New Cases and Developments

NACUA's Legal Resources staff summarizes current higher education cases and developments and provides the full text of selected cases to members. New cases and developments are archived here for up to 12 months.  Cases provided by Fastcase, Inc.

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Discrimination, Accommodation, & Diversity; Distressed & Suicidal Students; Disability Discrimination; Retaliation

Noelle Ibrahim v. Lucas Pena (S.D.N.Y. August 21, 2017)

Order granting Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss. Plaintiff, a Columbia University alumna suffering from psychiatric illness, alleged that the University violated the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), and several state laws, when it refused to accommodate her request for counseling services and barred her from campus. The court held that Plaintiff failed to plausibly allege that the University discriminated against her based on her disability, since Plaintiff neither identified a reasonable accommodation nor any action on Defendant’s part that denied her full and equal access to Columbia’s services. Further, the court found that Plaintiff failed to assert a plausible ADA retaliation claim because she provided no proof of engaging in a “protected activity.” The court declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims.

Sexual Misconduct & Other Campus Violence; Title IX; Students; Sexual Misconduct & Other Campus Violence; Distressed & Suicidal Students; Disability Discrimination; Discrimination, Accommodation, & Diversity

John Doe v. University of Notre Dame (N.D. Ind. May 8, 2017)

Order granting Plaintiff’s Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and Motion for Preliminary Injunction. Plaintiff, a student at the University of Notre Dame, had a tumultuous dating relationship with a female student during their senior year. The female student eventually sought help from the University’s Deputy Title IX Coordinator, to whom she confided that she was concerned about Plaintiff’s safety based on text messages he wrote to her about wanting to kill himself. Plaintiff was eventually dismissed from the University just weeks before graduation after being found responsible for violating four of Notre Dame’s Standards of Conduct. He filed suit challenging his dismissal and asserting, among other claims, violations of Title IX and breach of contract. The court granted Plaintiff a temporary restraining order and injunction directing the University to allow Plaintiff to sit for his final exams after concluding that there was at least some likelihood of success on the merits of his breach of contract claim, that the balance of the harms weighed in favor of an injunction, and the injunction would not be averse to the public interest.