A student at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana is suing the school on claims of discrimination. He alleges that the university has poorly handled a “dating violence” complaint made by his ex-girlfriend by not thoroughly and fairly investigating each party. This is not the first lawsuit of its kind filed against the institution.
The male student, named in court documents as John Doe, filed the lawsuit in federal court on April 20, alleging that the school violated his right to due process by expelling him without handling the case appropriately. He says the claims of dating violence made on behalf of his ex-girlfriend are “vindictive,” and were fabricated to destroy his life. The suit also states that the private, Catholic university led an investigation containing “procedural flaws” and “inherent gender bias.” John Doe goes on to allege that the school's way of dealing with these issues is “designed to ensure that male students accused of any type of sexual misconduct or harassment - concepts that do not apply to John's conduct - are found responsible” despite the circumstances.
John Doe claims that the year-long relationship with his ex-girlfriend was riddled with turmoil and unsolved problems.
“As is typical in young relationships, the two would intermittently break up and makeup, often in dramatic fashion,” court documents state.
According to his suit, he repeatedly texted her for support during an intense bout of depression and while experiencing suicidal thoughts. John Doe claims that he sent a poorly worded breakup text to his ex-girlfriend that could have been misconstrued by Jane as a suicide note. She complained to campus authorities saying that he was harassing her - an action made after she was caught on camera saying she wanted to "f*ck up his reputation." Soon after the university filed her complaint, John Doe was issued a “No-Contact order,” preventing him from talking to his ex-girlfriend within the duration of the investigation.
John Doe contends that none of the texts contained threats or any violent content. He says the university failed to acknowledge his requests for information about his own investigation and prohibited him from presenting evidence that would prove his innocence. The lawsuit states Notre Dame authorities even told John's campus psychologist to discontinue his treatments - an effort that he claims stripped him of the resources he was provided.
As a result, John Doe has been expelled from the university on stipulations that he will be able to “reapply for readmission” in the upcoming semester. The suit contends that the university should allow him to complete the final three weeks of school and take his exams. As a former member of the school's College of Business, John Doe was set to work for a financial firm after graduation.
The initial hearing was on April 25, but the findings have not yet been revealed to the public.
If you have been accused of domestic violence in the Seattle area, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Steve Karimi's law office for a consultation.