United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Kathleen B. Burke United States Magistrate Judge
case is before the undersigned on a discovery
dispute. Plaintiff Lauren Kesterson
(“Kesterson”) seeks discovery from Defendant Kent
State University (“KSU”) regarding KSU's
handling, including investigation, of all reports of sexual
harassment, discrimination, or assault made by persons other
than Plaintiff at KSU's main campus during the 5-year
period beginning August 2010.
argues that the discovery is relevant to her claim against
KSU under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20
U.S.C. § 1681, et seq., which is Claim 1 of her
First Amended Complaint (“FAC”). Claim 1 alleges
that KSU acted improperly and in violation of Title IX in the
manner in which it responded to reports Kesterson made in
2014 and 2015 regarding a sexual assault against her that
occurred in 2012; Claim 1 does not allege that KSU
is liable for the underlying 2012 assault.
objects to the discovery, arguing that it is not relevant to
Claim 1, that it would violate the privacy expectations of
other students and employees, and that it is overly
burdensome. Doc. 83, p. 2.
explained below, neither Claim 1 nor the case law cited by
Kesterson supports the discovery she seeks. Accordingly, the
undersigned finds that she is not entitled to that discovery.
The First Amended Complaint
The FAC's Factual Allegations
First Amended Complaint (“FAC”) (Doc. 20) alleges
that she is a former member of the varsity softball team at
KSU, which was coached by Defendant Karen Linder
(“Linder”). She alleges that, in December 2012,
she was raped by Linder's son. Doc. 20, p. 6,
mid-May 2014, Kesterson reported the rape to Linder.
Id., pp. 9-10, ¶¶56-63. Following
Kesterson's report to Linder, Linder violated a number of
KSU's policies by failing to report the assault to
KSU's Title IX coordinator. Linder also failed to take
any steps to address the assault; all she did was instruct
Kesterson not to tell anyone about it. Id., p. 13,
August 24, 2015, Kesterson met with KSU's Deputy
Coordinator for Title IX and signed a Title IX complaint
against Linder. Id., p. 19, ¶¶113-116.
Four days later, Linder resigned from KSU. Id., p.
21, ¶127. On January 8, 2016, after being contacted by
Kesterson's attorney, KSU issued a report on its
investigation of Kesterson's complaint. Id., p.
Claim 1 of the FAC
of the FAC is captioned “Sex discrimination including
retaliation against Kent State University under Title IX of
the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §§
1681- 1688.” Doc. 20, p. 35. Claim 1 alleges that
Kesterson's report to Linder in May 2014 gave KSU actual
notice of the sexual assault against Kesterson (id., p., 36,
¶221) and that Kesterson's report to the Title IX
Deputy Coordinator in August 2015 gave KSU actual knowledge
of Linder's discriminatory conduct in covering up
Kesterson's complaint about the rape. Id., p.
38, ¶247. Claim 1 asserts that KSU “was
deliberately indifferent to the sex-based harassment that Ms.
Kesterson reported” to Linder and the Title IX Deputy
Coordinator and that KSU “acted with gender-based
discriminatory intent in failing to respond to her complaints
including taking adequate steps to prevent
retaliation.” Id., p. 40, ¶¶ 269,