United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Southwestern Division
ORDER GRANTING IN PART MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE
ROSEANN A. KETCHMARK, JUDGE.
an insurance coverage declaratory judgment action pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2201. Before the Court is the Motion for
Judgment on the Pleadings filed by Plaintiff Safeco Insurance
Company of America (“Safeco”). (Doc. 22.) The
motion is fully briefed. (Docs. 23, 24, 25.) For the reasons
below, the motion is GRANTED in part as to
Defendants C.A. and Christy Owens. (Doc. 22). Safeco is
further ordered to show cause why it's case against
Defendants Amanda Schweitzer and Jonah Schweitzer should not
be dismissed for failure to prosecute.
relevant facts in this matter are undisputed. C.A. is a minor
child who, through his mother Christy Owens
(“Owens”), has a pending civil action for damages
in state court against his middle school teacher, Amanda
Schweitzer (“Amanda”), and Amanda's husband,
Jonah Schweitzer (“Jonah”). C.A.'s civil
action stems from the allegation that Amanda groomed and
subsequently engaged in sexual intercourse with C.A. Amanda
has been charged with crimes for her alleged sexual
misconduct. Amanda and Jonah are insured under a Safeco
homeowners' insurance policy. After Owens and C.A. made a
demand on Safeco for payment of the policy proceeds, Safeco
brought this declaratory judgment action naming as
defendants: Amanda, Jonah, C.A., and Owens. In its motion for
judgment on the pleadings, Safeco requests for judgment to be
entered in its favor by declaring that there is no coverage
under the policy for C.A.'s claims against Amanda and
date, neither Amanda nor Jonah Schweitzer has appeared in
this action. The Clerk of the Court previously entered
defaults against Amanda and Jonah. (Docs. 14, 20.) However,
Safeco has not submitted a motion for default judgment as to
these defendants. Accordingly, the Court will address
Safeco's motion for judgment on the pleadings as to
Defendants C.A. and Christy Owens only.
The Underlying State Civil Action
of the arguments at issue requires review of the petition
filed by C.A. in state court (the “Petition”).
C.A. sues Amanda for negligent infliction of emotional
distress (Count I) and false imprisonment (Count II) and sues
Jonah for negligence (Count III). The factual allegations
which are common to all counts are as follows:
6. C.A. was a student at North Middle School during the
2016-17 school year.
7. During that same year, [Amanda] was an adult female
teacher employed by the Joplin School District
(“JSD”) at North Middle School where she served
as a teacher to C.A.
8. In early 2017, [Amanda] began grooming C.A. via social
media and text message in violation of JSD policies.
9. On or about March 29, 2017, C.A. was late for the bus and
subsequently missed school.
10. [Amanda] messaged C.A. when she noticed he was not at
11. [Amanda] subsequently drove to his home and picked him up
without the consent of his mother.
12. While at her home, [Amanda] engaged in sexual intercourse
13. As a result of the encounter, C.A. has sustained
14. In addition, C.A. was forced to finish the semester off
campus after the encounter with [Amanda] came to light. He
subsequently transferred schools.
(Doc. 1-2 at 2.)
count sets out additional relevant allegations. In Count I,
for negligent infliction of emotional distress against
Amanda, the Petition alleges that Amanda breached a duty to
C.A. “by engaging in sexual intercourse with the
minor[, C.A].” (Doc. 1-2 at ¶ 18.) “By
engaging in sex with C.A. at her home, it must have been
foreseeable to [Amanda] that her conduct involved an
unreasonable risk of causing distress to him.”
(Id. at ¶ 20.) In Count II, for false
imprisonment against Amanda, the Petition alleges that
“[b]y falsely imprisoning C.A. at her home and
subsequently engaging in sex with him there, it must have
been foreseeable to [Amanda] that her conduct involved an
unreasonable risk of causing distress to the minor.”
(Id. at ¶ 26.)
III is the sole count against Jonah. In Count III, the
Petition alleges that Jonah “knew, or should have
known, of the proclivities of his wife to ‘groom'
young, male students and prey on them for sex.”
(Id. at ¶ 30.) The Petition further alleges
that despite this knowledge, Jonah was negligent for:
a. Failing to warn others of his wife's dangerous
b. Failing to timely call the police;
c. Failing to protect C.A., while he was at the home [Jonah]
shared with [Amanda], from the foreseeable criminal ...