United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
C. NYE CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
before the Court is Defendant University of Idaho's
Motion to Dismiss. Dkt. 6. On October 11, 2019, the Court
held oral argument and took the motion under advisement. Upon
review, and for the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS
in PART and DENIES in PART the Motion.
Mairin Jameson is a former student at the University of Idaho
(“UI”). UI is a state institution of higher
education located in Moscow, Idaho. UI receives federal
funding and financial assistance within the meaning of 20
U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. and is otherwise subject
to Title IX.
April 21, 2013, Jameson was sexually assaulted by Jahrie Z.
Level, a UI football player, off campus. At the time, Jameson
was a third-year student enrolled at UI and a diver on
UI's swim team. Prior to this event, Jameson had been
harassed by Level and witnessed Level harassing another
female student on campus.
April 25, 2013, Jameson reported that she had been sexually
assaulted by Level to Moscow Police Lieutenant Dave Lehmitz
and to three UI officials: Athletic Director Rob Spear,
Athletics Academic Coordinator Susan Steele, and UI head
football coach Paul Petrino. Spear, Steele, and Petrino
initially informed her that the UI could not investigate
because the sexual assault had occurred off campus. The
officials did not offer to report- and did not
report-Level's sexual assault and harassment to the Dean
of Students. They also did not offer Jameson any support or
counseling. They did inform Jameson that Level would be
required to seek counseling and to check in twice a day with
UI's head football coach.
3, 2013, Jameson visited the Women's Center at UI and
told the Director of the Women's Center that she had been
assaulted by Level. The Director informed the UI's Dean
of Students of the incident, who then launched an
investigation. At no time during this process was Jameson
informed of her Title IX rights by any UI personnel.
October 7, 2013, UI completed its investigation of Level,
when its University Judicial Counsel found that it was more
likely than not that Level had committed seven violations of
UI's Student Code of Conduct. Five of the violations
concerned Level's sexual assault and harassment of
Jameson while the remaining two violations involved
Level's harassment and intimidation of another female
student. UI subsequently expelled Level.
later, UI authorized an independent investigation regarding
its handling of Title IX cases. On July 16, 2018, the
investigators issued the “Independent Investigation
Report” (“Independent Report”) to UI. The
report concluded, in part, that UI staff had failed to comply
with Title IX at numerous points during UI's
investigation of Jameson's claim. At an unspecified time,
UI President Chuck Staben also made public statements that
Jameson's sexual assault might have been avoided if UI
had appropriately handled two prior complaints against Level.
October 16, 2018, Jameson filed her Complaint for general,
special, and compensatory damages. She asserts three state
law claims: (1) negligence; (2) intentional infliction of
emotional distress; and (3) negligent infliction of emotional
distress. She also asserts two Title IX claims: (1) that
UI's deliberate indifference to her post-assault report
created a hostile educational environment and (2) that
UI's deliberate indifference to students' prior
reports about her assailant created a heightened risk on
campus for sexual assault or harassment.
November 14, 2018, UI filed the instant motion to dismiss
because all of Jameson's causes of actions are allegedly
time-barred and because it is entitled to sovereign immunity
on Jameson's state law claims.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1)
motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(1) challenges the Court's subject matter
jurisdiction. A lack of jurisdiction is presumed unless the
party asserting jurisdiction establishes that it exists.
See Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511
U.S. 375, 377 (1994). Thus, the plaintiff bears the burden of
proof on a Rule 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction. Sopcak v. Northern Mountain
Helicopter Serv., 52 F.3d 817, 818 (9th Cir. 1995). If
the court determines that it does not have subject matter
jurisdiction, it must dismiss the claim. Fed.R.Civ.P.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)
12(b)(6) permits a court to dismiss a claim if the plaintiff
has “fail[ed] to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). A Rule 12(b)(6)
dismissal may be based on either a ‘lack of a
cognizable legal theory' or ‘the absence of
sufficient facts alleged under a cognizable legal
theory.'” Johnson v. Riverside Healthcare Sys.,
LP, 534 F.3d 1116, 1121 (9th Cir. 2008) (citation
omitted). In deciding whether to grant a motion to dismiss,
the court must accept as true all well-pled factual
allegations made in the pleading under attack. Ashcroft
v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 663 (2009). A court is not,
however, “required to accept as true allegations that
are merely conclusory, unwarranted deductions of fact, or
unreasonable inferences.” Sprewell v. Golden State
Warriors, 266 F.3d 979, 988 (9th Cir. 2001). Dismissal
without leave to amend is inappropriate unless it is beyond
doubt that the complaint could not be saved by an amendment.
See Harris v. Amgen, Inc., 573 F.3d 728, 737 (9th
State Law ...