Campus Due Process Litigation Tracker

Doe v. Princeton University, No. 3:19-cv-07853 (D.N.J. Feb. 28, 2020)

School type: Private
State: New Jersey
Federal Circuit: Third
Decision primarily favorable to: University
Stage of litigation: Motion to dismiss
Keywords: Erroneous outcome, Selective enforcement, Title IX

The court granted defendants’ motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s Title IX claims, and ordered Plaintiff to show cause why the court should retain jurisdiction over his state law claims.

Plaintiff was found responsible for non-consensual sexual misconduct. He was suspended for a semester and the suspension was noted on his transcript.

He brought suit alleging Title IX violations (both “erroneous outcome” and “selective enforcement”) as well as various state-law claims. The court dismissed both of his Title IX claims for the same reason: “Doe has not alleged sufficient facts to show any of his negative treatment occurred on the basis of Doe’s sex.” While the court acknowledged that Plaintiff had pled facts suggesting irregularities in his disciplinary proceeding, he failed to connect these to gender bias through things like “statements by members of the disciplinary tribunal, statements by pertinent university officials, [] patterns of decision-making that also tend to show the influence of gender[,] . . . [or] statements reflecting bias by members of the tribunal.”

The court denied defendants’ motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s state-law claims for lack of jurisdiction, but did order Plaintiff to show cause “why the Court should not dismiss his state law claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.”