Campus Due Process Litigation Tracker

Oliver v. University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21289 (N.D. Tex. Feb. 11, 2019)

School type: Public
State: Texas
Federal Circuit: Fifth
Decision primarily favorable to: Student
Stage of litigation: Motion to dismiss
Keywords: Biased statements, Cross-examination, Due process, Exculpatory evidence, Title IX

The court denied the university defendants’ motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s constitutional due process claim and his Title IX erroneous outcome claim. The court also deferred a decision on the university defendants’ qualified immunity defense until the completion of limited discovery.

On the due process claim, the court held that

[I]n cases, such as this one, where there are significant factual disputes over whether the alleged misconduct occurred, additional procedural safeguards may be required such as presentation of the actual incriminating evidence, confrontation by adverse witnesses, and perhaps cross-examination of those witnesses. And these additional safeguards are even more warranted in serious cases where a student is permanently expelled from medical school for claims of quasi-criminal conduct.

And because Plaintiff had sufficiently pled a lack of due process so egregious as to violate Goss v. Lopez and its progeny, the court held that defendants might not be entitled to qualified immunity, and ordered limited discovery on some of defendants’ actions.

On the Title IX claim, the court held that the investigator’s lack of reference to any exculpatory facts “show[s] a desire to bolster Rowan’s accusations while disregarding [Plaintiff’s] defenses.” The court was also concerned by statements made by university police officers about males accused of domestic violence.