Retaliation; Due Process; State Authorization
Shinbager v. Bd. of Trustees of the Univ. of the District of Columbia, et al. (U.D.C. Feb. 1, 2016)
Opinion from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia granting Defendant UDC's Motion to Dismiss. Plaintiff, a former UDC law student, alleged that UDC retaliated against her by suspending her for making false accusations, acting erratically, and threatening to kill the President of the United States. In dismissing Plaintiff's retaliation claims (which were brought under the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, Title VII, and the First Amendment), the Court concluded that the Plaintiff failed to show a causal connection between a protected activity and her suspension because the officers who presided over her student conduct hearing were unaware that the Plaintiff had engaged in a protected activity. Regarding Plaintiff's Due Process claim, the Court concluded that the Plaintiff received ample process during the student conduct investigation. The Court dismissed Plaintiff's breach of contract claims because the UDC Student Handbook was not a contract. Finally, the Court dismissed all remaining claims, including claims that the University "violated ABA standard 512," unreasonably restricted Plaintiff's participation in school activities, and defamed her.