Southern District Court Grants Motion To Dismiss Amelia Roskin-Frazee’s Title IX Complaint
Written by Youngweon Lee
The Southern District Court of New York has granted Columbia’s motion to dismiss Amelia Roskin-Frazee’s complaint that Columbia “created a culture of sexual hostility on campus and acted with deliberate indifference in responding to [her] report of sexual assaults and request for certain accommodations as a result of the assaults.”
According to the court document from the docket of the Southern District Court of New York (attached below), Amelia Roskin-Frazee was sexually assaulted in her dormitory room once in October 2015, and once in December 2015. She filed a lawsuit against Columbia in March 2017 alleging Title IX violations by the university.
In response to her complaint, Columbia claimed that “[Roskin-Frazee’s] own recitation of the events establishes that the University responded appropriately when she reported them and is not liable under Title IX” and motioned to dismiss her suit. The full account is available here.
On February 21, 2018, this motion for dismissal was granted by United States District Judge George B. Daniels. The basis for this was that the university’s responses to Roskin-Frazee’s requests (housing and academic accommodations) were not “clearly unreasonable.” The court document states that Roskin-Frazee’s “own allegations demonstrate that every time [she] requested either an academic or housing accommodation, [Columbia] responded to her request promptly.”
In regards to her first request (for a room change), the judge noted that Columbia did not know about her first assault at the time of the request (October 2015), and that had it known, it may have provided her with less “onerous” circumstances for housing accommodations. As for her second request in September 2016 (that locks be installed on her suite door), the court document states that “once [Columbia] had actual knowledge of [her] rapes and began investigating them in September 2016, it responded to [her] Second Request promptly, without the imposition of any additional ‘onerous’ conditions.”
In addition, it is explained that when Roskin-Frazee requested academic accommodations through Disability Services in October 2015, she was contacted eight days later about the process through which she could receive accommodations. Roskin-Frazee alleged that she chose not to further pursue “such [a] lengthy process” and had to seek accommodations on her own. The court argues that because she does not identify “an academic accommodation she sought that she did not receive” anywhere in the complaint, it cannot be concluded that Columbia “acted in a clearly unreasonable manner.”
Furthermore, the court acknowledged that “the requirements presented to [Roskin-Frazee] for receiving academic accommodations may have been difficult for an individual in [her] situation to navigate,” but said that Columbia “was responding at a time when it had no knowledge of [her] initial rape.” Thus, “there is no plausible basis for concluding that Defendant responded to Plaintiffs requests for academic accommodations with deliberate indifference.”
Finally, according to the document, when Roskin-Frazee made a request in December 2016 (a few months after the university began the rape investigation) for housing accommodations for the 2017-2018 school year, it was granted in four days.
The main argument made by the court for granting the motion to dismiss her complaint is that Roskin-Frazee failed to “sufficiently allege that after acquiring actual knowledge of her assaults, Columbia responded in a clearly unreasonable manner.”
When The Blue and White Magazine asked Roskin-Frazee “for a statement on the lawsuit and whether she would be appealing the decision,” she gave no comment.