United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
ST. EVE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
November 7, 2017, Plaintiff John Doe (“Doe”)
brought the present Amended Complaint against Defendants Jane
Roe and Columbia College Chicago (“CCC”),
collectively “Defendants, ” in which he added a
breach of contract claim against CCC to his previous claims.
Before the Court is CCC's motion to dismiss the breach of
contract claim brought pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6). For the following reasons, the Court
grants CCC's motion to dismiss.
case arises from an alleged sexual assault that occurred at
CCC and the discipline that resulted from that alleged
assault. Plaintiff and Defendant Roe were both students at
CCC in 2015, and after they had a sexual interaction on
December 11, 2015, Roe accused Plaintiff of sexually
assaulting her when she was incapacitated by alcohol. (R. 1,
Compl. ¶¶ 4, 22-23.) CCC then suspended Plaintiff
for the 2016-17 academic year-a decision Plaintiff claims was
wrongful. (Id. ¶ 23.) Doe alleges that CCC
violated its own policies by failing to adequately address
his complaints of harassment and by suspending him without
sufficient evidence of misconduct.
considering this motion, the Court presumes familiarity with
the background of this action as set forth in its previous
order and does not recite a detailed background here. The
Court will provide a brief factual and procedural background
focusing on the allegations relevant to Doe's breach of
October 25, 2017, the Court dismissed all Doe's claims
against CCC. (R. 47, October 25, 2017 Opinion.) The Court
dismissed Doe's Title IX claims largely because Doe
failed to allege that any harassment or discrimination he
suffered was gender-based and because he failed to allege
that CCC treated similarly situated individuals differently
than him. (Id.) The Court dismissed Doe's
promissory estoppel claim finding that the language in
CCC's policies did not constitute the type of unambiguous
promise required to support such a claim. (Id.) The
Court also dismissed Doe's other Illinois common law
claims. (Id.) Although the Court gave Doe leave to
amend these claims, Doe has included the exact claims the
Court dismissed without adding new allegations to attempt to
cure the defects in his original claims. Accordingly, these
claims remain dismissed.
Amended Complaint, Doe only adds one new claim-a breach of
contract claim in Count XI. (R. 50, Am. Compl. ¶¶
209-13.) CCC now moves to dismiss this claim.
The Incident and CCC's Investigation
February 2016, Roe filed a complaint with CCC alleging that
Doe sexually assaulted Roe on December 11, 2015 when she was
incapacitated by alcohol. (Id. ¶ 4.) In her
complaint, Roe alleged that, without consent, Doe kissed her,
disrobed her, touched her genital area and rear end, put
Roe's hand on his genital area, and physically prevented
her from leaving the room. (Id., Ex. A1
On February 3, 2016, Sarah Shaaban, CCC's assigned
investigator, met with Doe to discuss Roe's allegations,
and at that initial meeting, Doe did not identify any
witnesses or additional evidence. (Id. 29.) Shaaban
created an intake form after this meeting, and the form
indicates that Doe and Roe met in fall 2015 and began texting
casually. (Id. 129.) The form also indicates that
Doe took LSD on December 11, before his encounter with Roe.
(Id. 130.) In the meeting, Doe told Shaaban that he
and Roe engaged in consensual oral sex and kissing, and that
she texted him the next day indicating that she had a good
time. (Id.) Shabaan also met with Roe and created an
intake form after this meeting, which states that Roe told
Shabaan that Doe had engaged in sexual conduct with Roe while
she was incapacitated. (Id. 133.)
February 26, 2016, Doe met with Beverly Anderson, CCC's
Title IX Coordinator, who informed him that she had
determined that, under CCC's Student Sexual Misconduct
Policy & Procedures (“SMP”), she believed a
hearing was necessary. (Id. 15, 17.) Doe responded
with a letter on March 13, 2016, in which he indicated that
any allegations of sexual misconduct were false and informed
Anderson that Roe and her friends had defamed him and
physically assaulted him. (Id. 1; Am. Compl.
¶¶ 8-15, 28.) Doe alleges that he promptly reported
the physical assault to security. (Id. ¶ 30.)
CCC Assistant General Counsel Adam Weiss responded to
Doe's letter and asked Doe to provide him with the names
of the individuals who assaulted him and posted about him on
social media. (Ex. A119.) Doe did not provide those names,
and instead, indicated that he had already provided those
names to a CCC security guard, Marco, who explained that he
was already aware of allegations against Doe. (Id.
22.) Doe requested that CCC provide any information it had
collected about the defamation and assault incidents.
response, Anderson requested to meet with Doe, and he
declined to do so without representation. (Id.
23-24.) On March 29, 2016, Anderson replied that Doe could
bring a support person pursuant to the SMP. (Id.
25.) Doe responded that he would prefer to discuss the matter
over email, and noted that Roe's friends “flipped
[him] off” on campus. (Id. 26.) Anderson
responded that she would “look into” that
incident. (Id. 27.) On April 8, 2016, Doe sent CCC a
social media post that stated: “@coolandcozy one of my
best friends punched [Doe] in the face. [I]t was immediately
reported to the police and the dean. Isn't that
cute.” (Am. Compl. ¶ 31.) On April 8, 2016, CCC
Associate Dean Wilson-Taylor responded to Doe in a letter
stating that CCC was not able to initially identify the
student, but that CCC had addressed the issue with the female
student and asking Doe to inform him if the student
interacted with him at all. (Id. ¶ 32.) Ron
Sodini, Associate VP for Campus Safety, also contacted Doe
and met with him on April 14 and April 18 to address his
concerns. (Ex. A1 54, 56.)
about April 22, 2016, Doe informed CCC that a CCC student
texted Doe's then girlfriend, who is now his wife, and
told her he was a “rapist” who was “lucky
he has his teeth.” (Am. Compl. ¶ 40.) On April 25,
2016, CCC sent Doe a letter informing him that CCC had spoken
to the student and told him not to have any contact with Doe
or his wife. (Id. ¶ 41.) CCC also contacted
Doe's step-mother to inform her that CCC was addressing
the issues with Doe. (Ex. A1 72-73.) Despite these
communications, Doe alleges that CCC refused to accommodate
Doe's wife when she wanted to be in a different class
than Roe after Roe threated to fight her on social media.
(Id.) Doe alleges that these interactions are
evidence of CCC's repeated refusal to discipline students
who were engaging in retaliation in violation of Title IX.
(Id. ¶¶ 42-43.)
CCC's Disciplinary Proceeding
claims that he repeatedly put CCC on notice that its
disciplinary proceeding violated its own policies.
(Id. ¶ 45.) In a March 13 letter, for example,
Doe informed CCC of the following violations, among others:
• SMP § XIV(C)(1) - “the Coordinator . . .
shall serve . . . the Respondent with written notification
than an Actionable claim has been filed, a description of the
type of Sexual Misconduct alleged . . ., and the
• SMP § XIV(C)(2) - “the Coordinator shall
meet . . . the Respondent to apprise [him] of [his] rights
under this Policy and to . . . provide . . . notice of the
types of information that likely will ...