Blog

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit While Title IX Case Crawls Through the System

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Sep 25, 2019 | 0 Comments

A male student at the University of Southern California has seen his lawsuit dismissed while the Title IX case against him proceeds. The lack of progress made in that Title IX case, though, was the reason for the lawsuit. The whole incident highlights how the Title IX system competes with the court system in ways that make it unnecessarily difficult to defend against allegations of sexual misconduct on campus.

Student Files Lawsuit Over Lengthy Title IX Case

The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court and claims that USC's Title IX procedure should be deemed unenforceable.

The male student had been accused of attempted sexual assaultnonconsensual sexual contact, and offensively touching a woman in his dorm room back in October 2016. She was a high school friend of his and attended a different university.

USC's Title IX policies require investigations to conclude within 60 days. In this case, the Title IX investigation was still ongoing, over nine months after the complaint was filed with the school in September 2018. The male student claims that the investigation was being unreasonably delayed, that it was affecting his graduation, and that the length violated established California laws and court cases dealing with Title IX.

He also pointed to two other potential problems with USC's Title IX rules: They did not expressly allow accused students to cross-examine their accusers and allowed investigators to withhold evidence from accused students until the hearing issued its findings. Each of these problems made it far more difficult to defend against a claim of sexual misconduct.

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Because Title IX Case Still Technically Pending

The judge, however, threw the lawsuit out, ruling that the male student still had an obligation to exhaust his administrative remedies before taking his case to court. Because the Title IX case with USC was technically still pending – delayed or not – it was not yet the appropriate time for a court to weigh in on it. Were the court to issue a ruling, the decision went on to say, it would strip the administrative Title IX process of its power.

Judicial Deference to Title IX Cases Can Cause Problems for the Accused

While it is a legally sound decision – courts have long given a lot of deference to administrative proceedings, in the Title IX context and elsewhere – the ruling hurts students who have been accused of sexual misconduct on campus. It reminds them that they have to finish the often flawed Title IX process and face the unfair sanctions that frequently come from it before even initiating a court case that is more likely to reach a reasonable outcome.

For students who are set to graduate, this can pose a serious hassle and can delay their future.

Title IX Defense Lawyer Joseph D. Lento

Joseph D. Lento is a Title IX defense lawyer and a national advisor. Contact him online or call his law office at (888) 535-3686 if you have been accused of sexual misconduct on a college campus and are facing a Title IX investigation.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience passionately fighting for the futures of his clients. Mr. Lento represents students and others in disciplinary cases and other proceedings at universities and colleges locally and nationwide while concurrently fighting in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, and New Jersey. Mr. Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand universities and colleges across the United States. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide.

Comments

There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact Us Today!

Footer 2

If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact our offices today, and let us help secure your academic career.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

Menu