Doe v. Regents of the University of CaliforniaAnnotate this Case
"John Doe" and "Jane Roe" were students at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) when they began a romantic relationship. A few months after their relationship ended, Jane made a complaint to UCSD's Office of Student Conduct (OSC) that John had sexually assaulted her. The investigator produced a report indicating it was more likely than not that John digitally penetrated Jane's vagina without consent but that there was insufficient evidence to support two other claims Jane had alleged against John: (1) John had sexual intercourse with Jane without her effective consent on January 31, 2014; and (2) John retaliated against Jane at an off campus party on May 14, 2014. After a meeting with the relevant dean in which John did not take responsibility for the alleged misconduct, UCSD held a student conduct review hearing regarding Jane's complaint where a student conduct review panel (Panel) heard testimony and considered evidence. Ultimately, the Panel found that John had violated UCSD's Student Conduct Code. In addition to other sanctions, the Panel recommended John be suspended from UCSD for one quarter. After considering the Panel's recommendation, the evidence, and statements from both John and Jane, the relevant dean suspended John for an entire year in addition to prescribing other sanctions. John appealed the Panel's decision as well as the sanctions to the council of provosts, but the council found the Panel's decision supported by the evidence and the sanctions were not too excessive. In fact, the council of provosts increased the length of John's suspension by a quarter. John petitioned for a writ of mandate in the superior court, arguing he was not afforded a fair hearing, substantial evidence did not support the Panel's decision, and both the dean and the Regents of the University of California (Regents) improperly increased his punishment in response to his appealing the Panel's decision and recommended sanctions. The superior court granted the petition, agreeing with John on all grounds and entered judgement requiring the Regents to set aside their findings and the sanctions issued against John. The Regents appeal the judgment, arguing the trial court erred in granting the petition for writ of mandamus. After review, the Court of Appeal agreed that the superior court erred in rendering judgment in favor of John. The judgment was reversed and the matter remanded for further proceedings.