Doe v. University of Chicago et al
MEMORANDUM Opinion and Order signed by the Honorable Edmond E. Chang. This is the publicly available, redacted version of the Opinion of 09/22/2016 entered as R. 35.Emailed notice(slb, )
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, et al.,
No. 16 C 08298
Judge Edmond E. Chang
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff John Doe1 and defendant Jane Doe are students at the University of
Chicago. R. 1, Compl. ¶¶ 12, 14.2 John Doe filed this suit against the University of
Chicago and Jane Doe, asserting numerous Title IX violations, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et
seq., as well as state-law claims.3 See id. ¶¶ 119-205. At the time of filing, John Doe
also moved for a temporary restraining order (TRO). R. 4, Pl.’s Br. After a hearing
on the motion, the Court denied John Doe’s request for a TRO and deemed it
converted into a motion for a preliminary injunction. See R. 11, 8/24/2016 Minute
Entry. For the reasons stated below, John Doe’s converted motion for a preliminary
injunction is also denied.
Doe has filed a motion to allow certain parties to the case to use pseudonyms.
See R. 6. This Court has reserved ruling on the motion until defendant Jane Doe has been
formally served and has had an opportunity to be heard on the issue. See R. 27, 8/24/2016
Tr. at 23.
2Citations to the record filings are “R.” followed by the docket number and, when
necessary, a page or paragraph number.
3This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over the Title IX claims under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1331, and over the state-law claims under 28 U.S.C. § 1367.
This case arises out of Jane Doe’s assertion—made, initially, via a variety of
social-media outlets—that she had been sexually assaulted by John Doe, and the
University’s subsequent handling of three related disciplinary complaints: two
lodged by John Doe against Jane Doe and one lodged by Jane Doe against John Doe.
To understand the factual setting, the Court will set forth facts drawn from the
Complaint, and assume them to be true (because that assumption does not impact
the decision on the preliminary injunction).
For purposes of the pending motion, the lead-up to the lawsuit begins in
November 2014, when Jane Doe began to claim on her personal blog that she had
been sexually assaulted. Compl. ¶ 75. By December 2014, Jane had “definitively
identified John Doe as the person who had allegedly assaulted her.” Id. When she
found out in the spring of 2016 that John was directing a theater program, she
posted a series of tweets on Twitter about the program, “stating John Doe assaulted
[her] and many others.” Id. ¶¶ 77-81.
Upon learning of Jane Doe’s tweets, John sent the University an email to
complain against Jane for “online sexual harassment.” Compl. ¶ 88; R. 1-12, May
2016 Compl. In late May, Associate Dean Jeremy Inabinet informed John that he
had reviewed the information that John had provided and had determined that
there was “no evident violation of the University Policy on Harassment,
Discrimination, and Sexual Misconduct.” Compl. ¶ 89; R. 1-13, 5/25/2016 Inabinet
Email. Following Inabinet’s determination, John’s counsel sent Jane a cease-and-
desist letter “demanding Jane Doe remove the offending Tweets and issue a public
apology to John Doe for the defamatory statements made repeatedly by Jane Doe.”
Compl. ¶ 92; R. 1-16, Cease & Desist Letter. Jane did not delete her tweets. Compl.
In June 2016, Jane Doe made her own complaint to the University; she
claimed that John had sexually assaulted her on September 23, 2013. See Compl. ¶
111. In response, the University launched its disciplinary process. See id. ¶ 11; Pl.’s
Br. at 6. John then lodged a second complaint with the University, this time
alleging that Jane’s June 2016 complaint is “false, in bad faith[,] and retaliatory.”
8/24/2016 Tr. at 10.
Upon being told by the University that it was investigating Jane Doe’s June
2016 complaint, John expressed concerns to Inabinet about the University’s
investigatory and adjudicatory procedures. See Compl. ¶¶ 100, 102; R. 1-20,
8/7/2016 Email. In an August 7, 2016 email, John articulated disagreement with
Inabinet’s “stated intention” to adjudicate John’s alleged 2013 conduct according to
the University’s 2015 student manual. Compl. ¶ 100; 8/7/2016 Email at 3-6. He also
objected to the possibility that the University would adjudicate Jane’s June 2016
complaint before investigating and deciding his May and June 2016 complaints.
Compl. ¶ 102; 8/7/2016 Email at 1-2. Hearing nothing in response to these concerns,
see Compl. ¶ 103, John Doe filed this suit against Jane Doe and the University of
Chicago, asserting several Title IX violations and making numerous state-law
claims, see id. ¶¶ 119-205.
At the time of the lawsuit’s filing, John moved for a temporary restraining
order to restrain the University from subjecting him to its disciplinary process. See
Pl.’s Br. at 3. The Court held a hearing on the motion on the day that it was filed.
See 8/24/2016 Minute Entry. At that hearing, the University agreed to use the 2013
student manual’s definition of consent, give John an extension of time to respond to
Jane’s June 2016 complaint, and consider all three4 disciplinary complaints in one
proceeding. See id. The Court ultimately denied John’s request for a TRO, because
there was no irreparable harm that justified even a temporary injunction without
notice to the University and an opportunity for the University to be heard. But the
Court did convert the TRO motion into a motion for preliminary injunction and
requested further briefing on the issue of irreparable harm. Id.
II. Legal Standards
A preliminary injunction is “an extraordinary remedy that may only be
awarded upon a clear showing that the plaintiff is entitled to such relief.” Winter v.
Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 22 (2008). To prevail on a motion for a
preliminary injunction, a moving party must show that its case has some likelihood
of success on the merits and that it has no adequate remedy at law and will suffer
irreparable harm if a preliminary injunction is denied. Stuller, Inc. v. Steak N
Shake Enters., Inc., 695 F.3d 676, 678 (7th Cir. 2012). If the moving party meets
these threshold requirements, then the court balances the nature and degree of the
Inabinet’s May 25, 2016 email, the University has since said that it will
address John Doe’s May 2016 complaint. See 8/24/2016 Tr. at 13; R. 21-1, Exhs. to Def.’s Br.
at 42 (email from the University’s counsel confirming the University’s TRO hearing
potential harm to each party and the public interest. Girl Scouts of Manitou
Council, Inc. v. Girl Scouts, Inc., 549 F.3d 1079, 1086 (7th Cir. 2008).
John Doe contends that the University is subjecting him to a “fundamentally
unfair, arbitrary, and capricious disciplinary procedure that violates both Title IX
and [the University’s] Policies.” Pl.’s Br. at 2. He has asked for an injunction—
relying specifically on the basis of his negligence, promissory estoppel, and Title IX
retaliation claims, see id. at 3—to (a) prevent the University from using the 2015
student manual to evaluate the 2013 sexual encounter and to (b) halt the
University’s disciplinary process until it remedies the alleged Title IX violations and
fully adjudicates his May 2016 Complaint, id.5 John initially claimed that an
injunction was necessary because money damages could not adequately compensate
him for any lost educational opportunities and any damage to his reputation that
might result from the University’s disciplinary process. Id. at 30. He now claims
that an injunction is necessary because the way in which the University is
conducting its disciplinary proceeding is causing him psychological harm, which has
recently resulted in episodes of self-harm. See R. 23, Pl.’s Reply Br.
A. Irreparable Harm
Irreparable harm is harm that cannot be “fully rectified by the final judgment
after trial.” Stuller, 695 F.3d at 680 (internal quotation marks omitted). “Not every
detailed in the Background section, at the August 24, 2016 TRO hearing, the
University committed itself to using the 2013 student manual’s definition of consent and to
considering all three disciplinary complaints in one proceeding. See 8/24/2016 Minute
conceivable injury entitles a litigant to a preliminary injunction,” E. St. Louis
Laborers’ Local 100 v. Bellon Wrecking & Salvage Co., 414 F.3d 700, 704 (7th Cir.
2005), and “[i]ssuing a preliminary injunction based only on a possibility of
irreparable harm is inconsistent with our characterization of injunctive relief as an
extraordinary remedy that may only be awarded upon a clear showing that the
plaintiff is entitled to such relief,” Winter, 555 U.S. at 22 (emphases added); see also
E. St. Louis Laborers’ Local 100, 414 F.3d at 704 (“[S]peculative injuries do not
justify th[e] extraordinary remedy.”).
To satisfy the threshold requirement of irreparable harm, John Doe primarily
claims that the way in which the University is conducting its disciplinary process
has caused him serious psychological harm and that, absent a preliminary
injunction, it will continue to cause him serious psychological harm. See Pl.’s Reply
Br. at 1-2.
That said, the Court is not convinced that John has shown that the psychological
harm that he is suffering from is the sort of harm that should be the premise for the
extraordinary remedy of a preliminary injunction.
Although it might be true that the severe emotional distress that John is
currently experiencing cannot be fully redressed by an award of damages at the end
of this lawsuit, it is not clear that a preliminary injunction would actually redress
the psychological harm alleged in this case. The University’s conduct is not the sole
cause of John’s current mental health problems. The affidavits that he submitted
aver that his mental health problems began in 2014, see Pl.’s Affidavit at 2;
Mother’s Affidavit at 2, grew worse when he learned of Jane Doe’s online
accusations, see Pl.’s Affidavit at 2; Mother’s Affidavit at 2, and have since been
exacerbated by his dealings with the University, see Pl.’s Affidavit at 4-6; Mother’s
Affidavit at 2-5. Because John’s current psychological problems pre-date and are not
wholly caused the University’s disciplinary process, see Pl.’s Reply Br. at 1-2
(acknowledging that Jane Doe’s accusations themselves are another source of
“ongoing stress” to John Doe), the Court cannot find that granting the injunction
will alleviate the psychological harm. After all, an injunction will not do away with
Jane Doe’s accusation, nor will it permanently halt the University’s disciplinary
proceeding. Instead it will postpone final resolution of the matter, which may
actually aggravate John Doe’s mental health issues.
Moreover, to the extent that the University’s communications with John are
causing him psychological harm (as he alleges they are), the various letters and
emails submitted to the Court by the parties reveal that many of John’s reactions to
the University’s communications have been unreasonable. As the Court stated
during the hearing on September 14, that characterization is not meant to be a
pejorative criticism of John Doe, because his mental health might be contributing to
his reactions to the communications. But it must be said that innocuous messages
from the University have been misconstrued and met with outrage. A prime
example of this is John’s reaction to Inabinet’s request for a list of suggested
witnesses. On August 29, Inabinet sent John an email asking that John let the
University know if he had any suggested witnesses. See R. 22-3, Exh. A Part Two at
82 (“I did not see the names of any witnesses [in your response to Jane Doe’s 2016
complaint], but I do not want to assume you do not have any, in case it was an
oversight. Please let me know if you do or do not have any witness suggestions.”).
John’s counsel sent a letter in reply claiming that this request “provides further
evidence of [Inabinet’s] anti-male gender bias and retaliatory conduct” because
Inabinet “requires John Doe to identify ‘witnesses’ . . . even though both John Doe
and Jane Doe admit there were no first-hand ‘witnesses’ to Jane Doe’s false
allegations of assault.” R. 22-2, Exh. A Part One at 3 (emphasis added). Contrary to
that mistaken interpretation, Inabinet was clearly making a request for
information, not setting out a requirement with which John had to comply. And at
no point in time did Inabinet say that any witnesses had to be “first-hand
witnesses”; the request was open-ended and could have included anyone who might
have had information that could support John’s account of what happened between
him and Jane Doe.
In the same August 29 email, Inabinet requested that any concerns about the
University’s process be “directed to [him] separately and not included in [John’s]
response to” Jane Doe’s 2016 complaint. See Exh. A Part Two at 82. This request
was similarly misconstrued. John claimed that Inabinet was “not allow[ing him] to
attack the process” and was “limit[ing him] to simply answering” Jane Doe’s
complaint, in supposed contravention of the University’s commitment to consider all
three complaints with one decision-making entity. See R. 22-6, Exh. D at 6.
Inabinet, however, had simply made a request that John respond to Jane’s
complaint in one document, and then address any concerns about the process in a
separate document. He had not banned John from criticizing the University’s
Even express efforts by the University to accommodate John’s requests have
elicited a negative response. When the University committed to using the 2013
student manual’s definition of consent—as requested by John Doe, see Pl.’s Br. at
3—it gave Jane Doe the opportunity to revise her complaint in light of that
definition and told John that he would be given the chance to revise his response
should she choose to do so. See R. 32-1, Surreply Exhs. at 27. That is only fair: Jane
Doe did not know that the University would use the 2013 student manual, so she
should have a chance to revise the complaint, and then in turn John should have an
opportunity to respond. Yet John replied, “How is that fair? How is that logical?
How is that possible? . . . Can you just not stop it here? . . . These broken promises,
together with your illogical and Kafkaesque behavior, are causing me great
psychological harm and continuing to traumatize me.” Id. at 34. Though this
statement might accurately reflect how John Doe felt upon learning that Jane Doe
was being given the chance to amend her complaint, it was not a reasonable
response to the University’s attempt to equitably implement a procedural change
that he himself had demanded.
These examples, and the Court’s review of the back-and-forth between the
University and John Doe, show that how or what the University is communicating
is not the cause of John’s emotional distress, at least not the “cause” in the way that
the law would recognize. Unfortunately, John has interpreted even benign
communications as if they have been crafted to undermine his interests, and he
claims that they are causing him ongoing psychological harm. But to the extent that
innocuous requests and attempts to accommodate are psychologically harming him,
it is hard to see how an injunction will help: an injunction will not make the
University’s reasonable efforts to communicate with him any more reasonable.
Even if it were clear that an injunction would help John’s mental state, the
actions taken by the University that John says are causing him ongoing
psychological harm cannot reasonably be said to cause the sort of harm that a
preliminary injunction is intended to address. As examples of alleged misconduct,
John identifies nine particular University actions which have allegedly impacted
his mental health. See Pl.’s Reply Br. at 4-7. John’s framing of these actions
portrays him as a respectfully inquisitive student mistreated by an unresponsive
and inflexible university. See id. The communications cited in connection with the
nine examples, however, tell a different story. See Exh. A Part One at 2-4 (John
Doe’s Counsel’s Aug. 30, 2016 Letter); id. at 7-17 (John Doe’s Aug. 29, 2016 Letter);
Exh. D at 6-21 (John Doe’s Aug. 31, 2016 Letters). John has not simply been making
“requests to reach a mutually agreeable understanding” or asking Inabinet
questions about the disciplinary process, see Pl.’s Reply Br. at 4-5. Rather, he has
been making numerous demands that the University adopt procedures or change its
existing disciplinary process. These demands misconstrue previous communications
with the University and seek to (1) conform the University’s process to federal
court-like procedures, see, e.g., Exh. A Part One at 12-13 (demanding specific
evidentiary standards), (2) shape precisely how a future hearing might unfold, see,
e.g., id. at 12 (demanding to know how the University intends to structure a
hearing), and (3) ensure that his complaints receive preferential treatment, see, e.g.,
id. at 9 (demanding that the disciplinary committee only consider a redacted (by
John Doe) version of Jane Doe’s complaint). Many of these demands have not been
reasonable—the University never promised John that he could dictate all of the
disciplinary procedures that would apply to him, nor has it decided that a hearing
will be necessary—so it has been reasonable for the University to respond to them
unfavorably. Again, in light of John’s mental health, it is understandable that he
feels that the University’s responses to his demands are causing him psychological
harm, but the Court ultimately does not believe that psychological harm—however
genuinely experienced—arising from John Doe’s unreasonable demands is the type
of harm that should be the basis for the grant of a preliminary injunction.
To the extent that John Doe is still claiming that the University’s disciplinary
process threatens his reputation and his educational opportunities, these injuries
are too speculative to constitute irreparable harm. The University has only recently
begun its processing of the complaints; indeed, as of the August 24 TRO hearing, it
had not even begun its investigation. See 8/24/2016 Tr. at 12. If a hearing is
eventually held, we do not know that harm will result; a tribunal might very well
clear John of any wrongdoing.
The case law cited by the parties is consistent with this conclusion. See
Jackson v. Macalester College, No. 16-cv-0448 (WMW/BRT), 2016 WL 3029932 (D.
Minn. Mar. 11, 2016) (denying student’s motion to restrain college from conducting
any investigation or disciplinary proceeding for, among other things, lack of
irreparable harm); Doe v. Ohio State Univ., 136 F. Supp. 3d 854 (S.D. Ohio 2016)
(same). John tries to analogize this case to Johnson v. Western State Colorado
University, No. 13-cv-2747-WJM-KMT, 2013 WL 5716849 (D. Colo. Oct. 21, 2013),
in which a district court granted a temporary restraining order enjoining a college
from conducting a disciplinary hearing, but the situation in Johnson was
meaningfully different from the situation here. In Johnson, the district court
initially denied the student’s TRO motion, but considered the motion to be
converted into a motion for a preliminary injunction and requested further briefing
from the parties. See id. at *1. Shortly thereafter, the student filed a new TRO
motion and notified the court that the college planned to proceed with the
disciplinary hearing itself before the preliminary injunction motion would be fully
briefed. Id. Upon receiving this information, the court granted the new TRO motion
solely to preserve the status quo until it could rule on the preliminary injunction
motion. See id. It later denied the student’s preliminary injunction motion. See 13cv-2747-WJM-KMT, 2013 WL 6068464 (D. Colo. Nov. 18, 2013). In this case, unlike
Johnson, the University is not about to imminently convene a disciplinary hearing,
and in any event, the Court is denying the preliminary injunction motion in this
very Opinion. Johnson does not support John Doe.
B. Likelihood of Success on the Merits
Even if John Doe had made a proper showing of irreparable harm, he has not
met the “low” threshold, see D.U. v. Rhoades, 825 F.3d 331, 338 (7th Cir. 2016), of
establishing a likelihood of success on the merits of his promissory estoppel,
negligence, and Title IX retaliation claims.
1. Title IX Retaliation Claim
Title IX states that “[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). Retaliation against a person because that person
has complained of sex discrimination is a form of intentional sex discrimination
covered by Title IX. Jackson v. Birmingham Bd. of Educ., 544 U.S. 167, 173 (2005).
Accordingly, “when a funding recipient retaliates against a person because he
complains of sex discrimination, this constitutes intentional ‘discrimination’ ‘on the
basis of sex,’ in violation of Title IX.” Id. at 174.
John alleges that the University retaliated against him for engaging in
certain “protected activities”—namely, participating in a previous disciplinary
proceeding (which exonerated him), making his May and June complaints, and
defending himself against Jane’s complaint, see Compl. ¶ 160—by (1) refusing to
stay his disciplinary proceeding until after it adjudicates his May 2016 complaint,
see id. ¶ 157; (2) allowing Jane Doe to include in her June 2016 complaint another
student’s previous allegation that John had committed sexual assault, see id. ¶ 158;
and (3) rejecting John’s request that the same decision-makers adjudicate Jane’s
complaint at the same time as John’s June 2016 complaint, see id. ¶ 159. As an
initial matter, the University has expressly committed itself to adjudicating all
three student complaints in the same proceeding, see 8/24/2016 Tr. at 13; Exhs. to
Def.’s Br. at 42, so John’s retaliation claim cannot succeed on the basis of the third
John also falls short of showing a likelihood of success on the basis of the first
two acts. He has not alleged any facts from which it can be inferred that the
University took these actions because John engaged in protected activities. With
regard to the first action, the student manual gives the University discretion over
how to proceed when an accused student makes a complaint against the
complainant. See R. 1-17, 2013 Student Manual at 58 (“On the rare occasion that
the accused student makes a complaint against the complainant, the Dean of
Students may investigate the accused student’s complaint at or about the same time
he or she investigates the complainant’s complaint. The Dean of Students may
decline to recommend that a disciplinary committee hear either complaint or one of
the complaints. The Dean of Students also may recommend that both complaints be
simultaneously heard by a single disciplinary committee or heard separately by the
same or different disciplinary committee.”); see also R. 1-18, 2015 Student Manual
at 116. In this instance, it is only logical for the University to adjudicate Jane and
John’s complaints at the same time because they share the same factual basis, and
John has not pointed to anything that suggests that the decision was motivated by
anything other than the common-sense notion that the complaints overlap. As for
the University’s second action, there is no reason to believe that the University can
control what facts a student includes in his or her complaint. To the extent that the
University could exercise such control, there is no reason to believe that it allowed
Jane Doe to reference another student’s allegation because John engaged in
2. Promissory Estoppel and Negligence Claims
Under Illinois law, to establish a claim of promissory estoppel, a plaintiff
must prove that (1) the defendant made an unambiguous promise to the plaintiff,
(2) the plaintiff relied on this promise, (3) the plaintiff’s reliance was expected and
foreseeable by the defendant, and (4) the plaintiff relied on the promise to his
detriment. See Newton Tractor Sales, Inc. v. Kubota Tractor Corp., 906 N.E.2d 520,
523-24 (Ill. 2009). A claim for promissory estoppel will only succeed where all of the
other elements of a contract exist (offer, acceptance, mutual assent), but
consideration is lacking. See Dumas v. Infinity Broad. Corp., 416 F.3d 671, 677 (7th
Cir. 2005). To make out a claim of negligence, a plaintiff must show that (1) the
defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff, (2) the defendant breached that duty, and (3)
the breach was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injury. See Krywin v. Chi.
Transit Auth., 938 N.E.2d 440, 446 (Ill. 2010).
John Doe’s promissory estoppel and negligence claims are quite similar. The
basic premise of both claims is that the University made certain promises to him in
the 2013 and 2015 student manuals, that the University has since broken some of
these promises, and that breaking these promises has caused him harm. See Compl.
¶¶ 172-91. As an initial matter, it is not at all clear that the University has made
the promises that John claims it has made. The 2013 Manual does not expressly
guarantee that a student will not be subject to any of a later manual’s provisions.
See id. ¶¶ 173, 183. Indeed, the Manual even warns students that “[t]he contents of
the manual are subject to change from time to time at the sole discretion of the
University.” 2013 Student Manual at 4. In addition, neither of the manuals
guarantees that related complaints will be adjudicated in the order that they are
received. See Compl. ¶¶ 174-75, 184. Rather, the manuals allow the Dean of
Students to “recommend that both complaints be simultaneously heard by a single
disciplinary committee or heard separately by the same or different disciplinary
committee.” 2013 Student Manual at 58; 2015 Student Manual at 116. Moreover,
the manuals do not promise to subject a student to discipline for filing a retaliatory
complaint or for breaching confidentiality prior to the University investigating and
determining that the complaint is in fact retaliatory or that confidentiality has been
breached, nor do they promise to subject a student to discipline in all cases of
breached confidentiality. See Compl. ¶¶ 176-177, 186-87.
To the extent that John does identify express statements in the manuals that
he thinks the University has disregarded, these statements are at such a high level
of generality that they do not contain concrete promises. See Compl. ¶¶ 178-80, 18890; 2013 Student Manual at 8 (“The University’s policy is consistent with federal,
state, and local regulations governing non-discrimination and unlawful harassment
including . . . Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.”); id. at 57 (“Students
who are subject to or involved in University discipline do not automatically abdicate
any of the rights that are guaranteed to them by the civil society and, indeed, they
remain at all times free to claim and assert those rights through the institutions,
presumably judicial, of that society.”); 2015 Student Manual at 28 (“In all cases, the
University is committed to providing a prompt, fair, impartial, and thorough
investigation and resolution that is consistent with the University’s policies and is
transparent to the complainant and the respondent.”). Broad statements like these
do not constitute unambiguous promises within the meaning of the promissory
estoppel doctrine. Besides, John has not identified any acts that the University has
taken since it committed itself to adjudicating all three complaints at once and to
applying the 2013 definition of consent that would constitute a breach of its duty to
uphold these supposed promises. Given both the explicit warnings that the policies
in the student manual are subject to change and the ambiguity of the policies
themselves, John Doe is unlikely to succeed on the merits of either his promissory
estoppel claim or his negligence claim.
Because he has failed to show irreparable harm or some likelihood of success
on the merits of his Title IX retaliation, negligence, and promissory estoppel claims,
Plaintiff John Doe’s motion for a preliminary injunction is denied. For the same
reasons, John Doe’s motion for expedited discovery, see R. 7, Pl.’s Dx. Mt.; R. 22,
Pl.’s Renewed Dx. Mt., is also denied. There is no good cause to expedite discovery
in the absence of irreparable harm. Discovery shall not begin until after the
defendants have answered, and if dismissal motions are filed, then the Court will
address whether to further suspend discovery until after those motions are decided.
The November 1, 2016 status hearing remains in place.
One final note: for now, the Court will issue this Opinion under seal in order
to allow either side to explain why any part of the Opinion should remain under
seal (the Opinion will be provided only to the parties and their counsel at this time).
Any party wishing to propose maintaining part of the Opinion under seal shall file a
Position Paper requesting that relief (and explaining why) by September 29, 2016.
s/Edmond E. Chang
Honorable Edmond E. Chang
United States District Judge
DATE: September 22, 2016
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