Articles Tagged with University of Maryland

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On April 15, 2024, Judge Richard Bennett of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland permanently enjoined the University of Maryland from suspending or preventing the graduation of Silverman Thompson client John Doe, a second-semester senior at College Park. Doe was the subject of a formal complaint of sexual assault filed a year after he attended a fraternity party with a student from another university.  The State’s Attorney choose not to proceed with criminal charges against him, but the University proceeded with its internal disciplinary process against Doe and imposed the sanction of expulsion, later reduced to a one-year suspension through the school’s appeal process.

With Doe’s timely graduation and the start of his professional career hanging in the balance, Silverman Thompson sought relief on his behalf in federal court, filing a complaint under Title IX and accompanying emergency motion for injunction relief against College Park. On January 3, 2024, Judge Bennett granted the temporary restraining order, which allowed Doe to attended classes in the spring semester and remain on track to graduate.

Silverman Thompson then amended the complaint and motion for preliminary injunction to add a due process claim against College Park’s Title IX coordinator and the hearing officer who decided Doe’s case.  The defendants argued that the due process claim should be dismissed and the injunction denied because Doe had no protected property or liberty interest in his continued enrollment at College Park, and the process he received was sufficient. At hearing on April 15, Judge Bennett rejected those arguments and agreed with Doe’s attorneys that College Park’s procedures violated his due process rights. Doe is now expected to graduate on time this May.

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