JOHN DOE v. MIAMI UNIVERSITY; STEVEN ELLIOT; ROSE MARIE WARD; ALANA VAN GRUNDY-YODER; JAYNE BROWNELL; SUSAN VAUGHN - Articles

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Posted by: Landry Butler on Feb 9, 2018

Court: 6th Circuit Court (Published Opinions)

Attorneys 1:

ARGUED: Eric John Rosenberg, ROSENBERG & BALL CO. LPA, Granville, Ohio, for Appellant. Evan T. Priestle, TAFT STETTINIUS & HOLLISTER LLP, Cincinnati, Ohio, for Appellees.

Attorneys 2:

ON BRIEF: Eric John Rosenberg, ROSENBERG & BALL CO. LPA, Granville, Ohio, for Appellant. Evan T. Priestle, Doreen Canton, TAFT STETTINIUS & HOLLISTER LLP, Cincinnati, Ohio, for Appellees.

Judge(s): GUY, MOORE, and ROGERS, Circuit Judges.

Court Appealed: Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio at Cincinnati.

KAREN NELSON MOORE, Circuit Judge. In the fall of 2014, John Doe and Jane Doe were students at Miami University, a public university located in Oxford, Ohio. The two students knew each other and had engaged in several consensual “physical encounters.” This case arises from an incident between John and Jane on September 14, 2014. Both parties had consumed alcohol, and John states that he was so intoxicated that he cannot remember what occurred. According to Jane’s statement, the two engaged in some consensual sexual acts, but at some point Jane stopped consenting and John continued to engage in then non-consensual sexual acts for some period of time before he stopped. This accusation of sexual misconduct was evaluated by Miami University, and John was found responsible for violating the school’s sexual-assault policy. He was initially suspended for approximately eight months, but this suspension was reduced by the University on appeal to four months. After the University’s appeals process affirmed the original finding of responsibility, John brought suit against Jane, Miami University, and individual University employees who had been part of the disciplinary process. John voluntarily dismissed his claims against Jane after the two parties reached a settlement. The other defendants moved to dismiss John’s six remaining claims under Title IX and § 1983 pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), and the district court granted their motion.