University settles in Doe lawsuit
Observer Staff Report | Thursday, January 18, 2018
Notre Dame reached an agreement to resolve a lawsuit filed by an unnamed student alleging he was unjustly dismissed from University less than a month before his graduation, according to a status report filed Nov. 10.
With the agreement having been reached, the case was subsequently dismissed, according to a court doument filed Dec. 27.
The lawsuit, filed in April of 2017, alleged Notre Dame mishandled the Title IX case involving the unnamed student — referred to as John Doe in court documents — and conducted an investigation full of “procedural flaws, lack of due process and inherent gender bias, 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.”
The Title IX investigation was launched as a result of a complaint by Doe’s ex-girlfriend, referred to as Jane Roe in court documents. The lawsuit alleged Doe underwent “a difficult moment in his life when he was experiencing episodic depression including suicidal ideation, and was clearly in need of mental health resources and formative remedies.” According to the lawsuit, Roe perceived Doe’s repeated texts reaching out for support at that time as harassment and dating violence, and the University subsequently deemed his conduct to be sexual harassment. The University then launched an investigation, which ultimately resulted in Doe’s dismissal.
The agreement reached between Doe and the University, according to a status report filed Oct. 6, was contingent upon “resolution of certain related disputes between Jane Roe and John Doe, one of which may need University consent.”
Then, according to the Nov. 10 status report, Roe and Doe “reached a resolution, including the University as needed” and Doe requested “the Court maintain the temporary stay to facilitate ongoing efforts to finally resolve this and related matters and to submit an appropriate stipulation to dismiss.“
The case was then subsequently dismissed Dec. 27, bringing an end to the lawsuit.