Campus Due Process Litigation Tracker

Doe v. Princeton University, No. 3:18-cv-16539 (D.N.J. Jan. 10, 2019)

School type: Private
State: New Jersey
Federal Circuit: Third
Decision primarily favorable to: University
Stage of litigation: Motion for TRO/preliminary injunction
Keywords: Breach of contract, Single investigator, Title IX

Plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction denied; motion to dismiss granted in part and denied in part.

Princeton’s sexual misconduct adjudication procedures are not compliant with the proposed new Title IX regulations forthcoming from the Office for Civil Rights — it is a single investigator system. Plaintiff moved for a TRO arguing that if Princeton adjudicated his case before the new regulations take effect, he would be denied required due process procedures. While Plaintiff argued that the notice-and-comment period is largely pro forma and that the regs will likely be adopted as written, the court disagreed. Notice and comment is a meaningful process, and it would be wrong for the court to treat the proposed regulations as binding before that process has taken place. The court did, however, find that Plaintiff had plausibly plead a breach-of-contract claim based on Princeton’s failure to allow him to seek an extension of time:

Whether the Proposed Regulations amount to good cause for an extension of time and whether Princeton’s denial of Plaintiff’s request was in accordance with the substantial deference granted to it by New Jersey law are issues more appropriately resolved at the summary judgment stage of litigation.