and trial was scheduled for May
16, 2017, Doc. 38, although both dates are currently
continued, Doc. 65.