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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Duke Lacrosse Civil Suits Allowed To Move Forward

A federal judge in the Middle District of North Carolina has allowed civil lawsuits by Duke lacrosse players wrongly accused of rape to move forward. 

In the first case, Evans et al. v. City of Durham et al., for which the 98-page opinion is embedded below, the court granted in part and denied in part motions to dismiss.  This case appears to involve the players criminally charged who settled with Duke, so the university is not a party.

While it will take a while to analyze the opinion, this part jumped out at me (pp 49-50):
"Having considered Plaintiffs’ contentions in the present case with respect to the City, the Court concludes that Plaintiffs have sufficiently stated a claim for Monell liability against the City at this stage in the case. Specifically, the Court concludes that Plaintiffs have alleged that the City had a policy of targeting Duke students that led to multiple constitutional violations against Duke students, particularly by Gottlieb, and that the City through its final policymaking officials nevertheless continued the policy and ratified and condoned those violations. Plaintiffs have stated a plausible claim that this condoning of constitutional violations in the enforcement of the policy led to the constitutional violations and injuries alleged by Plaintiffs in the present case.[11 Whether evidence exists to support this contention  is not a question before the Court on the present motions. Of course, at later stages in the case, Plaintiffs will be required to present evidence to support these contentions, including evidence to establish the existence of an official policy or custom, and proof that the policy was the cause of the constitutional violation and injuries alleged here."
In the second case, McFaydyen et al v. Duke University et al., the court, in a 223 page opinion (copy here), the court allowed claims by three other players to move forward towards trial.  In a third case, Carrington v. Duke University et al., involving even more players, a similar opinion was entered. 

These second two cases which the judge noted were related to each other and the first case, but not consolidated, also involve claims against Duke and numerous of it employees, as well as various police officials.

What this means is the the plaintiffs in all cases, comprising numerous the players, now will get to take depositions, subpeona evidence and otherwise find out precisely what went on in the City of Durham and at Duke which led to their almost being railroaded.

Update:  Prof. KC Johnson, the expert on the Duke Lacrosse saga, is analyzing the decisions at Durham-in-Wonderland.  I'll let him read all several hundred pages!

Evans et al v City of Durham et al Memorandum Decision On Motions to Dismiss

(The wording of this post was updated to reflect the multiple lawsuits and decisions.)

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  1. If the City of Durham is smart, they will settle as all their dirty little secrets are about to be exposed.

  2. I predict that Duke's cowardice with respect to those faculty who should have been disciplined for their outrageous behavior will end up costing the school even more than it has already paid out in this case. Apparently the Duke benefactors don't mind being hosed because their president is a foolish weakling. But then we'll see how much even they will endure.

  3. Did the dozens of Duke professors in the various Grievance Studies Departments, who perhaps "rushed to judgment," ever apologize to these young men?

  4. LukeHandCool - Anger Studies Departments :-). No they did not.

    I wonder the same about all those former students who jumped on the band wagon to include the now famous Castrate March. Their names will be coming forward soon. Perhaps we'll why none of the students or professors apologized for lying and/or rushing to judgement.

  5. Tremendously pleased to see a shout out to Prof. KC Johnson. I'm convinced that had it not been for him, and others like him, the truth would not have been known for quite some time. Potentially jail time for the accused.

  6. There was just a supreme court case that would bear on this. one of the parties was Harry Connick Sr. yes the father of Harry Connick Jr. He is the DA down in New Orleans, and they almost sent a man to death row before evidence came out exonerating the man that the prosecutors withheld from the defense. Then the former inmate sued and won $14 million under the civil rights statute. But the S.C. struck that down.

  7. The New York Times played a major malicious role in their ongoing fraudulent coverage of the story. Here is the first of many front page stories in the NYT.

    "The thing that most of us found so abhorrent, and the reason I decided to take it over myself, was the combination gang-like rape activity accompanied by the racial slurs and general racial hostility," Mr. Nifong (now disbarred and disgraced) said Tuesday in a telephone interview."

    "Officials are investigating the incident as first-degree forcible rape, common law robbery, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree sexual offense and felonious strangulation. Mr. Nifong said it was unlikely the investigation would be completed in time in time for Duke to resume its season; the team's last scheduled game is May 7."