Doe v. Northern Kentucky University et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER: 1) That the defamation claim against the defendant Kachurek be DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE; 2) The Title IX retaliation claim against defendant Kachurek remains pending, and the parties should be prepared to argue its merits at the hearing set for 8/1/2017. Signed by Judge William O. Bertelsman on 7/18/2017.(TJZ)cc: COR
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY
NORTHERN DIVISION AT COVINGTON
CIVIL ACTION NO. 2:16-CV-28 (WOB-JGW)
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
UNIVERSITY, ET AL.
This action was filed in the Circuit Court of Campbell County,
Kentucky on February 12, 2016. Subsequently, it was timely removed
to this Court by the defendants.
University for alleged violations of Title IX of the Education
Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681-1688.
defamation claim against defendant Les Kachurek, who was Chief of
the campus police force during part of the time alleged in the
jurisdiction over that claim, it was properly added. See 28 U.S.C.
The defamation claim involves novel and complex issues of
Among these are:
Kachurek — be interpreted as referring to the plaintiff,
whose name was not mentioned therein?
2. Is the communication subject to the qualified privilege
Kentucky recognizes for communications among persons with
a common interest, particularly those in the “chain of
command” of an enterprise?
This issue is particularly
difficult to resolve in the present case, because none of
the Kentucky cases cited are in point on the facts, and
the facts themselves are hotly contested.
See White v.
Bourbon Cmty. Hosp., LLC, No. 5:14-CV-79-REW, 2016 WL
208303, at *3 (E.D. Ky. Jan. 15, 2016; Fortney v. Guzman,
482 S.W.3d 784, 790 (Ky. App. 2015); Toler v. Sud-Chemie,
Inc., 458 S.W.3d 276, 282 (Ky. 2014), as corrected (April.
3. Is defendant Kachurek entitled to state qualified immunity
Kentucky cases involving this issue are many and varied.
4. Further, this defamation claim is a relatively minor part
liability of the University for “deliberate indifference”
in its treatment of plaintiff after a finding was made in
her favor on a claim of rape she made against a fellow
Nevertheless, the defamation claim has involved
a disproportionate amount of time and energy by the Court
and the parties compared with the federal claims upon which
primary jurisdiction is based.
case be promptly tried.
It is imperative that this
Only two weeks are available for
a timely trial, and this defamation claim would absorb at
least one or two days, thus leaving insufficient time to
properly try the more important and factually and legally
complex federal issues.
Therefore, the Court finds that it should decline to exercise
Kachurek, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1367(c), which provides for such
an exercise of discretion where “the claim raises a novel or
complex issue of State law” and/or “in exceptional circumstances,
there are other compelling reasons for declining jurisdiction.”
28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(1),(4).
THEREFORE, THE COURT BEING ADVISED, AND IN THE EXERCISE OF
ITS DISCRETION, IT IS ORDERED AS FOLLOWS:
Kachurek be, and it is, hereby DISMISSED WITHOUT
Kachurek remains pending, and the parties should be
prepared to argue its merits at the hearing set for
August 1, 2017.
This 18th day of July, 2017.
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