University News

Judge rules Title IX lawsuit against Brown to proceed

Former member of the Class of 2017 alleges he was discriminated against in sexual assault hearing

News Editor
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The University will review a judge’s decision regarding a lawsuit filed against it in April after a judge ruled Monday to allow the case to proceed.

A former member of the Class of 2017 filed the case against the University and alleges that he was discriminated against due to his gender in a sexual assault case heard by the Student Conduct Board in fall 2014. In December, the University filed a motion to dismiss the hearing.

Judge William Smith ruled that on the charges that Brown violated the student’s due process rights and discriminated against him because of his gender, the hearing meets legal standards to proceed. He decided to dismiss the prosecution’s claims of erroneous outcome under Title IX — that the University misapplied its standards or that the Student Conduct Board misconstrued the facts — and claims of breach of contract. He allowed the claims of negligence and that the University acted under deliberate indifference to gender discrimination under Title IX to proceed forward.

“The decision appears to reflect the court’s interest in hearing the arguments of the parties, which is understandable in light of the national discussions regarding these issues,” wrote Cass Cliatt, vice president for communications, in an email to The Herald.

“We believe that Brown has a strong case to present to the court when this matter goes to trial,” she added.

The plaintiff, known as John Doe, is also suing his complainant, referred to in court documents as Jane Doe, for slandering his name by falsely accusing him of sexual misconduct, which led to his eventual suspension from the University.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that the University will review the Title IX lawsuit. In fact, the University will review the judge’s decision with regard to the lawsuit. The Herald regrets the error.