Judge dismisses lawsuit over elimination of UND women’s hockey team
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (Valley News Live) - A lawsuit filed over the elimination of the UND women’s hockey team has been dismissed in federal court.
The class action lawsuit claimed the University of North Dakota violated Title IX when the university cut the women’s hockey program in 2017.
The four women who were named plaintiffs in the case were all hockey players; one was recruited from high school to play for UND, and the others said they would go to UND if the women’s hockey program was offered.
The women filed their complaint against the North Dakota University System (NDUS) on June 16, 2022; three years after a similar suit was dismissed.
Three of the plaintiffs graduated from Red River High School in Grand Forks and one graduated from Devils Lake High School. Court documents say they brought the claims on behalf of themselves and “of all current, prospective, and future female students who are harmed by and want to end NDUS’s sex discrimination and violation of Title IX.”
NDUS moved to dismiss the complaint saying the plaintiffs lack standing because they are not students at UND. The women disagreed, saying that “would-be students” have standing to bring Title IX claims against universities they do not attend.
Judge Peter Welte ruled in favor of NDUS and dismissed the lawsuit, saying each of the plaintiff’s claims of alleged injury were “conjectural” or “hypothetical” since they were not currently students at UND.
UND said in a statement to Valley News Live, “UND received notice of the U.S. District Court for the North Dakota Eastern Division’s decision on Jan. 9, 2023, which dismissed the plaintiff’s lawsuit filed against UND. UND is committed to Title IX, and has always maintained that our actions were in compliance. UND is pleased with the Court’s decision.”
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