Miranda. After Miranda's involuntary departure, the Board discussed and ratified the Orders of the Day and the previous Board actions.
On October 15, 1990, Miranda filed the instant action against Georgetown University, the District of Columbia, and a number of individuals, for false arrest, violation of civil rights, conspiracy, malicious prosecution, slander, assault, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, seeking $ 8 million in damages. Now pending before the Court are motions for summary judgment by the Georgetown defendants and by the District of Columbia.
All of plaintiff's claims ultimately hinge on the legality of his arrest and removal from the meeting room. In the view of the Court, it is clear as a matter of law that the actions taken by the various defendants were legal, for plaintiff was at the time guilty of unlawful entry.
Notwithstanding plaintiff's effort to portray this case in apocalyptic terms as if it were an overriding human rights or civil rights struggle on a par with those of Rosa Parks or Nelson Mandela rather than a relatively pedestrian disagreement between groups of alumni, the issue before the Court is not complex.
The undisputed facts are that plaintiff attended a meeting closed to the public at large and to all but a limited class of persons; that those in legal control of the meeting decided that powers of attorney would not be recognized; that plaintiff was told several times that, not being validly present, he had to leave; that plaintiff refused several times to do so; and that finally he was escorted out in an arrest status when nothing else worked to keep him from attending the closed meeting. This was a valid action.
Plaintiff's arguments to the contrary are not persuasive. He claims primarily that he had a right to attend the meeting because he possessed a power of attorney from a member of the Board. More specifically he relies on a provision of the Corporation's by-laws granting full voting rights to members of the Corporation, including presumably all alumni. However, the voting rights provision has nothing to do with the conduct of board meetings.
The plain fact is that the Corporation's by-laws authorize the President, as the Corporation's chief executive officer, to preside at all board meetings and to exercise all the executive powers of the Corporation. That is precisely what he did. Moreover, even if it be assumed that plaintiff had a right to attend in the first place, he patently did not have the authority to remain in the face of demands by persons "lawfully in charge" of the premises that he leave. O'Brien v. United States, 444 A.2d 946, 948 (D.C. App. 1982); Feldt v. Marriott Corp., 322 A.2d 913, 915 (D.C. App. 1974).
Plaintiff also asserts that he was not told to leave the premises by the person lawfully in charge, on the theory that only the Association's full Board had the authority to ask him to leave. But the University itself was in charge of the premises: there was no lease or tenancy between it and the Board; there was no payment for the room; and the University could have revoked the license at any time. The University was lawfully in charge of the room, and its agents therefore had the authority to order plaintiff to leave. For these reasons, it is the Court's conclusion that the order to plaintiff to leave and his arrest when he failed to do so were valid and legal.
The motion for summary judgment of the private defendants as well as the motion for summary judgment of the District of Columbia are accordingly granted, and judgment will be entered for the defendants.
April 20, 1993
HAROLD H. GREENE
United States District Judge
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following court-provided text does not appear at this cite in 818 F. Supp. 16.
ORDER - April 21, 1993, Filed
Upon consideration of the motions for summary judgment, the oppositions, the replies, the supporting materials, and the entire record herein, it is this 20th day of April, 1993, in accordance with the Memorandum issued contemporaneously herewith
ORDERED that the motions for summary judgment be and they are hereby granted; and it is further
ORDERED that judgment be and it is hereby entered in favor of defendants Georgetown University, Georgetown University Alumni Association, Inc., John William Mannix, David Budd, Eugene Nock, Robert West, the District of Columbia, and its officers and agents.
HAROLD H. GREENE
United States District Judge