Brown University is seeking the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by a student who was found responsible for a sexual misconduct offense.
As reported in the Providence Journal the motion to dismiss was heard before the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island on December 1, 2015.
Steven M. Richard, representing Brown University, argued for the dismissal. In his argument Mr. Richard relied upon prevailing precedent that to prevail under Title IX plaintiff needed to demonstrate that Brown University discriminated against him on the basis of his gender. Mr. Richard argued, as reported in the Journal, that plaintiff has not met that standard and the case should be dismissed.
Andrew T. Miltenberg, counsel for the plaintiff, opposed the dismissal. Mr. Miltenberg’s argument was predicated on the fact that there were substantial procedural irregularities in the handling of his disciplinary case (which resulted in plaintiff’s suspension from Brown University) which lead to the conclusion that plaintiff was subjected to “gender bias against males in cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct” (as reported and quoted in the Journal).
This is a decision that is worth watching. To date the U.S. District Courts have been favorably inclined to grant dismissals of Title IX actions brought by male students. However, given the heightened scrutiny under which colleges and universities are being subjected to for matters of sexual misconduct, it will be interesting to see if the Court gives credence to generalized allegations of a bias against male students and thus allows the case to proceed.
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