Lawsuit against UWO extended

Joseph Schulz, Managing Editor

The university and a John Doe filed a joint motion to extend an ongoing legal battle between the two parties in the Eastern District Court of Wisconsin on Oct. 24.

The motion will give Doe and his attorney Peter Culp until Nov. 8 to respond to the university’s motion to dismiss the case. The extension also gives UW Oshkosh until Nov. 22 to reply to Doe’s response.

Eastern District Judge Pamela Pepper filed a text-only order to grant the extension on Oct. 25.
The case stems from a March 16, 2019 off-campus Zeta Tau Alpha party where Doe alleges a sorority member invited him, and afterward they had sex.

The woman’s version of events is considered confidential, but on May 13, she reported the encounter as nonconsensual to Associate Dean of Students Joann “Buzz” Bares.

Doe filed a lawsuit against UWO, the UW System Board of Regents and multiple university officials on Sept. 11 that argued the UWO’s Title IX investigation into a possible sexual assault violated his 14th Amendment rights to due process and equal protection under the law.

The lawsuit argued the process was unconstitutional because the university declined to include witness statements in its investigative report and barred Culp from cross-examining the female accusing Doe of sexual assault.

“The student nonacademic misconduct proceeding has been plagued by numerous misrepresentations, errors, lack of communications and other acts and omissions,” the lawsuit said.

The university filed a response on Sept. 25, arguing that Doe’s due process claim was invalid and that UWO’s nonacademic misconduct procedure is constitutional because Doe has not exhausted procedures provided by UWO and the state of Wisconsin.

“The plaintiff did not cite to any legal precedent showing that a student facing Title IX proceedings can be irreparably harmed by simply participating in the process,” the response said.

Culp sent a letter to Judge Pepper on Oct. 4 and on the same day the university’s legal counsel filed a motion to dismiss.

The motion to dismiss built upon the university’s argument that its investigation was constitutional and that Doe’s 14th Amendment claim is invalid.

The brief in support of the motion to dismiss concluded that there is no law supporting the theory that when a university investigates allegations of campus sexual assault the investigators are violating someone’s constitutional rights.

Doe did not file a response to the university’s motion to dismiss prior to publication.