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|United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama|
|Title:||Chief magistrate judge|
John E. Ott is the chief federal magistrate judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.
Half-century long lawsuit extended (2014)
For over a half-century, the Department of Justice (DOJ) waged a lawsuit against the city of Huntsville over whether the city did all it could to ensure that there was no conscious segregation in its school system. The city asked Judge Madeline Haikala to approve a rezoning plan that would merge two schools into one. The judge did not approve the plan. Instead, she found that the city was not doing enough to end segregation in its school district. She stated that she was unable to conclusively determine that the city school district was free from segregation. Further, she was concerned that the city had not made a good faith effort to address the DOJ’s concerns.
The judge cited the following as concerning:
- The district did not prepare minority students for advanced AP classes, nor did minority students take advantage of the classes.
- The school board placed a presentation on its website criticizing the rule allowing minority students to transfer to majority-white schools.
- The district did not allow for proper community feedback on its rezoning efforts; instead, it hosted quickly thrown together community events that did little to enlighten the board about how citizens felt.
Judge Haikala ordered that the presentation be removed from the website immediately and appointed a special magistrate, Judge John Ott, to oversee mediation and fact-finding on racial disparities within the district.
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
- United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit