United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division
OPINION & ORDER
MICHAEL R. BARRETT, JUDGE
matter is before the Court upon Defendants' Motion to
Dismiss Plaintiff's Amended Complaint. (Doc. 30).
Plaintiff filed a Response (Doc. 31) and Defendants filed a
Reply (Doc. 32).
before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Expedited
Discovery. (Doc.4). The materials requested by Plaintiff were
provided in anticipation of the hearing on Plaintiff's
Motion for Preliminary Injunction. (See Doc. 16). Therefore,
Plaintiff's Motion for Expedited Discovery is DENIED as
John Doe was accused of sexual assault by Jane Roe. Both were
students at the University of Cincinnati at the time. After a
disciplinary hearing, Defendants University of Cincinnati
(“UC”), Aniesha Mitchell, Director of the Office
of Student Conduct and Community Standards, and Juan Guardia,
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of
Students, imposed disciplinary sanctions on Plaintiff.
recitation of the facts is set forth elsewhere (Doc. 20), and
the Court finds it unnecessary to repeat the same here.
November 30, 2016, this Court granted Plaintiff's Motion
for Preliminary Injunction and enjoined Defendants from
imposing the one-year suspension on Plaintiff. While
Plaintiff brought a number of claims, Plaintiff's Motion
for Preliminary Injunction was focused on Defendants'
failure to permit Plaintiff to confront his accuser.
Defendants appealed the granting of the injunction. (Doc.
22). While the appeal was pending, Plaintiff filed his
Amended Complaint (Doc. 24); and Defendants filed their
Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 30). On September 25, 2017, the Sixth
Circuit affirmed this Court's grant of the Preliminary
Injunction. John Doe v. University of Cincinnati,
872 F.3d 393 (6th Cir. 2017). A number of arguments made by
the parties are no longer valid based upon the Sixth
Circuit's ruling in this case and in other cases decided
by the Sixth Circuit after the briefing on the Motion to
Dismiss was completed.
Motion to Dismiss Standard
reviewing a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a
claim, this Court must "construe the complaint in the
light most favorable to the plaintiff, accept its allegations
as true, and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the
plaintiff." Bassett v. National Collegiate Athletic
Ass'n, 528 F.3d 426, 430 (6th Cir. 2008) (quoting
Directv, Inc. v. Treesh, 487 F.3d 471, 476 (6th Cir.
2007)). "[T]o survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint
must contain (1) 'enough facts to state a claim to relief
that is plausible, ' (2) more than 'a formulaic
recitation of a cause of action's elements, ' and (3)
allegations that suggest a 'right to relief above a
speculative level.'" Tackett v. M&G
Polymers, USA, LLC, 561 F.3d 478, 488 (6th Cir. 2009)
(quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544 (2007)). A claim has facial plausibility when the pleaded
factual content allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 663
argue that Plaintiff's due process claims in Counts I and
II are barred by the Eleventh Amendment. Count I seeks a
declaratory judgment “that the UC Code of Conduct, as
applied to John Doe, violates the Due Process Clause of the
United States Constitution, the Due Course of Law Clause of
the Ohio Constitution, and the requirement of the OAC that
any hearing process be consistent with the customs of a free
society.” Count II is a claim brought under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 against Aniesha Mitchell and Juan Guardia
(“the Individual Defendants”) in their official
capacities for injunctive relief “prohibiting the
imposition of, or reporting of, any disciplinary actions
under the UC Code of Student Conduct.”
Amendment immunity “bars all suits, whether for
injunctive, declaratory or monetary relief, against the state
and its departments, by citizens of another state, foreigners
or its own citizens.” McCormick v. Miami
Univ., 693 F.3d 654, 661 (6th Cir. 2012) (quoting
Thiokol Corp. v. Dep't of Treasury, 987 F.2d
376, 381 (6th Cir. 1993)). However, the Eleventh Amendment
does not preclude a suit against the Individual Defendants
for prospective injunctive relief. See id. at 662
(citing McKay v. Thompson, 226 F.3d 752, 757 (6th
Sixth Circuit has held that a request that individual
defendants sued in their official capacity be enjoined from
reporting any disciplinary actions taken by the university
would not require the court to grant any retroactive or
compensatory remedy. Doe v. Cummins, 662 Fed.Appx.
437, 444 (6th Cir. 2016). “Rather, the individual
defendants would merely be compelled to remove the negative
notation from [the plaintiffs'] disciplinary records that
resulted from the allegedly unconstitutional disciplinary
process.” Id. The Sixth Circuit also held that
the plaintiffs' request for a declaratory judgment that
the individual defendants violated their constitutional
rights in the past was not barred by the Eleventh Amendment
because it is ancillary to a prospective injunction designed
to remedy a continuing violation of federal law. Id.
to the extent that Plaintiff's requested relief seeks an
injunction prohibiting further enforcement of the
disciplinary sanction against him or seeks declaratory relief
regarding past constitutional violations, Plaintiff's