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SYED SAIFUDDIN YUSUF v. VASSAR COLLEGE

April 19, 1993

SYED SAIFUDDIN YUSUF, Plaintiff,
v.
VASSAR COLLEGE, Defendant.


DUFFY


The opinion of the court was delivered by: KEVIN THOMAS DUFFY

KEVIN THOMAS DUFFY, D.J.:

 Plaintiff Syed Saifuddin Yusuf ("Yusuf") brings this action against Vassar College ("the College") alleging the following four causes of action: (1) discrimination on the basis of race under the Civil Rights Act of 1866, 42 U.S.C. § 1981; (2) discrimination on the basis of sex under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681-1688; (3) breach of an implied contract to provide students with a fair hearing; and, (4) intentional infliction of severe emotional distress. The latter two causes of action are based upon the doctrine of supplemental jurisdiction. Plaintiff seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, compensatory damages, punitive damages, and attorney fees.

 Defendant now moves, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), to dismiss plaintiff's first and second causes of action for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. For the reasons set forth below, the defendant's motion to dismiss is granted and the complaint is dismissed in its entirety.

 BACKGROUND

 The complaint, which I must take as true for the purposes of the instant motion to dismiss, alleges the following chain of events which led to this action. Plaintiff Yusuf is a native and citizen of the Republic of Bangladesh. Complaint ("Compl.") at P 3. He enrolled as a student at defendant College in the 1989 Fall semester, and his record was exemplary until February of 1992. Id. at P 5. On February 11, 1992, plaintiff was allegedly physically attacked by his roommate, James Weisman ("Weisman"), a Caucasian student. Id. at P 6. As a result of that attack, the plaintiff suffered unconsciousness, and sustained physical injuries, including a black eye, swollen jaw and contusions. Id. Weisman was arrested by Poughkeepsie police and charged with the crimes of battery, intoxication and falsification of identification. Id. at P 7. Additionally, the attack was reported to College officials. Id.

 Thereafter, Weisman and his girlfriend, Tina Kapur ("Kapur"), pleaded with the plaintiff on several occasions to refrain from pursuing the case against Weisman with the local authorities and the College. Id. at P 9. Plaintiff agreed not to pursue said charges if Weisman would agree to pay plaintiff's medical expenses incurred as a result of the attack. Id. Initially Weisman agreed to pay those expenses, but then apparently equivocated. Id. On or about February 17, 1992, the plaintiff advised Kapur that he would not drop the charges against Weisman because Weisman had not paid the plaintiff's medical expenses. Id. at P 10.

 On April 8, 1992, the plaintiff received a letter notifying him that Kapur filed sexual harassment charges against him with the College, and a hearing before the Panel was scheduled for April 13, 1992. Id. at P 14. Thereafter, the plaintiff offered a list to Ms. Nichols ("Nichols"), the Chairperson of the Regulations Committee, for approval of twelve potential witnesses that would testify at the hearing. *fn1" Id. at P 16. However, Nichols told the plaintiff to cut that list down to seven witnesses. Id. In addition, the plaintiff offered Nichols a written statement from his key witness, who could not be present at the hearing. Id. at P 17. However, Nichols refused to allow the plaintiff to present this written statement at the hearing because the witness could not be cross-examined. Id. The plaintiff also alleges that he was never informed that the hearing could be postponed due to the absence of a material witness. Id. at P 18.

 On April 13, 1992, at the start of the hearing, Nichols informed the participants that the matter must be wrapped up within four hours. Id. at P 19. Accordingly, Nichols terminated the hearing at the conclusion of four hours, even though the plaintiff had two witnesses who had yet to testify. Id. at P 24. Additionally, the Panel would not allow Yusuf to introduce medical records indicating that he was at the College infirmary on the day of one of the alleged incidents in question. Id. at P 22.

 On April 14, 1992, the Panel found the plaintiff guilty of sexual harassment and rendered the following decision against him: (1) he was banned from Main Hall, effective immediately; (2) he received a suspended suspension for the remainder of the 1992 Spring semester; and, (3) he was suspended from May 20, 1992 until Spring of 1993. Id. at P 25. Thereafter, the plaintiff appealed the Panel's decision to Mr. Colton, the Dean of Student Life, who affirmed the decision of the panel. Id. at P 27. The plaintiff then appealed to Dr. Nancy Dye, the acting President of the College, but had yet to receive a response from her at the time he initiated this action on June 22, 1992. *fn2" Id. at P 28.

 DISCUSSION

 On a motion to dismiss, the complaint must be read in the light most favorable to the nonmovant. Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236, 40 L. Ed. 2d 90, 94 S. Ct. 1683 (1974). The complaint cannot be dismissed unless it appears beyond doubt that plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief. Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 2 L. Ed. 2d 80, 78 S. Ct. 99 (1957); Ryder Energy Distribution Corp. v. Merrill Lynch Commodities, Inc., 748 F.2d 774, 779 (2d Cir. 1984). Furthermore, the Second Circuit has held that the rule stated in Conley applies with even greater force where the plaintiff alleges a violation of his civil ...


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