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Court: Expelled male student can proceed on key claims against Johnson & Wales U

Court: Expelled male student can proceed on key claims against Johnson & Wales U

Kafkaesque case in which female waited a year to complain, male not given copy of complaint, entire process only 5 weeks, no record of hearing

In January 2018, I wrote about a lawsuit by an expelled male student that alleged an outrageous denial of fundamental fairness and failure to follow university rules, Kafkaesque campus sexual assault tribunal at Johnson & Wales alleged in lawsuit:

A male student expelled from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI, has commenced suit in federal court in Massachusetts, where he lives, claiming he was unlawfully held responsible and expelled after an unfair, prejudged internal judicial process that violated not only ordinary norms of fairness, but also the university’s own guidelines.

The facts alleged and issued involved are all too familiar for these type of cases, according to the detailed factual allegations:

  • The male and female students had at least six sexual encounters, only two of which were at issue.
  • The female did not complain for one year.
  • The complaint was instigated by the female’s boyfriend, but the boyfriend could not be cross-examined because he served as the female student’s hearing advisor.
  • The accused male student was not given a copy of the complaint, he only had it read to him not long before the hearing.
  • The investigator who gathered the facts expressed support for the female student from the start.
  • The entire process from complaint to adjudication took only five weeks.
  • There was a short time to appeal, during which time the male student retained counsel, but the university would not provide the attorney with a copy of the complaint.
  • There was no record of the adjudication, making internal appeal and court challenge difficult

The lawsuit was transferred to the District of Rhode Island on the motion of the university. The university also filed a motion to partially dismiss the suit.

A hearing was held on the motion to dismiss on May 14, 2018. The Court denied the motion to dismiss on the critical allegation that the university violated Title IX by discriminating against a man in the disciplinary process. The court docket reflects the ruling, which was made from the bench just after oral argument:

TEXT ORDER For reasons state in today’s hearing, 26 Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim is granted in part and denied in part as follows: The motion as to Count 3 is granted as to promissory estoppel, as to Count 4 is denied as to Title IX; as to Count 5 is granted as to intentional infliction of emotional distress; as to Count 6 is denied as to negligent inflection of emotion distress, and as to Count 7 is granted as to injunctive relief as a separate cause of action. – So Ordered by District Judge John J. McConnell, Jr. on 5/14/2018. (McGuire, Vickie) (Entered: 05/14/2018)

The bland docket entry, however, appears not to give the full flavor of just how badly the argument and ruling went for the university.

There is no transcript of the judge’s ruling currently available, but Prof. K.C. Johnson was at the courthouse and tweeted the highlights:

[Featured Image: U.S. District Court, Providence, RI, via K.C. Johnson Twitter]


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To call these Title IX fiascos “kangaroo courts” would be an insult to kangaroos.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to hrhdhd. | May 15, 2018 at 11:13 am


    The general public needs to understand however, that it is the typical college administration’s “standard operating procedures” today.

    Good grief they do all they could to interfer with the election process in 2016!!!!!

    JohnSmith100 in reply to hrhdhd. | May 15, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    A website which serves are a searchable comprehensive source of data on which universities should be avoided by men. When I was young, I went to Michigan Tech, where there were no women enrolled. So local girls received lots of attention. One friend knocked up a local, dropped out and started a business in his garage. He became a millionaire.
    He was always complaining about how dumb his wife was, ignoring the fact that he made a really dumb mistake. He died from brain cancer around 50 years old, and she had all that money. Life, and death is full of irony.

      My aunt rented out what she called her farm to Tech students. It was on the canal right where it opened up a bit into what most would call a lake.
      Beautiful country around Hancock/Houghton.

kenoshamarge | May 15, 2018 at 8:09 am

Once I wouldn’t have believed that such things could happen in our country. Now they are common. What surprises me is a judge that actually isn’t willing to be a part of the lynch mob.

I hope the kid rakes the University over the coals.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to PODKen. | May 15, 2018 at 10:16 am

    It would be poetic if damages are high enough to pay his way in comfort all the way to a PhD.

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to JohnSmith100. | May 15, 2018 at 11:16 am

      More poetic if the greedy monster U had to shut down and go out of business!

      aka Hoss in reply to JohnSmith100. | May 18, 2018 at 10:29 am

      If I were on the jury he wouldn’t have to worry about getting a PhD, he could just retire. A very strong message needs to be sent to the fascist administrators at these universities, and money is the best way to do that.

Albigensian | May 15, 2018 at 10:21 am

“Is it possible that these leftists do not have a clue as to how to investigate a claim or conduct due process?”

But if you’ve convinced yourself you already know The Truth, why would you bother with due process?

There’s a heady mix here of emotion trumping reason (“Why OF COURSE I believe the victim!”) combined with Kafkaesque theories that start and end by presuming guilt, and all wrapped up within a power structure that’s determined to make itself immune to all criticism (i.e., by asserting that any criticism can only reflect badly on the critic and never on the criticized).

Why would you search for the truth if you’re already convinced that you (and your colleagues) already possess it?

What is most telling, the judge an Obama nominee, was so convinced of the merits of the case that he ruled from the bench. The writer KC Johnson above indicates it was essentially a smackdown of Johnson & Wales staff and their lawyers. I would have paid money to see their faces in court and now they have to break the news to the school’s president. Hope they are wearing Depends.

CaliforniaJimbo | May 15, 2018 at 11:29 am

I always found the student kangaroo court in Animal house to be a farce. Now it appears that this is the new normal for our precious institutions of higher learning. Schools should not be involved in criminal investigations. They should refer such matters to the Police so a proper investigation is performed and rights are secured for both accused and accuser.
So much about Jon Doe’s expulsion stinks when you look at the details.

    This is what happens when school bureaucrats pretend to be lawyers. There is a reason there are courts and the plaintiff proved that.

Any guy who has sex with a girl while in college is just asking for trouble. In the words of my father: “Keep it in your pants and you stay out of trouble.”

We have achieved peak Title IX.

“…The fact that this case involves a male accuser (“John Doe”) and a female aggressor (“Jane Roe”) makes it unusual among Title IX complaints. (Title IX is the federal statute that forbids sex discrimination in schools.) But the female student’s lawsuit against Cincinnati—which accuses the university of violating her due process rights—reveals something even odder: Roe had previously filed a sexual misconduct complaint against one of Doe’s friends.

Roe’s lawsuit, then, suggests that Doe filed the complaint against Roe as a kind of revenge for getting his friend in trouble. (I have an alternative theory, but I’ll save that for the end.)…”

Personally, I favor the author’s alternative theory.

“…Here’s an alternative theory: Doe woke up, realized they had engaged in sexual activity while they were both drunk, and feared that she would file a complaint against him, as she had done to his friend. Panic-stricken, he felt he had no choice but to beat her to the punch…”

How does a girl who runs around filing Title IX complaints for mutually-drunken hook-ups even have a social life? She should be radioactive. And this guy DRINKS WITH HER, fully aware of the hazard.

Never put your **** in crazy. Never put yourself in the position where you would have put your **** in crazy if you hadn’t passed out first, son. On the other hand, girl, how long have you had a thing for drunk and stupid?

These two deserve each other. This is the kind of thing no responsible police force would even investigate. It’s sort of the sexual version of “mutual combat.” Both of them screwed up, and they have to clean up their own mess.

Why has the federal government gotten involved in policing and then picking winners and losers in this nonsense? It’s time to get out the way and let the little fools learn that there actually are stings attached to No-Strings-Attached drunken hook-ups.

    Ugnug in reply to Arminius. | May 15, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    It may be unclear to you, but neither had been drinking in this case so your comments do not appear relevant. I suggest you read the case if you had not had the opportunity to do such.

      Arminius in reply to Ugnug. | May 15, 2018 at 8:30 pm

      Dear genius, it is relevant because in neither case should the schools be running Title IX inquisitions. This is none of their business. Schools should not be involved in adjudicating their students’ sex lives at all.

      My comments may not appear to be relevant to you because you’ve lost sight of the big picture. Do you actually think anybody should be wasting time getting familiar with the particulars of any of these Title IX complaints? The details of this particular case, or any particular case, matter to me just as much as they did to the bureaucrats running the Stalinist show trial Title IX court at JWU. Not at all. The difference between me and the petty bureaucrats is that since all of us are in agreement that the facts don’t matter, I would take that as a cue to shutter the whole enterprise. They take that as an opportunity to wield arbitrary power to reach absurd results.

      Which is relevant to this particular case. It’s relevant to all these absurd cases. There must be no more absurd cases. And the only way to ensure that it make sure there are no more cases at all.

“There was no record of the adjudication”

The legal profession has a term for “record of the adjudication”: evidence. Evidence is inconvenient when you’re running a star chamber.