John Curtis Christian won its most recent state football championship in 2013.
The LHSAA stripped it away in August.
Now, Curtis is trying to get that title back.
Curtis filed a lawsuit against the LHSAA, according to a statement the school emailed to media outlets Thursday.
The lawsuit was filed in the Nineteenth Judicial District Court of East Baton Rouge Parish on Jan. 30.
According to the lawsuit, Curtis "seeks the return of 20 wins and the 2013 state championship ordered forfeited by the LHSAA, along with damages, for the denial of due process, equal protection and defamation from the LHSAA’s failure to disclose its own internal investigation, which found no provable violation of LHSAA rules."
Eddie Bonine, executive director of the LHSAA, wouldn't comment on specifics of the lawsuit.
"The LHSAA and/or it legal counsel have not officially received and reviewed the lawsuit," Bonine said in a text message. "Until then, we will not speak to the litigation."
The lawsuit comes less than six months after the LHSAA ruled Curtis had to forfeit all games from the 2013-2015 seasons that star offensive lineman Willie Allen participated in. Allen now plays at LSU.
That ruling stemmed from Allen living with Curtis assistant coach Jerry Godfrey and his family during Allen's sophomore, junior and senior seasons.
But Curtis disputes that, saying no rules were violated.
"Despite an internal LHSAA investigation’s finding there was no evidence of any LHSAA rule violation," the emailed statement said.
According to the school, Bonine’s initial notice to the school about the penalty made reference to the internal investigation conducted by LHSAA Compliance and Investigative Officer Joe Kleinpeter. Bonine then identified 11 specific rules thatKleinpeter had purportedly found were violated.
Patriots coach J.T. Curtis disagrees.
“They thought that Willie was living with Jerry Godfrey illegally, a fact that we never tried to hide or never thought was a violation of the rules in any way,” Curtis said last fall.
The school appealed the LHSAA's decision last fall, but the LHSAA's executive committee upheld the decision by a 16-1 vote. According to the lawsuit, "the LHSAA not only failed to call Kleinpeter, it failed to provide Curtis with a copy of the report. The report was not introduced at the hearing, and its contents remained unknown to Curtis."
The lawsuit goes on to state that "during that hearing the LHSAA wrongfully argued that Allen, who traveled every day from New Orleans East to the River Ridge school by public transportation, was 'induced' to stay at Curtis by the offer of housing, based upon the findings of the investigator."
During the hearing, J.T. Curtis identified nine other students who had resided with a faculty member or an administrator, dating to the 1970s, many of whom were not athletes.
Allen originally enrolled in Curtis during the middle of his eighth-grade year and began living with Godfrey at the start of his sophomore year. In an article published by The New Orleans Advocate in Jan. 2016, Allen said it was transportation issues during his eighth- and ninth-grade years that led him to move in with the Godfreys.
Godfrey, Curtis’ offensive line coach, offered Allen a place to live.
“It just felt like the right thing to do,” Godfrey said in the January article. “He was doing whatever it took to get to school, and it shows his level of commitment.”
Curtis, the school's longtime coach, said after the LHSAA's original ruling that he wasn't concerned about the wins.
"That’s not relevant to me," he said. "What’s relevant to me is making sure we are doing things correctly.”