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Livingston Parish sheriff, school board ordered to answer lawsuit claims
BATON ROUGE - A woman arrested late last year after she sent a listening device to school on her daughter's wheelchair has sued the school district and the Livingston Parish sheriff, claiming violations of her rights, violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and negligence by the defendants.
Amanda Carter was booked on 20 counts of interception and disclosure of wire, electronic or oral communication in November. As the WBRZ Investigative Unit has reported, Carter sent Gracie, her special needs child, to school with a recording device because she suspected the girl was being mistreated.
The wheelchair -- with the recorder attached -- was separated from the girl and moved to another location, where it picked up conversations of several individuals.
The Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office said that manner of recording (with edited segments then posted online) violates privacy laws. Carter denies editing the recordings and the family has said Gracie should never have been taken from the wheelchair at Live Oak High School in the first place.
The lawsuit was filed Friday in the US District Court based in Baton Rouge. On Monday, summonses were issued to Sheriff Jason Ard, the Livingston Parish School Board and Chad Dupuy, a school resource officer. Each has 21 days to answer the allegations in the lawsuit.
The filing claims that the plaintiffs were targeted for retaliation because of efforts made on behalf of Gracie. It seeks compensation including punitive and compensatory damages, attorneys' costs and other relief.
Representatives of the school system and the sheriff's office said they could not comment on pending litigation.
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