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Furey v. Temple University (E.D. Pa.) (Aug 3, 2010)

Furey v. Temple University (E.D. Pa.) (Aug 3, 2010)

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Court concludes that Facebook friendship undermines fairness of Temple University disciplinary hearing and constitutes Procedural Due Process violation.
Court concludes that Facebook friendship undermines fairness of Temple University disciplinary hearing and constitutes Procedural Due Process violation.

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Published by: Venkat Balasubramani on Aug 09, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The plaintiff names as defendants: Temple University;
Theresa Powell, Vice President of Student Affairs; Anne WeaverHart, President; Brian Foley, University Vice Code Administrator;Ainsley Carry, Dean of Students; Andrea Seiss, Associate Dean ofStudents; M. Moshe Parat, Dean, Fox School of Business; TempleUniversity Review Board; Richard Greenstein, Professor and Chairof the University Disciplinary Committee; Keith Gumery, Professorand Vice-Chair of the University Disciplinary Committee; DianeAdler, Professor and member of the University DisciplinaryCommittee; Jonathan Scott, member of the Faculty Review Board;Bonita Silverman, member of the Faculty Review Board; ValerieHarrison, Judicial Officer of the Student Conduct Committee; andthe Trustees of Temple University.IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIAKEVIN FUREY :CIVIL ACTION:v.::TEMPLE UNIVERSITY, et al.:NO. 09-2474MEMORANDUMMcLaughlin, J.August 2, 2010This action arises out of a decision made by TempleUniversity to expel an undergraduate student, Kevin Furey,because of an altercation he had with Travis Wolfe, an off-dutypolice officer, near campus on April 5, 2008. Furey brings anumber of claims against Temple University and various Templeemployees relating to his expulsion. He seeks to have his
expulsion vacated and a new hearing conducted.The defendants have moved for summary judgment on allclaims. The Court will grant summary judgment on all claimsexcept the claim that Temple and the individual defendants
Case 2:09-cv-02474-MAM Document 167 Filed 08/03/10 Page 1 of 45
2violated the plaintiff’s right to procedural due process in theexpulsion process. The Court finds that there are materialissues of fact in dispute that preclude summary judgment as toTemple and several of the individual defendants on the dueprocess claim. The Court will grant summary judgment on allclaims as to certain defendants who were not at all involved inthe expulsion process.I.The Summary Judgment RecordOn a motion for summary judgment, the Court considersthe evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party.Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 256 (1986).The summary judgment record consists of: Temple’s Codeof Conduct; the transcript of the hearing that led to theplaintiff’s expulsion; depositions taken in this case;depositions from other cases; records of the criminal case thatwas brought against the plaintiff for the same incident that wasthe cause of his expulsion; records of the Internal AffairsInvestigation of Officer Wolfe’s conduct on the night of theincident; documents and letters concerning the plaintiff’shearing and appeal; and certain newspaper articles and internetmaterials.
Case 2:09-cv-02474-MAM Document 167 Filed 08/03/10 Page 2 of 45
3A.Temples Code of ConductThe jurisdiction of Temple’s Code of Conduct extends tobehavior on the University’s campus and 500 yards beyond. TheCode’s mission is to place reasonable limitations on studentconduct to maintain a safe environment. Temple Code of Conduct,Def. Exhibit B, 2. (“Def. Ex. B”) The Code furthers this missionby regulating academic integrity, behavior, alcohol and drugconsumption, security on campus and by maintaining disciplinaryprocedures.When an incident occurs that could be a violation ofthe Code, the University Code Administrator determines whether tocharge the student with violations of the Code. After bringingcharges, the Code Administrator must provide the student chargedwith a notice of the violations and with hearing information, theidentity of witnesses and a description of any evidence filedwith the charges. Def. Ex. B, 3.The Administrator also determines the appropriatehearing process and notifies the investigative body. In makingthis determination, the Administrator considers the severity ofthe potential sanction and the complexity of the factual dispute.Def. Ex. B, 10-11.There are five different bodies that hear charges ofviolations of the code. Complex cases, or those involving themost severe sanctions, are referred to the University
Case 2:09-cv-02474-MAM Document 167 Filed 08/03/10 Page 3 of 45

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