Title IX law is currently in a state of flux. New regulations went into effect in 2020 significantly increasing due process protections for students accused of Title IX violations. The president-elect, however, has reportedly expressed an intention to change those regulations. Courts have also played a part in the changes occurring with Title IX. One issue that has recently been the focus of several cases is the pleading standard of Title IX discipline cases. Some courts have required allegations of Title IX violation in a disciplinary process to meet specific doctrinal tests. Several circuit courts have recently broken from this requirement and applied a broader pleading standard, resulting in a circuit split.
In a recent case, a plaintiff sought reconsideration of the dismissal of his Title IX claims following a Third Circuit opinion that he argued changed the law. A male student, identified as “John Doe,” filed suit against the university in the District of New Jersey, making both an “erroneous outcome” claim and a “selective enforcement” claim under Title IX, as well as several state law claims.
The District Court had previously dismissed his Title IX claims. The plaintiff moved for reconsideration based on a recent Third Circuit decision in similar case, Doe v. University of the Sciences. The plaintiff argued the Third Circuit decision constituted an “intervening change in the controlling law” that justified reconsideration.