Case name: Gamage v. State of Nevada, No.: 2:12-cv-00290-GMN-VCF (D. Nev. 03/19/13).
Ruling: The District Court denied the defendant’s
motion to dismiss, finding the plaintiff had alleged enough facts to
allow the case to proceed.
What it means: When a public higher education
institution dismisses a student for academic dishonesty, such as
plagiarism, it must give the student due process.
And that due process could include permission for the student to be represented by an attorney at a hearing.
Summary: Sujanie Gamage submitted a dissertation
to her advisory committee in the chemistry program at the University of
Nevada, Las Vegas in February 2011.
A chemistry professor filed a report in June 2011 alleging that Gamage’s dissertation contained plagiarized text.
After a hearing, the university’s academic integrity
appeal panel found Gamage had committed plagiarism. She was removed from
Gamage sued, disputing the academic misconduct and
claiming violation of due process rights because she was prevented from
being represented and/or assisted by an advisor at the hearing.
The university filed a motion to dismiss.
The judge said the Due Process Clause prohibited arbitrary deprivations of liberty.
Noting the complaint alleged UNLV prevented her from
returning to the university and effectively from being admitted to
another higher education institution, he ruled Gamage had adequately
pled a deprivation of constitutionally protected interests.
The judge refused to dismiss the case.