The Louisiana Record Jun. 14, 2016, 12:03pm


NEW ORLEANS – Parents of a minor are suing St. Tammany Parish School Board and other persons alleging their son was wrongfully expelled from school and that his civil rights were violated.

Elizabeth Z. DeCossas individually and as tutrix for Matthew DeCossas, and Ronald DeCossas filed a complaint on April 29 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana against St. Tammany Parish School Board, Bryon Gerchow, Kevin R Darouse, W. L. "Trey" Folse III, Leonard Tridico, Neal M. Hennegan, Peter J. Jabbia and Michael Astague alleging violations of their son's civil rights.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs allege that on Jan. 8, plaintiff Matthew DeCossas, a minor, was improperly and illegally detained, falsely imprisoned, forcibly searched and threateningly interrogated by the defendants at Fountainebleu High School. The suit states that Ronald DeCossas' cellphone, which Matthew DeCossas had in his possession, was illegally seized and was improperly and illegally detained. According to the suit, Matthew DeCossas had no prior disciplinary problems and that nothing was found during the search, but he was expelled from the school. The plaintiffs holds the defendants responsible because the defendants allegedly did not read Matthew DeCossas his Miranda rights, did not advise him of his legal rights, and other violations.

The plaintiffs request a trial by jury and seek relief and a judgment against defendants. They are represented by Fred E. Salley of Salley & Associates in Covington.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana Case number 2:16-cv-03786

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U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
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