Durst case against West Bonner scheduled for trial

Former West Bonner superintendent Branden Durst’s lawsuit against the district is headed to trial — but not for some time. 

Idaho District 1 Judge Susie Jensen on Friday issued an order scheduling a five-day jury trial starting Jan. 26, 2026, at the Bonner County Courthouse in Sandpoint. A pre-trial conference is scheduled for roughly a month prior. 

Durst in February filed a lawsuit alleging that the North Idaho school district breached his one-year, $110,000 contract. He appeared to resign in September when he released a letter announcing his “decision to seek an amicable and fair exit from my role as superintendent.” 

West Bonner denied the allegations that the school board misinterpreted Durst’s letter when trustees voted to accept his resignation.

Durst is seeking more than $100,000 in damages. 

Both parties demanded a jury trial and asked the court to award them attorney fees if they prevail. 

Durst sought an earlier trial date, according to scheduling documents filed with the court. In response to a question about whether the trial should be expedited, Durst’s attorney, Ron Shepherd of Meridian, responded, “not necessarily, but the sooner the better.”

Ryan Suppe

Ryan Suppe

Senior reporter Ryan Suppe covers education policy, focusing on K-12 schools. He previously reported on state politics, local government and business for newspapers in the Treasure Valley and Eastern Idaho. A Nevada native, Ryan enjoys golf, skiing and movies. Follow him on Twitter: @ryansuppe. Contact him at [email protected]

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