United States District Court, D. Kansas
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
A. ROBINSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on Defendant Kansas State
University's (“KSU”) Motion to Join an
Additional Party Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 19(a)(2), or, in
the Alternative, to Dismiss Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(7)
and 19(b) (Doc. 16). KSU seeks to have the student alleged to
have sexually assaulted Plaintiff joined to this case, in
which Plaintiff asserts Title IX, Kansas Consumer Protection
Act (“KCPA”), and negligence claims. The motion
is fully briefed and the Court is prepared to rule. For the
reasons explained below, the Court denies KSU's motion
following allegations are taken from Plaintiff's
Complaint. On Friday, March 6, 2015, Plaintiff went with a
group of friends to a KSU fraternity party, where members
passed out margaritas and beer. Another person at the party
carried around a bag of wine and gave people, including
Plaintiff, drinks directly from the bag's spout.
Plaintiff became very intoxicated.
about 2:00 a.m., a designated driver took Plaintiff home.
Shortly thereafter, Plaintiff received a Facebook message
from KSU student T.R., a member of the fraternity she had
known since high school and had seen at the party. T.R. told
Plaintiff she should come to his fraternity house because
they were “still turning up.” He was persistent,
even offering to pick her up.
relented, and T.R. picked her up and brought her to the
fraternity house. T.R. and Plaintiff went to his room and had
sex. Sometime later, T.R. told Plaintiff he was going to
start his car, presumably to take her home, and he left
Plaintiff alone in the room.
T.R. was gone, Tessa discovered a stranger had been hiding in
the closet. She later learned he was C.M., another KSU
student. C.M. admitted T.R. had made him go into the closet.
Plaintiff, inebriated and confused, fell face first onto a
bed, where she blacked out. C.M. pulled down Plaintiff's
pants and penetrated her vaginally with his penis while
pulling her hair and whispering in her ear. Plaintiff
regained consciousness and screamed into the mattress until
he finished. C.M. did not use a condom. Plaintiff reported
the rape on the following Monday or Tuesday. She alleges that
C.M. was sanctioned for alcohol use, but that KSU refused to
investigate the rape. Plaintiff alleges C.M.'s continued
presence on campus has placed her in fear and that the sexual
assault was so severe, pervasive, and offensive as to deny
her access to the benefits and opportunities of an education
at KSU. Among other relief, Plaintiff seeks an injunction
“ordering K-State to conduct an investigation and
disciplinary proceedings into” Plaintiff's report
of sexual assault.
Civ. P. 19(a) provides, in relevant part:
Required Party. A person who is
subject to service of process and whose joinder will not
deprive the court of subject-matter jurisdiction must be
joined as a party if:
. . .
that person claims an interest relating to the subject of the
action and is so situated that disposing of the action in the
person's absence may: (i) as a practical matter impair or
impede the person's ability to protect the interest; or
(ii) leave an existing party subject to a substantial risk of
incurring double, multiple, or otherwise inconsistent
obligations because of the interest.
Joinder by Court Order. If a person
has not been joined as required, the court must order that
the person be made a party. A person who refuses to join as a
plaintiff may be made either a defendant or, in a proper
case, an involuntary plaintiff.
to join a necessary party is a defense under Fed.R.Civ.P.
argues that C.M. is a necessary party under both Fed.R.Civ.P.
19(a)(1)(B)(i) and 19(a)(1)(B)(ii). KSU argues that
disposition of this action without C.M. would violate his due
process liberty and property interests, and would subject KSU
to a substantial risk of incurring double, multiple, or
otherwise inconsistent obligations. Thus, KSU moves for
joinder of C.M.
party in this case, or for dismissal of the case pursuant to
Interests of Party to be Joined
to Rule 19, a person who claims an interest in the litigation
is a necessary party where disposing of the action in the
person's absence would “as a practical matter
impair or impede the person's ability to protect the
interest.” KSU argues that resolution of this action
in the absence of C.M. would impede his ability to protect
his interests. KSU's argument rests on two fundamental
assertions. First, KSU claims that to recover on her Title
IX, KCPA, and negligence claims, Plaintiff will have to prove
that C.M. raped her. Second, KSU asserts that because
Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief ordering KSU to conduct
“disciplinary proceedings, ” Plaintiff seeks an
order compelling a pre-ordained finding by KSU that C.M.
further argues that because Plaintiff must prove in this
action that C.M. raped her, and because the relief Plaintiff
seeks would compel a finding by KSU to the same effect,
resolution of this action without C.M. would impede
C.M.'s due process interests. KSU asserts that
categorizing someone as a “sex offender”
implicates a protected liberty interest where that labeling
is accompanied by a “plus” factor that will
significantly alter the person's status. KSU further
asserts that C.M. has a protected property interest in
continued education, such that he cannot be expelled or
dismissed without due process. Because KSU will be compelled to
find C.M. a rapist in any forthcoming investigation and
disciplinary proceedings, and because Plaintiff will likely
be able to ...