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New York: National Champion of Campus Kangaroo Courts

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New York: National Champion of Campus Kangaroo Courts


November 29, 2021

Over the past decade, over 200 judicial decisions have been handed down against colleges across the country for violations of the rights of students accused of sexual misconduct. According to SAVE’s Analysis of Judicial Decisions,[1] these cases involve a broad range of due process violations:

  • Bias Towards Complainant: 34 judicial decisions
  • Guilt-Presuming Investigations: 33 decisions
  • Inadequate Cross Examination: 31 decisions
  • Institutional Sex Bias: 27 decisions
  • Lack of Proper Notice: 27 decisions
  • Failure to Give Respondent Access to Evidence: 23 decisions
  • Flawed Evaluation of Evidence: 20 decisions

Further analysis reveals that the state with the largest number of decisions against institutions of higher education is New York. Since 2013, trial and appellate courts have handed down 31 decisions against 16 New York schools.

The following schools were the losing party – the citations for all decisions are shown at the end of this article:

  1. Syracuse University – 6 decisions
  2. Columbia University – 3 decisions
  3. Cornell University – 3 decisions
  4. SUNY Purchase – 3 decisions
  5. Colgate University – 2 decisions
  6. RPI – 2 decisions
  7. Hobart and William Smith – 2 decisions
  8. SUNY Stony Brook – 2 decisions
  9. Hofstra University – 1 decision
  10. Hamilton College – 1 decision
  11. New York University – 1 decision
  12. Skidmore College – 1 decision
  13. John Fisher College – 1 decision
  14. SUNY Albany – 1 decision
  15. SUNY Cortland – 1 decision
  16. United States Merchant Marine Academy – 1 decision

In general, these decisions did not turn on subtle interpretations of nuanced legal precepts. Rather, they were based on a judicial recognition that colleges are failing to observe the most fundamental notions of fairness. In many cases, the bias was so flagrant as to suggest that sex bias was the motivating factor. This represents a violation of the federal Title IX law, which is expressly designed to ban discrimination on the basis of sex.

A Kangaroo Court is defined as “an unofficial court held by a group of people in order to try someone regarded, especially without good evidence, as guilty.” These 31 decisions reveal that New York State now holds the dubious honor of being the national champion of Campus Kangaroo Courts.

The greatest embarrassment falls upon Syracuse University, with a total of six adverse judicial decisions, revealing a broad range of due process failings. The school’s motto, translated from the Latin, states, “Knowledge crowns those who seek her.” By definition, a Kangaroo Court cares more about reaching a “guilty” verdict than engaging in an impartial search for knowledge and truth.

One wonders whether SU administrators appreciate the irony.


Judicial Decisions Against New York Schools, 2013 – 2021

Name of College Number of Decisions Public or



Case Citations (in reverse chronological order)


Syracuse University





Fraternity of Alpha Chi Rho, Inc. v. Syracuse University, 141 N.Y.S.3d 296 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Mar. 10, 2021)

Doe v. Syracuse University, 457 F. Supp. 3d 178 (N.D.N.Y. Apr. 30, 2020)

Doe v. Syracuse University., 440 F. Supp. 3d 158, 168 (N.D.N.Y. Feb. 21, 2020)

Doe v. Syracuse University, No. 5:18-CV-377, 2019 WL 2021026 (N.D.N.Y. May 8, 2019)

Noakes v. Syracuse University, No. 5:18-cv-00043-TJM-ML (N.D.N.Y. Feb. 26, 2019)

Doe v. Syracuse University, 341 F. Supp. 3d 125, 138 (N.D.N.Y. Sep. 16, 2018)

Columbia University  3 Private Doe v. Columbia University, Case 1:20-cv-06770-GHW (S.D.N.Y. Aug 1, 2021)

Feibleman v. Trustees of Columbia University in City of New York, No. 19-CV-4327 (VEC), 2020WL 882429 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 24, 2020)

Doe v. Columbia University, 831 F.3d 46 (2d Cir. July 29, 2016)

Cornell University  3 Private Matter of Doe v. Cornell University, EF2016-0192. 2017 NY Slip Op 30142(U) (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Jan. 20, 2017)

Doe v. Weill Cornell Univ. Med. School, 1:16-CV-03531 (S.D.N.Y. May 20, 2016)

Prasad v. Cornell Univ., N.D.N.Y. No. 5:15-CV-322, 2016 WL 3212079 (N.D.N.Y. Feb. 24, 2016)

State University of New York at Purchase 3 Public Matter of Doe v. Purchase Coll. State Univ. of N.Y., 192 A.D.3d 1100, 1103 (N.Y. App. Div. Mar. 31, 2021)

Doherty v. Bice, No. 18-CV-10898 (NSR), 2020 WL 5548790 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 16, 2020)

Bursch v. Purchase Coll. of State Univ. of New York, 125 N.E.3d 830 (N.Y. June 6, 2019)

Colgate University  2 Private Doe v. Colgate Univ., 457 F. Supp. 3d 164 (N.D.N.Y. Apr. 30, 2020)

Faiaz v. Colgate Univ., 64 F. Supp 3d 336, 341 (N.D.N.Y. Nov. 24, 2014)

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 2 Private Doe v. Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst., No. 1:20-CV-1185, 2020 WL 6118492 (N.D.N.Y. Oct. 16, 2020)

In the Matter of John Doe v. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, No. 254952 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Nov. 6, 2017)

Hobart & William Smith Colleges 2 Private Doe v. Hobart and William Smith Colleges, 6:20-cv-06338 EAW (W.D.N.Y. June 23, 2021)

Rolph v. Hobart & William Smith Colleges, 271 F. Supp. 3d 386, 401-02 (W.D.N.Y. Sep. 20, 2017)

State University of New York at Stony Brook 2 Public Doe v. Haas, 427 F. Supp. 3d 336 (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 9, 2019)

Velez-Santiago v. State University of New York at Stony Brook, 170 A.D.3d 1182, 1183 (N.Y. App. Div. Mar. 27, 2019)

Hofstra University 1 Private Matter of Hall v. Hofstra University, 101 N.Y.S.3d 699 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Apr. 3, 2018)
Hamilton College 1 Private Matter of A.E. v. Hamilton College, 173 A.D.3d 1753 (N.Y. Ct, App. June 14, 2019)
New York University 1 Private Doe v. New York University, No. 1:20-cv-01343-GHW, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62985 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 31, 2021)
Skidmore College 1 Private Doe v. Skidmore College, 59 N.Y.S.3d 509 (N.Y. App. Div. July 13, 2017)
St. John Fisher College 1 Private Bisimwa v. St. John Fisher College, et al., E2019005959 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Nov. 20, 2019)
State University of New York at Albany


1 Public Alexander M. v. Cleary (SUNY-Albany), 188 A.D.3d 1471, 1476 (N.Y. App. Div. Nov. 25, 2020)
State University of New York at Cortland


1 Public Boyd v. State Univ. of New York at Cortland, 973 N.Y.S.2d 413, 415-6 (N.Y. App. Div. Oct. 17, 2013)
United States Merchant Marine Academy


1 Service Academy Culiver v. U.S., No. 2:17-cv-03514-JS-SIL, Document 48 (E.D.N.Y. July 6, 2017)