Campus Due Process Litigation Tracker

Doe v. Rollins College, 352 F. Supp. 3d 1205 (M.D. Fl. 2019)

School type: Private
State: Florida
Federal Circuit: Eleventh
Decision primarily favorable to: Student
Stage of litigation: Motion to dismiss
Keywords: Breach of contract, Erroneous outcome, Selective enforcement, Title IX

University’s motion to dismiss denied.

After being expelled from Rollins College in a case with no eyewitnesses and conflicting testimony, Plaintiff brought suit against Rollins for Title IX sex discrimination and breach of contract.

On his Title IX erroneous outcome claim, Plaintiff cited (as evidence of gender bias) not only external pressure to crack down on campus sexual misconduct, but also evidence that Rollins had doubled down on its policies following criticism stemming from another lawsuit, as well as circumstantial evidence of bias in his own case (such as rejecting the testimony of his fraternity brothers based on their fraternity associations, while crediting the testimony of the accuser’s sorority sisters without expressing concern about their equivalent sorority associations).

The court also allowed Plaintiff’s Title IX selective enforcement claim to proceed because the evidence collected during the investigation suggested that both parties were drunk when engaging in sexual activity, meaning they may both have violated the policy, but the college never encouraged Plaintiff to file a complaint or took any other action.

Plaintiff’s allegations also gave rise to a plausible breach of contract claim: college policy promises an impartial investigation, but Plaintiff plausibly alleged that the investigator was biased.