2d Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Title IX Claim Against Colgate University

In Doe v. Colgate University, 2019 WL 190515 (2d Cir. Jan. 15, 2019) (Summary Order), the court affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff’s Title IX claim.

The court summarized the law:

Under Title IX …, “[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). Thus, “Title IX bars the imposition of university discipline where gender is a motivating factor in the decision to discipline.” Yusuf v. Vassar Coll., 35 F.3d 709, 715 (2d Cir. 1994). Title IX claims concerning disciplinary proceedings generally follow either an “erroneous outcome” theory or a “selective enforcement” theory.

Plaintiff here proceeded on an “erroneous outcome” theory, which required him to demonstrate “(1) articulable doubt [as to] the accuracy of the outcome of the disciplinary proceeding, and (2) that “gender bias was a motivating factor behind the erroneous finding.”

Applying the law, the court concluded that “[a]ssuming that his insistence that the sexual encounters were consensual was sufficient to raise a disputed issue of material fact on the question of misconduct, to resist summary judgment John Doe must demonstrate a genuine dispute of material fact as to whether Colgate’s actions were motivated by gender bias.” The Second Circuit agreed with the district court that he did not do so.