Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Doe v. Baylor University

United States District Court, W.D. Texas, Waco Division

March 23, 2018

JANE DOE, Plaintiff,
v.
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY, Defendant.

          ORDER

          ROBERT PITMAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Jane Doe (“Plaintiff”), a former student at Baylor University who alleges that she was sexually assaulted during her freshman year, brings this suit against Defendant Baylor University (“Defendant” or “Baylor”). (Compl., Dkt. 1, ¶¶ 1-2, 6-7). Plaintiff seeks to hold Baylor liable under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 (“Title IX”), which provides that “[n]o person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” 20 U.S.C. § 1681(a); (Compl., Dkt. 1, ¶ 114-31). She requests a mandatory injunction ordering Defendant to: (1) “refrain from unlawful discrimination and/or retaliation”; (2) “undertake and rectify any and all Title IX violations and/or inequities”; (3) “refrain from creating and condoning a hostile sexual harassment and/or discriminati[ng] environment against individuals on the basis of sex by immediately ceasing deliberate indifference to sexual assaults”; and (4) “cease interference with the disciplinary process in favor of students who were charged with sexual assault.” (Id. ¶ 145). Currently before the Court is Defendant's Partial Motion to Dismiss, (Dkt. 9), through which the university seeks dismissal of Plaintiff's post-reporting claims and claim for injunctive relief.

         I. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), a court may dismiss a complaint for “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). “To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a complaint ‘does not need detailed factual allegations, ' but must provide the [plaintiff's] grounds for entitlement to relief-including factual allegations that when assumed to be true ‘raise a right to relief above the speculative level.'” Cuvillier v. Taylor, 503 F.3d 397, 401 (5th Cir. 2007) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). That is, “a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). “[A] motion to dismiss under 12(b)(6) ‘is viewed with disfavor and is rarely granted.'” Turner v. Pleasant, 663 F.3d 770, 775 (5th Cir. 2011) (quoting Harrington v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 563 F.3d 141, 147 (5th Cir. 2009)).

         II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff enrolled at Baylor, where she was a member of the women's volleyball team, in the fall of 2011. (Compl., Dkt. 1, ¶ 6). She alleges that she was gang-raped at an off-campus location by between four and eight Baylor football players on February 11, 2012. (Id. ¶¶ 7, 51, 74, 78).

         Plaintiff alleges that her mother met with an assistant football coach in July 2012; her mother reportedly “did not reveal her daughter's name” but “did provide the coach with a list of the players who were involved in Plaintiff's sexual assault.” (Id. ¶¶ 51, 83). That coach subsequently spoke to two of the involved players and to other Baylor football coaches, but allegedly took no further action. (Id. ¶ 84).

         After Baylor football players burglarized her apartment, Plaintiff alleges, she met with Art Briles-then Baylor's head football coach-to report the incident and the names of the players involved. (Id. ¶ 51). She and her parents also allegedly met with two members of the volleyball coaching staff, informing them of the sexual assault and identifying the relevant players. (Id.). The head volleyball coach reportedly informed Briles and Baylor Athletic Director Ian McCaw of the same information. (Id. ¶ 98). Plaintiff left Baylor after the spring 2013 semester, (id. ¶ 6), but reported her assault to an individual identified as “Baylor's [f]ootball [c]haplain” in the fall of 2013, (id. ¶ 51).

         Plaintiff alleges that she was “repeatedly subjected to verbal abuse and public humiliation” by Baylor football players following her assault. (Id. ¶ 80; see also Id. ¶ 51). Specifically, she claims the football players “harassed both Plaintiff and her family members via text message” and harassed Plaintiff verbally both on- and off-campus. (Id. ¶ 85). Plaintiff avers that she “was forced to face her assailants” both in the classroom and during volleyball practice and training sessions. (Id. ¶¶ 86-88).

         III. POST-REPORTING CLAIMS

         Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in all federally-funded educational programs. 20 U.S.C. § 1681(a). Specifically, it provides:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

Id. When Congress first passed Title IX more than forty years ago, it had two related objectives: first, Congress wanted to prevent federal funds from being used to support discriminatory practices; second, it wanted to provide individuals “effective protection against those practices.” Cannon v. Univ. Chic., 441 U.S. 677, 704 (1979); see also 118 Cong. Rec. 5730 (1972) (statement of Senator Birch Bayh) (“The amendment we are debating is a strong and comprehensive measure which I believe is needed if we are to provide women with solid legal protection as they seek education and training for later careers. . . . As a matter of principle, our national policy should prohibit sex discrimination at all levels of education.”). When private universities like Baylor accept funding through various federal programs, including by enrolling students who receive federal funds to pay for their education, they become subject to the requirements of Title IX. See Nat'l Collegiate Athletic Ass'n v. Smith, 525 U.S. 459, 466 (1999).

         Title IX is enforceable through an individual's private right of action and allows for the recovery of damages. Davis Next Friend LaShonda D. v. Monroe Cty. Bd. of Educ., 526 U.S. 629, 639 (1999) (citing Cannon, 441 U.S. 677 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.