Doe v. Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University et al

Filing 25

MEMORANDUM & ORDER: John Doe and Weill Cornell Medical College ("Weill Cornell") submit this dispute regarding an annotation Weill Cornell proposes to make to Doe's transcript and permanent record. Plaintiff argues that Weill Cornell should be enjoined from making that annotation prior to the conclusion of this litigation because it would violate New York Education Law Article 129-B and this Court's May 20, 2016 injunction. (Pl.'s May 25, 2016 Letter, at 4-5.) Weill Cornell's proposed annotation, "Sanctioned for Code of Conduct Violation," violates neither. Article 129-B requires educational institutions to place a notation on a student's transcript when the student is "suspended" or "expelled" after a "finding of responsibility for a code of conduct violation," when that violation relates to a "crime[] of violence, including, but not limited to sexual violence." N.Y. Educ. Law 6444(6). Article 129-B does not require a transcript annotation here, where John Doe was neither suspended nor expelled. Moreover, Weill Cornell's process did not establish that John Doe's actions would constitute a "crime" of "sexual violence" as defined by the "federal Clery Act established in 20 U.S.C. 1092(f)(1)(F)(i)(I)-(VIII)." See N.Y. Educ. Law 6444(6). However, Article 129-B does not prohibit educational institutions from imposing transcript notations in the exercise of their discretion. Indeed, recent guidance from the New York State Education Department specifically observes that educational institutions "may (but are not required to) place notations" on a student's transcript when the institution deems the student's actions to violate its code of conduct. Compliance with Education Law Article 129-B, NEW YORK STATE EDUCATION DEP'T 35, (last visited June 7, 2016); as further set forth herein. Having resolved the pending dispute regarding preliminary injunctive relief, this Court advises the parties that they are no longer permitted to e~mail letter applications to Chambers. All applications should be filed on the docket and should identify Plaintiff and the Complainant by their pseudonyms, in compliance with Judge Preska's prior order. (ECF No. 12.) Additionally, this Court intends to docket all prior letter applications submitted in this action and supporting exhibits-other than Weill Cornell's confidential Title IX investigative report-and vacate the docket's status as "party access only." If the parties intend for other submissions to remain under seal, they shall identify such submissions by name and date and justify the need for sealing by June 17, 2016. Any future motions to seal a party's submissions should be filed on ECF and comply with Section V(a) of this Court's individual practices. (Signed by Judge William H. Pauley, III on 6/8/2016) (mro)

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