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On April 4, 2011 the Department of Education issued its disastrous “Dear Colleague” letter to colleges and universities across the United States, requiring administrators who had neither the investigative nor prosecutorial prowess of the criminal justice system to determine the guilt and innocence of students accused of felony sexual assault, and to reach their conclusions independent of whatever the police and courts decide.

Worse – the Department of Education demanded these schools determine guilt via a radically low standard of evidence for sex-assault cases: the “preponderance of evidence” standard. Under this model if an administrator feels that there might be a 50.01% chance that the alleged crime occurred, he/she must find the student guilty (“responsible”) for sexual assault. This is further complicated by the lack of numerous other procedural safeguards and methods of evidentiary examination.

Predictably, a wave of lawsuits soon erupted as young men wrongly accused of sex crimes found themselves hustled through a vague and misshapen adjudication process with slipshod checks and balances and Kafkaesque standards of evidence. This page is dedicated to cataloging their legal challenges against schools which – they allege – have violated their rights to due process, unjustly destroyed their names, deprived them of educational opportunities, and committed various other injustices against them in the name of “just following orders.”

This database exists as a public service to victims, their families, attorneys, advocates, journalists, scholars, and concerned citizens. Because it maintains records of due concerning sexual assault cases in particular (not sexual misconduct in general) sexual harassment cases will not be included in the database at this time; AVFMS will maintaining unpublished records of such cases, however, in the event that the database will be expanded.

The Database – Updated 7/17/15

Note: this database is sorted alphabetically by state, but can be resorted by clicking on the column headers. Feel free to also use the search bar on the right. Click previous/next at the bottom to move between pages.

StateSchoolDate FiledPlaintiffPlaintiff's Attorney(s)Legal File(s)Summary, Distinctive AttributesOutcome
StateSchoolDate FiledPlaintiffPlaintiff's Attorney(s)Legal File(s)Summary, Distinctive AttributesOutcome
CaliforniaOccidental College2014-2-19John DoeThe Law Firm of J. Werksman & Associates.
Attorneys: Mark Werksman, Mark Hathaway
(1) Complaint, part I; (2) Complaint, part II (includes screenshots of text messages between accuser / accused)

Order granting stay of administrative sanctions

Petitioner's reply to Occidental College's response to the Court's OSC re contempt
Story at Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).Pending
CaliforniaOccidental College2014-8-20John DoeAlec Rose, PCPetition for writ of administrative mandate; verification; exhibitsPending.
CaliforniaSan Diego State University2015-4-8Francisco SousaLaw Office of Domenic J. Lombardo
Attorney: Domenic J. Lombardo
Petition for writ of administrative mandate; verification; exhibitsSee article at KBPSPending
CaliforniaUniversity of California - San Diego2015-4-2John DoeHaberkorn & Associates
Attorney: Matthew Haberkorn
Co-counsel: Mark Hathaway
Amended petition for writ of administrative mandate; verification; exhibits

Ex parte application for stay of Title IX and student conduct proceedings; declaration of petitioner; proposed order
See article at The San Diego Union-TribuneJudge issued Order, stating:

"The Court finds that the hearing was unfair and that evidence did not support the findings. The Court GRANTS the Petition for Writ of Mandamus and orders Respondent to set aside its findings and sanctions issued against petitioner."
CaliforniaUniversity of California - Santa Barbara2015-4-3John DoeNesenoff & Miltenberg, LLP.
Attorney: Andrew T. Miltenberg
ComplaintJurisdiction - "[the accused] male was on leave of absence and the [alleged misconduct] was after the semester was over and the female accuser was transferring to another school."
See post at Legal Insurrection
CaliforniaUniversity of Southern California2014 (early year)John DoeScheper Kim & Harris, LLP
Attorneys: David Scheper, Marc Harris, Amos Lowder
Petition for writ of mandate; immediate stay requested of respondent's March 24, 2014 decision and all sanctions imposed against petitionerPending.
CaliforniaUniversity of Southern California2014 (late year)John DoeThe Law Firm of J. Werksman & Associates.
Attorneys: Mark Werksman, Mark Hathaway
Ex parte application for stay of administrative sanctions; memorandum; declaration re notice; declaration of John Doe; exhibits

Petition for writ of administrative mandate; verification; exhibits
ColoradoUniversity of Colorado-Boulder2014-11-7John DoeNesenoff & Miltenberg, LLP.
Attorney: Andrew T. Miltenberg
ComplaintStory in The Albuquerque JournalCase settled; read more in The Chronicle of Higher Education
ColoradoWestern State Colorado University2013-10-8Keifer JohnsonStross Legal.
Attorney: Gregory Robert Stross
See documents at Justia.comRead the case summary by Cynthia Garrett at NCFM-CarolinasPending
ConnecticutYale University2015-4-24John DoeThe Law Offices of Gary Kurtz
Attorney: Gary Kurtz
ComplaintAccuser allegedly conspired with another student; involves Native American rivals.Pending
ConnecticutWesleyan University2014-11-20John DoeNesenoff & Miltenberg, LLP.
Attorney: Andrew T. Miltenberg
DelawareDelaware State University2013Andre L. HenryThe Norman Law Firm.

Attorney: Daniel C. Herr
Story in Delaware Online.Confidential settlement.
FloridaUniversity of South Florida2015-3-25John DoeCarney Law Firm, P.A.
Attorney: Nathan Adam Carney
Order, filed 2015-5-29Story at The Tampa Tribune

The University of South Florida had sent notice via email (twice and with “high importance”) to a student who had been accused of sexual assault and requested his participation in the investigation and disciplinary process. The student deleted the emails without reading them because he did not recognize the name of the sender, resulting in his summary expulsion.
The student brought a due process and a Title IX claim against USF, both of which were dismissed. The court rejected his due process claim on the grounds that it was premature to sue the university for lack of due process without first going through all of the appeal procedures the university provides.

The court also dismissed the student’s Title IX claim because he did not allege any intentional discrimination on the university’s part, only that its procedure for handing sexual assault has a disparate impact on male students, a claim not recognized under Title IX’s private right of action. Though the court gave the plaintiff permission to amend his complaint to include allegations of intentional sex discrimination, it predicted that such efforts would be “futile.”
GeorgiaAgnes Scott CollegeAmanda HartleyBell Law Firm.
Attorney: Lloyd Bell
Appellant brief for Supreme Court of Georgia.Female plaintiff.
See appellant brief for case summary.
Supreme Court ruled campus police officers are not state employees and are therefore not entitled to immunity. SC granted certiorari; case pending.
IllinoisKnox CollegeJack BlankJim Rochford & Associates Law Firm
Attorneys: Jim Rochford, Timothy P. Cushing
Order, filed 2015-1-26A male student at Knox College was disciplined for sexual assault of two female students. In his lawsuit against the college, he argued that there were procedural deficiencies in the grievance proceeding that resulted in his discipline, such as not being able to present all exculpatory evidence or cross-examine one of his accusers who did not attend the hearing. Without deciding whether the alleged procedural deficiencies constituted violations of state law (claims over which the court had no jurisdiction), the court dismissed the plaintiff’s Title IX claim due to the plaintiff’s failure to allege specific facts that support a conclusion that the university intentionally deprived the plaintiff of procedural rights because of his sex.
IllinoisNorthwestern University2014Peter LudlowOpinion and orderPlaintiff a professor at the school.
Story in The Daily Northwestern
Defamation and Title IX case dismissed 2015-2-5; plaintiff may file amended
IndianaDePauw University2014-3-17Benjamin KingComplaint (fee required)Story in the university newspaper (page 1 and page 3).Confidential settlement.
IowaIowa State University2014Yempabou ("Bubu") PaloParrish Kruidenier"
Attorneys: Matthew M. Boles, Adam C. Witosky
Order (Iowa Court of Appeals)

Order (District Court)
Distinctive attribute (from Order): "The charges stemmed from a report by a female ISU student, H.B, of unwelcome sexual encounters with Palo and Spencer Cruise (who was not an ISU student)..."

Story in Ames Tribune
The district court overturned the sanctions imposed by ISU against Palo, who was finishing up his final two semesters. The court's appeal was dismissed as moot because Palo had already graduated.
LouisiannaTulane University1992Sean AhlumRuling by Louisianna Court of AppealsSee court ruling for case summary.District court ordered new campus administrative hearing.
LouisianaTulane University2010-10-25I.F.Lowe Stein.
Attorneys: Michael R. Allweiss, Melanie Lockett
Order Reversing I.F.'s Dismissal from Tulane UniversityDownload the case summary, written by Cindy GarrettCourt ordered Tulane University to reverse I.F.'s dismissal on 2014-12-23
MaineColby College2003Kevin MillienFull text of the ruling.Story in Bangor Daily NewsMaine Supreme Court affirmed trial court’s ruling that the school did not breach its contract.
MaineUniversity of Maine2003Stefan Gomes, Paris MinorRichardson, Whitman, Large, and Badger.Opinion of the courtStory in Bangor Daily NewsRuled in favor of university on all counts, 2005-4-8
MarylandSalisbury University2014Austin Morales, Patrick O'HaraRosenberg & Ball.
Attorney: Eric Rosenberg
Cockey, Brennan, & Maloney

Memorandum in-support of plaintiff's opposition to defendant Salisbury University's Randall Lee, and Helena Hill's motion to dismiss fourth amended complaint

Memorandum in support of plaintiff's opposition to defendant Teresa Roger's motion to dismiss or in the alternative motion for summary judgment
MassachusettsAmherst College2015-5-29John DoeTodd & Weld, LLP
Attorneys: Max D. Stern, Megan Deluhery, Hilary Lehmann
ComplaintStory in The Boston Globe and MassLive

Expelled man was drunk at the time of the alleged misconduct, and text messages from accuser contradict claims of victimization.
MassachusettsAmherst College2014-3-18John DoeSasson, Turnbull, Ryan, & Hoose.
Attorneys: Luke Ryan, David P. Hoose
ComplaintStory in Massachusetts LiveConfidential settlement. Read the story in MassLive.
MassachusettsBoston College2015-3-11John Doe, Mary Doe, James DoeDLA Piper
Attorneys: Charles Wayne, Matthew Iverson
Complaint Story in The Boston GlobePending.
MassachusettsCollege of the Holy Cross2011-9-13Edwin BleilerNicole Colby Longton, Attorney at Law.
Attorney: Nicole Colby Longton
Complaint; the school’s answer

Memorandum and Order
Story by Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)The district court ruled in favor of the College's decision. Bleiler filed a notice of appeal to the First Circuit on October 3, 2013, which is still pending.
MassachusettsBrandeis University1996David SchaerFull text of case outcome.See case materials at FIRE.School found in breach of contract.
MassachusettsBrandeis University2015-4-9John DoeConrad O'Brien.
Attorney: Patricia Hamill
ComplaintHomosexual relationship between accuser and accused.Pending.
MassachusettsWilliams College2013-7-19John DoeComplaint (fee required).

Docket: 1:13-cv-11740-FDS
Settlement on 2014-9-9
MassachusettsUniversity of Massachusetts – Amherst2014-3-18James HaidakSasson, Turnbull, Ryan, & Hoose.
Attorney: Luke Ryan
Bonnie G. Allen Law Offices.
Attorney: Bonnie G. Allen
Story in Boston Business JournalPending
MassachusettsUniversity of Massachusetts – Amherst2014John DoeNesenoff & Miltenberg, LLP.
Attorney: Andrew T. Miltenberg
Story in The Boston GlobePending
MichiganUniversity of Michigan – Ann Arbor2014-4-23Drew SterrettLaw Offices of Deborah L. Gordon.
Attorney: Deborah Gordon
Complaint.Story in Massachusetts LivePending
MinnesotaUniversity of Minnesota - Twin Cities2015-1-26John DoeRosenberg & Ball.
Attorney: Eric Rosenberg

Hellmuth & Johnson
Attorney: Marshall H. Tanick
ComplaintSlander suit by plaintiff against alleged false accuser (who both remained students at the time of the complaint filing), rather than a suit against the university.Pending
MinnesotaUniversity of Minnesota2010Noah BergeCourt's rulingStory in Higher Ed MorningJudge ordered a new campus administrative hearing for Berge, on grounds that the previous one was “arbitrary and capricious.”
New JerseyDrew University2014Kevin ParisiLaw Offices of Jan Meyer and Associates.
Attorney: Solomon Rubin
Story in NJ.comPending
New YorkColgate University2014-3-24Abrar FaiazCivil Docket # 5:14-cv-00322-GTS-ATBRead the case summary at SAVE ServicesPending
New YorkColumbia University2014-5-19John DoeNesenoff & Miltenberg, LLP.
Attorney: Andrew T. Miltenberg

Opinion and order, filed 2015-4-21; alternative document from Lexis-Nexis
Story in The Daily PrincetonianJudge dismissed plaintiff's complaint alleging gender discrimination; "As the Court reasoned, there were “many possible explanations for [the school’s conduct], among them time constraints, laziness, or just that it was standard procedure to do so.”
New YorkCornell University2015-3-19John DoeNesenoff & Miltenberg, LLP.
Attorney: Andrew T. Miltenberg
ComplaintStory in The Wall Street JournalPending.
New YorkColumbia University2015-4-29Paul NungesserNesenoff & Miltenberg, LLP.
Attorney: Andrew T. Miltenberg
ComplaintArticles at A Voice for Male Students, The Daily Beast, and The Columbia SpectatorPending
New YorkUniversity of Rochester2011-12-25Dylan RouthWicks Law.
Attorney: Jeffery Wicks
Decision and order of the district court judge Charles Siragusa.Refer to the decision and orderAll claims but defamation dismissed; referred to magistrate judge. Pending.
New YorkVassar College2013-6-25Peter YuNesenoff & Miltenberg, LLP.
Attorney: Andrew T. Miltenberg
Complaint; Vassar College’s answer
Opinion and Order
Bias concern - judge was recommended to her post by Kirsten Gillibrand, a senator prominent for spearheading the issue of sexual assault on campus.
Story at Minding the Campus
2015-3-31: Vassar's motion for summary judgment granted; gender bias claim rejected; case dismissed.
North CarolinaAppalachian State University2014-11-4Lanston TanyiComplaint
Amended complaint
Docket 5:14-cv-170
Story at Channel 9 WSOCTVPending
North CarolinaDuke University2014-5-2Lewis McLeodSchwartz & Schaw.
Attorney: Rachel B. Hitch
Original complaint

Plaintiff's motion for leave to file amended complaint

Verified amended complaint, part one

Verified amended complaint, part two

Order granting injunction to prevent expulsion
Story at Indy WeekPending
North CarolinaDuke University2007Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, David EvansUntil Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson. York: St. Martin’s Press. 2007, (2)Durham-in-WonderlandPlaintiffs declared innocent in 2007, received settlement.
OhioCleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine & Case Western Reserve University (partners)2014-9-15John DoeFriedman & Gilbert
Attorney: Terry Gilbert
ComplaintStory in Cleveland.com.Pending
OhioDenison University2010-5Joseph GalanoRosenberg & Ball.
Attorney: Eric Rosenberg
Amended complaint.Story in Newark AdvocateConfidential settlement
OhioDenison University2011-11-28Lucas GortonRosenberg & Ball.
Attorney: Eric Rosenberg
ComplaintRefer to complaintConfidential settlement
OhioDenison University2013-12-10Zackary HuntRosenberg & Ball.
Attorney: Eric Rosenberg
Complaint, with discovery and exhibit

Agreed dismissal entry
Story in The DenisonianConfidential settlement; 2014
OhioDenison University2014-11-5John DoeRosenberg & Ball.
Attorney: Eric Rosenberg

Motion for temporary restraining order against Denison University

Temporary restraining order signed by judge Thomas Marcelain

Certificate of notice for motion of temporary restraining order

Motion for expedited discovery

Motion to seal names of John Doe, John Doe's father, and Defendant
Story in The Newark AdvocateConfidentially resolved, 2015-1.
OhioKenyon College2013-12-5Stephen ZingarelliCavitch, Familio & Durkin.
Attorneys: Gregory O’Brien, Eric Weiss
Article in The Collegian (Kenyon College student newspaper)Pending
OhioMiami University2014-9-3Matthew SahmRichard Vande Ryt
Attorney: Richard Vande Ryt

Fox & Scott, PLLC
Attorney: Bradley Fox

Order granting in part and denying in part motion to dismiss, filed 2015-1-7.
Refer to legal documents for story.2015-1: Nearly all of the plaintiff's claims were dismissed, with leave to replead the Title IX claim.
OhioUniversity of Cincinnati2014-5-5Ethan PeloeOpinion and orderStory in WCPO Cincinnati2015-2-19: Court dismisses without prejudice (i.e. it can be re-filed later). Refer to opinion and order document.
OhioUniversity of Cincinnati2014-11-18John Doe & John DoeMichael K. Allen & AssociatesComplaint for injunctive reliefPress release at Michael K. Allen & Associates

Story by The Cincinnati Enquirer
OhioXavier University2013-8-20Dezmine WellsPeter R. Ginsberg Law.
Peter Ginsberg
Complaint.Story in My NorthwestConfidential settlement; 2014
OregonReed College2015/4/14John DoeAngeli Ungar Law Group LLC
Attorneys: David H. Angeli, Karen L. Tranetski

Buchanan Angeli Altschul & Sullivan LLP
Attorneys: Courtney W. Angeli, Robin Bowerfind
PennsylvaniaBucknell University2010Reed DempseyCivil Suit:
Fox Rothschild, LLP - Attorneys at Law.
Attorney: Dennis Boyle

Criminal Case, and Representation During Student Conduct Hearing:
Shapiro & Becker.
Attorney: Stephen Becker
Co-counsel:Theodore “Ted” Simon

Brief in opposition of Bucknell's motion to dismiss

See case documents at Justia
Story by LCW LegalThe Court granted summary judgment for Bucknell, dismissing plaintiff's case in entirety. Relevant: judge is new to the bench.

An appeal is pending.
PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia University2014Anthony VillarStory in Philadelphia magazine.Pending
PennsylvaniaSaint Joseph’s University2013-7-8Brian HarrisThe Chartwell Law Offices.
Attorney: Kenneth Dubrow
Complaint.Story in BloombergConfidential settlement. Story at The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.
PennsylvaniaShippensburg University2004-10-15Travis RuaneOpinion of the court
871 A.2d 859 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2005)
Decided in Shippensburg University's favor on 2005-2-2
PennsylvaniaSwarthmore College2014-1-23John DoeConrad O'Brien.
Attorney: Patricia Hamill

Joint Motion for Dismissal

Order Granting Joint Motion for Dismissal
Story in Philadelphia MagazineFinding and sanction vacated November 2014
PennsylvaniaTemple University2014-8-12John DoeStory in Philly MagazinePending
PennsylvaniaTemple University2013-8John DoePatricia M. Hoban
Attorney: Patricia M. Hoban
Docket: 2:13-cv-05156None currently available.Settled 2014-10
PennsylvaniaTemple University2011-12-9Tyler JohnsonMemorandum of CourtRefer to the Memorandum of Court for case backgroundTBA
Rhode IslandBrown University1998Adam LackStory in the Brown Daily HeraldConfidential settlement; 1998
Rhode IslandBrown University2010William McCormickChisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick (CCK)
Attorney: J. Scott Kilpatrick
Story in the Brown SpectatorConfidential settlement; 2011
TennesseeSewanee, The University of the South2011John DoeDLA Piper
Attorneys: Charles Wayne, Elisha King
Doe v. Univ. of the S., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35166 (E.D. Tenn. 2011)Story in Times Free PressUniversity found negligent; plaintiff awarded $26k; 2011
TexasUniversity of Houston2014-10-17Ryan McConnell, Natalie PlummerMichael K. Allen & AssociatesComplaint

Docket: 4:14-cv-02959
Female and male plaintiffs.
Story in The Houston Chronicle
VermontMarlboro College2014-4Luke BenningComplaint

Docket: 2:14cv71
Story in The Brattleboro ReformerSettlement on 2014-9.
VermontMiddlebury College1994Ethan FellheimerComplaint:

Fellheimer v. Middlebury Coll., 869 F. Supp. 238, 247 (D. Vt. 1994). Text of ruling here.
Refer to opinion and order by the district courtDistrict court ruled in favor of Fellheimer regarding breach of contract; regarding intentional infliction of emotional distress, it ruled in favor of the college.
VermontVermont Law School2011Joshua VaughanOrder of Court. Complaint: Vaughan v. Vt. Law Sch., Inc., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86429 (D.Vt. 2011).Story at LCW LegalDistrict Court denied all of plaintiff’s motions; Court of Appeals affirmed.
VirginiaJames Madison University2015-5-11John DoeGentry Locke
W. David Paxton
Justin M. Lugar
Bradley C. Tobias
ComplaintSee the article at College InsurrectionPending
VirginiaWashington and Lee University2014-12-12John DoeNesenoff & Miltenberg, LLP.
Attorney: Andrew T. Miltenberg

Memorandum to proceed under pseudonym and protective order

Declaration by Kimberly Lau supporting plaintiff's motion to proceed with protective order and pseudonym
Story at The Roanoke TimesPending
WashingtonGonzaga University2001John DoeComplaint: Doe v. Gonzaga University, 24 P.3d 390, 393-404 (Wash. 2001). The Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of John Doe.Refer to Supreme Court ruling documentState Supreme Court ruled in John Doe’s favor regarding defamation, invasion of privacy, violation of FERPA rights, and breach of contract.
Washington, D.C.George Washington University2011-8-4John DoeKaiser, LeGrand & Dillon PLLC
Attorneys: Gregory S. Smith, Matthew G. Kaiser
Full text of complaint, filed 4/8/2011.See post at The Blog of Legal Times.Settlement