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Title IX Hall of Shame: Most Egregious Campus Lawsuits, By State

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Title IX Hall of Shame: Most Egregious Campus Lawsuits, By State


August 13, 2021

SAVE has compiled a listing and brief summary of the most egregious Title IX lawsuits by state, as of the end of 2020. SAVE encourages you to share the relevant lawsuit(s) with your state lawmakers, and urge them to enact legislation that affirms campus due process.

For more information, see the Analysis of Judicial Decisions Affirming the 2020 Title IX Regulations.

Arkansas (Doe v University of Arkansas):

    • The Eighth Circuit ruled, “We conclude that the complaint stated a claim under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 that is plausible on its face, but that the other claims were properly dismissed.”

Arizona (Schwake v. Arizona Board of Regents):

    • The Ninth Circuit ruled, “we conclude that Schwake plausibly alleged that the University discriminated against him on the basis of sex. We, therefore, reverse the district court’s dismissal of the Title IX claim.”


  • Doe v Allee [USC]:
    • USC used a single investigator model system, and the college appeals board only had the power to overrule the decision if the investigator’s decisions were not consistent with facts presented in the investigative report. Since the investigator decided what facts were included in the report, she could never be overruled.
  • Boermeester v. Ainsley Carry:
    • The California Appeals Court ruled,  “We conclude USC’s disciplinary procedures at the time were unfair because they denied Boermeester a meaningful opportunity to cross-examine critical witnesses at an in-person hearing. We thus reverse and remand with directions to the superior court to grant the petition for writ of administrative mandate.”

Colorado (Neal v Colorado State University – Pueblo):

    • A third party saw a hickey on a female student’s neck and reported the student’s boyfriend as a rapist. Even though the supposed victim of the rape swore to the university that the sex was consensual, the university expelled the student after giving him less than 24 hours’ notice to the hearing and refusing to give him a copy of the investigative report.

Connecticut (Doe v Quinnipiac):

    • The university opened a sexual assault complaint “on behalf of” a previous girlfriend of a student, even though she had not filed a complaint herself. The university subjected the “accused” student to a 7-hour hearing with no witnesses, and subsequently destroyed the evidence of the hearing and the prior investigation.

District of Columbia (Doe v George Washington II):

    • The U.S. District Court ruled in favor of the accused student and remanded the case for a second hearing, instructing the university to consider the toxicology reports and phone records that showed the accusation to be false. The school did not consider any of the new evidence and found him responsible again, so the student had to sue a second time.

Florida (Jia v University of Miami):

    • The university instructed the accused student that he could not file a counter complaint against the accuser, even though they were both drunk, because he needed to be “compassionate.” The accuser later worked with a professor to accuse plaintiff publicly of assault; the university did nothing to stop this harassment.

Georgia (Doe v Board of Regents of Georgia [GA tech]):

    • The university used a single investigator model, did not interview the witnesses of the accused, withheld the identities of the accuser’s witnesses until the day the expulsion decision was made, and provided no opportunity for cross examination.

Illinois (Doe v University of Chicago):

    • The university found the accused student to be not responsible. But the accuser proceeded to distribute pamphlets falsely stating that the university had “found him guilty.” The university instructed the accused student that he could not publicly contest the pamphlet allegations, supposedly in order to protect the accuser’s confidentiality.

Indiana (Doe v Purdue University):

    • The university withheld the investigative report which included a made-up confession by the accused student. Additionally, two panel members admitted to not reading the materials presented to them prior to the hearing, and the accused student was not allowed to present witnesses.

Iowa (Doe v Grinnell):

    • The university contracted with an outside adjudicator who was the former Iowa Chief Justice, and required that she use an affirmative consent standard that required the student to prove consent rather than the university to prove lack of consent. The university consolidated two claims by different accusers of two separate incidents.

Kentucky (Elmore v Bellarmine):

    • Elmore reported a professor’s sexual harassment of himself. The university retaliated against Elmore, turning the evidence against him and denying him counsel at the hearing.

Louisiana (I.F. v Tulane):

    • A student was criminally charged and then acquitted. At the subsequent university hearing, the hearing panel relied on allegations of a phone call made by the accuser to a friend shortly after the alleged sexual assault. During the criminal defense, the student had proven the phone call never occurred. But the university continued to rely on the non-existent phone call as inculpatory evidence.

Maryland (Doe et al v Salisbury et al):

    • Two accused students were denied the opportunity to ask critical questions of witnesses or to see witnesses testify.


    • Doe v Brandeis:
      • The school did not allow the student any right to notice of charges, the right to counsel, the right to cross examination, the right to review investigative report, or the right to appeal. Additionally, the University refused to interview Doe’s witnesses.
    • Doe v Amherst:
      • A female student performed non-consensual oral sex on a male student while he was passed out. Inexplicably, the female student later accused the male student of sexual assault. The university found him responsible, because even though he was blacked out at the time, “being impaired by alcohol is never an excuse,” the university argued. The male student later acquired text messages from the female accuser’s friends that proved the accuser had lied, but the university refused to reopen the case.

Michigan (Doe v Baum):

      • In this double-jeopardy case, the accused student prevailed in the initial hearing, but on the accuser’s appeal, was found responsible. The accused student was denied the right to cross examination.

Mississippi (Doe v University of Mississippi):

      • The university excluded Doe’s exculpatory statements and evidence. The university also counseled Doe’s new girlfriend to not support him emotionally, or be subject to retaliation charges at the school.

Montana (Powell v Montana State):

      • A student held a private conversation with a professor in which the student stated he did not agree with the gender identity movement. The professor reported the conversation to school officials and a transgender student in her class, alleging the student represented a danger to transgender students. The university suspended the student.

New Jersey (Collick et al v William Patterson University):

      • Collick and other students were charged criminally and the university summarily expelled them, and issued a public statement praising the bravery of the “victim.”

New Mexico (Lee v University of New Mexico):

      • The accused student was not afforded the right to cross examination, or to present evidence in his defense. The university prevented him from reviewing the evidence that did exist.

New York (Hall v Hoftstra):

      • When the accused student requested to review the investigative report, he was informed that he could review the report only under supervision, could not take notes, and could not speak with his attorney. The complainant admitted to hitting the accused in the groin, but administrators stated they “did not believe complainant was aggressive towards [the accused student].”

North Carolina (Gulyas v Appalachian State University):

      • University officials admitted to omitting key facts from the investigative report, and to not investigating an incident where the complainant physically assaulted the male student.


    • Doe v University of Cincinnati:
      • The accused student was subjected to a “respondent only” hearing where the board members asked no questions of substance at all. The accused was asked if he had any questions for the accuser, even though she was not present.
    • Doe v. Oberlin College:
      • The Sixth Circuit ruled, “Any number of federal constitutional and statutory provisions reflect the proposition that, in this country, we determine guilt or innocence individually – rather than collectively, based on one’s identification with some demographic group….John Doe argues that his complaint in this case adequately stated a claim that Oberlin College did precisely that when it determined his responsibility on a sexual-assault allegation. We agree, and reverse the district court’s decision to the contrary.”

Oklahoma (Ritter v Oklahoma City University):

      • The judge ruled that a student can allege discriminatory intent under the Twombly Iqbal standard. This standard makes it easier to sue the schools for Title IX violations.

Oregon (Doe v University of Oregon):

      • The university used a trauma-informed, single investigator model. The accuser changed her story multiple times, and the investigator concluded these inconsistencies made the allegations more credible.


  • Doe v Penn State et al, August 2018:
      • The hearing panel convened a hearing in which neither the complainant nor the respondent were allowed to attend. The panel had been trained to believe that “only 2% of rape accusations are false.”
  • Doe v. University of the Sciences:
    • The Third Circuit ruled, “Doe filed a lawsuit in the District Court alleging that USciences was improperly motivated by sex when it investigated and enforced the Policy against him. Doe also asserted that USciences breached its contract with him by failing to provide him the fairness promised to students under the Policy. The District Court dismissed Doe’s complaint. Doe’s complaint contains plausible allegations supporting both claims. So we will reverse the District Court’s order dismissing Doe’s complaint.”

Rhode Island (Doe v Brown, 2016):

      • The accused student was prohibited from leaving his dormitory room until interviewed by administrators as part of their investigation, then he was banned from the campus indefinitely in the interim. On cross examination, his faculty advisor did not use the student’s listing of the accuser’s inconsistent statements, and the student was later expelled.

South Carolina (Doe v Coastal Carolina University):

      • Local prosecutors declined to prosecute and the student prevailed in a university hearing. The accuser then submitted a late appeal, and the university accepted it anyway. The university held a second hearing, this time without witnesses, and found him responsible.

South Dakota (Tsuruta v Augustana University):

      • The accuser had a documented history of making false accusations. The accused had a physical disability that physically prevented him from committing rape. The university failed to interview witnesses who could provide information to confirm the disability, and found him responsible.


      • Doe v Rhodes:
        • School officials instructed the board to regard the evidence in the investigative report as “dispositive” that the accuser had been raped. The university only called female witnesses, and the accuser did not attend the hearing.
      • Mock v University of Tennessee:
        • After two students had a sexual encounter, the female student accused him of violating the college’s affirmative consent standard. During the hearing, the accused student was required to prove that he had met the affirmative consent standard, rather than the accuser having to prove a lack of consent. The male student was found responsible, so he filed an administrative appeal (TN state law procedure). The Administrative Judge overturned the university ruling, stating the affirmative consent standard is “flawed and untenable.”
  • Texas (Oliver v University of Texas Southwestern Medical School):
        • The accuser had a severe substance abuse problem. She stole her boyfriend’s prescription controlled medication and was arrested on drug possession charges. She tried to convince boyfriend to sign a false affidavit, and when that was unsuccessful, she retaliated by fabricating an audio recording of him assaulting her. She complained to the university, and the university initially dropped charges but summarily expelled Oliver when it discovered he had been arrested on charges relating to the audio recording, because they believed that he had assaulted her.

Vermont (Doe v Middlebury):

        • During a study abroad semester, the accused had been accused and exonerated of sexual assault. The U.S. school then decided to do its own investigation, in violation of contract with the foreign school. The home school used a single investigator model, had no hearing, and found the student responsible.

Virginia (Doe v Washington and Lee):

        • Following a sexual encounter, a female student experienced regret, but did not believe she had been raped. She then spent a summer working at a women’s clinic where she became convinced that she had been raped. The school refused to show the accused student the complaint and did not allow him to use a lawyer.