Judge dismisses lawsuit against schools over mask mandate

A Berrien County judge has dismissed a lawsuit against three school districts over their mask mandates because the issue is moot.

Five students, represented by their guardians, filed a lawsuit in January against the Watervliet, St. Joseph and Lakeshore Schools and their school superintendents.

In February, all three of the school districts rescinded the mask mandates and made wearing face masks optional.

The school districts and superintendents filed a motion for summary judgement.

At a March 22 hearing, the plaintiff’s attorney didn’t appear, so the judge made its findings based on briefs filed by both parties.

On April 8, the judge dismissed the case with prejudice because the mask mandate is no longer in place. The court determined the issue was moot because there is no longer a claim upon which relief could be granted.

Because it was dismissed without prejudice, the case can be revived if another mask mandate is enacted at a later date.

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