Judge Orders Parents To Pay Hefty Legal Fees In Dismissed School Mask Case

By Erika Hanson | Published

mask lawsuit

In a growing fashion, more and more conservative, American-value-seeking parents are losing trust in public education. It’s been culminating for years, but pandemic-era mandates and school closures exacerbated the issue. School mask mandate opposers vehemently fight against measures that require schoolchildren to mask up inside schools. Because of this, countless families have sought out mask lawsuits suing districts that impose them. These parents would likely be outraged to learn that a set of parents that sued their local school district, for this reason, are now being ordered by a judge to pay thousands of dollars in legal fees over to the school. 

According to a report from The Las Vegas Review-Journal, a federal judge has ordered parents to pay the Clark County school district nearly $57,000. This ruling is to pay the school for what they had to spend in attorney fees in order to defend themselves in the mask lawsuit a set of two parents filed last August. Upset with mask mandates in their children’s school, the lawsuit claimed it was a violation of their constitutional rights. 

The mask lawsuit was quickly dismissed in court. After some time, the school district’s lawyers filed a motion seeking attorney fees. Awarded by U.S. District Judge Jennifer Dorsey, the decision was made based on the judge’s belief that the parents failed to establish any credible legal claims for their suit. 

Similar mask lawsuits have been filed all across the nation. In this case, Monica Branch-Noto and Tiffany Paulson brought their case to a group of conservative lawyers that have represented other families in similar mask mandate battles. The basis of the claim was that it violated students’ constitutional rights. 

The complexity of these cases – which often leads to their dismissal – is the fact that there is no federal ruling in the government about mask mandates. However, public health laws allow state and local governments to impose safety measures to prevent the spread of diseases in certain instances under the tenth amendment. Therefore, judges assert that there is no basis for claims like this mask lawsuit.

The school district was awarded the order to be paid by the families for nearly the majority of what they spent on legal representation. The district hired five attorneys and a paralegal that spent around 228 hours working the case. Hourly rates for the services ranged anywhere from $200 to $330. Additionally, this wasn’t the first time the district had to shell out money to defend itself in a mask lawsuit. The same lawyers represented a separate group of parents in another suit. While the district had sought legal fees after that case was similarly dismissed, the judge denied the request that time around.

mask lawsuit

Despite the fact that countless cases of parents looking to sue schools and governments over masking mandates continuously get denied, mask lawsuits will likely continue to pop up all across the country. While mask opposing parents celebrated the fact that most schools ended mask rulings by the end of the 2021-2022 school year, a subvariant is now raging through the nation yet again. And as schools get ready to welcome kids back, the mask mandates are working their way in as well.