The 2011 Department of Education “Dear Colleague” letter shifted responsibility for adjudicating sexual assault cases to campus disciplinary committees. Three years later, it has become clear that these panels are inadequate to the task of investigating and adjudicating complex allegations of sexual assault. Now, a growing number of lawsuits are being filed by both men and women alleging violations of the federal Title IX law, due process, and other legal requirements.

On one hand, numerous persons claiming to be victims of sexual assault have filed lawsuits alleging mishandling of their complaints. One of the most-publicized complaints, filed by 50 students and faculty against Occidental College in California, resulted in an out-of-court settlement in 2013. Earlier this year a group of Harvard students filed a federal complaint calling for stronger sexual assault measures.  Likewise, a growing number of persons claiming to have been falsely accused and/or wrongfully suspended or expelled have taken legal action. 

From 2006-2010, 262 claims were filed, resulting in $36 million in losses to cover payments to claimants and associated legal fees:

                                                                               Number of Claims                              Average Loss per Claim                           Total Losses
Accusers                                                                           121                                                       $83,471                                        $10.1 million
Accused                                                                            141                                                       $183,688                                      $25.9 million
Total                                                                                   262                                                                                                           $36.0 million

Database of Lawsuits Against Colleges and Universities Alleging Due Process and Other Violations in Adjudicating Sexual Assault

Doe v. Regents of the University of California San Diego 7-10-2015 Order


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Families Advocating for Campus Equality

The mission of FACE is to advocate for equal treatment and due process for those affected by sexual misconduct allegations on campus and to support those students and their families through outreach and education.