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CALawyer
CALawyer, Lawyer (JD)
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Experience:  Graduated Magna Cum Laude (Law School), Graduated Undergraduate at 19 Years of Age.
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I need to sue a university for discrimination under title ...

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I need to sue a university for discrimination under title ll of the ADA and section 504 of the rehabilitation act. I am doing this Pro se because I can''t find an attorney who will take the case because they think it will drag out. My question: how do I fill out the coort forms when filing a Federal suit against a university? Thank you.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  CALawyer replied 6 years ago.
What state and city is the University located in?

Did you plan on suing in federal court or state court?

Edited by CALawyer on 4/12/2008 at 9:29 AM
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The state is Indiana and I plan on suing in Federal court.
Expert:  CALawyer replied 6 years ago.
Okay... and if I'm duplicating what you already know, just let me know and I will try to provide other information.

Here is the Southern District of Indiana's Pro Se Litigant Resource page: CLICK HERE.

The Pro Se Handbook contains a guide of the information you will need to know how to file and handle your case.

Here is a link to the Pro Se Forms page: CLICK HERE.

The pro se civil complaint form is pretty self-explanatory as far as filling it out, particularly if you already know the statutes under which you are planning to sue.



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CALawyer, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1655
Experience: Graduated Magna Cum Laude (Law School), Graduated Undergraduate at 19 Years of Age.
CALawyer and 5 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply to CALawyer's Post: I have been looking at that page and have read the handbook. When I called the clerk at the courthouse, she was expressing that the forum for civil rights complaint was for filing a Tort. the sections on it that were confusing to me wearing whether to sue the entire University, or just the schools that discriminate against me. Also, I didn't know what to fill out under jurisdiction. I had been working with an advocacy service that doesn't file suits , but told me that the paperwork and the exact, or the judge could just throw the whole thing out.
Expert:  CALawyer replied 6 years ago.
As far as jurisdiction, it is a Federal Question jurisdiction under 28 USC 1311 because the case alleges violations of a federal civil rights statute.

As far as who to sue, typically, the schools in the University wouldn't be separate legal entities. If they are separate legal entities, then you could sue any of them that you feel are responsible and any of their parent/superior legal entities on a theory of "respondeat superior" (basically meaning that the superior is responsible for the acts of their agent).

The judges are a little bit more lenient with Pro Se filers as far as procedural accuracy and will typically allow pleadings to be amended if necessary.



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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
if I want to make sure the filling of the civil rights complaint is the same for filing a Federal suit as for filing tort claim. For the discrimination aspect , I only have 300 days to file and have to get that invite Tuesday. The affirmative action officer with whom I complained didn't send her results until October 31 , well after I was this Dismissed from the school.   This school even changed my grade to an F after I filed a complaint with affirmative action (of course they are denying that, but I have proof). I thought that I would file Federal on the University , and a tort On the academic affairs officer who conducted her investigation , which of course found that I had no case. Reading the handbook really made me think that I shouldn't just put the name of the university On the form , but that I should specify who actually discriminated against me by name. Jane Doe school of social work, And Janet Smith Affirmative action, for example
Expert:  CALawyer replied 6 years ago.
A federal civil rights violation is a tort.

You could name everyone that you feel is responsible as a defendant and let them work it out amongst themselves. There is no reason to not name the person who discriminated against you in the complaint or to keep her name off of the complaint. If you don't want her to be a defendant, you don't have to list her, but that doesn't prevent you from naming her in the complaint.



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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I apologize for the typos. I am using dictation software and wasn't paying attention to the last entry. The reason that I am having trouble filling out paperwork is because the Hancock seems to suggest that I should name individuals as opposed to organizations. The university has several schools: school of medicine, school of dentistry , a school of social work , full of science, etc. I am trying to figure out whether to enter the name University as the dependent , Or the name of the school within the University, with its separate address. I also don't know where to put the each individual defendants named. There are several people within the school of social work that I am including in my complaint .    Affirmative action is another area of the university that I plan to include in the suit and think that I should list as a separate defendant, with their separate address .   I am aung only one person in the Affirmative action department. It is a department of the university , but has a separate address. This is what confuses me and why I Asked for help filling out the form. Thank you. .
Expert:  CALawyer replied 6 years ago.
What university is it?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply to CALawyer's Post: Indiana university Purdue university Indianapolis (sorry about the delay getting back with you ) Jane Doe was the ringleader at the school of social work was Discrimination and defamation lead others at the school of social work to discriminate against me . I filed a complaint with affirmative action, a department of IUPUI that is located in a separate building , with a different address altogether.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
it's the IU School of social work.
Expert:  CALawyer replied 6 years ago.
Ok.

Just for your purposes, I am attaching a few complaints that have been filed in federal court against that university in the past few years (note that these weren't for your exact issue).

I can't give you direct legal advice of how to name defendants, but you can use these complaints as some examples and then make your own decision of who you want to name.

COMPLAINT 1

COMPLAINT 2

COMPLAINT 3


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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Indiana university Purdue university, affirmative action and Indiana university Purdue university; And Indiana university school of social work

looks pretty good to me, but they have three different addresses. The examples didn't really show me when to name a specific person's name. I just read the handbook again , but am still not clear . I sure do wish the civil action complaint letter had the option of a jury trial!
Expert:  CALawyer replied 6 years ago.
You can name the individual people if they were responsible for the civil rights violations. If they weren't directly responsible, then they could just be dismissed out of the suit later.



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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
One of the samples suits that you sent gave me just the information I was looking for, I think. Thanks for the information about the dismissing them from the suit later. That's a relief. OK , I have almost got it. On the complaint it has spacing for listing two or three defendants (I can add as many as I want )should I list defended number one : Indiana university Purdue university , their address and the Dependent two. Indiana University Purdue university academic affairs , its address , and defendant three . Indiana university Purdue university ; Indiana university school of social work , Jane dough internship coordinator , Janet Smith, executive director, with the social work schools separate address
Expert:  CALawyer replied 6 years ago.
That would seem to be appropriate given the facts you've described.



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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you . And now for my Last concern ... Requests for relief . should I Just specify a dollar amount , or name the reasons for the dollar amont : tuition and fees reimbursement, Lost wages considering the average salary of a social worker from May, 2006 , until I graduate with a social work degree from another University , not to exceed four years . they really gave me a hard time about not having a minivan so that I would not have to ask others For help with my wheelchair. what it be too much to ask the court for them to buy me a minivan? If so, I think that the other damages Are OK. An attorney shook his head about the wages thing , but that doesn't seem outlandish to me. Do you have an opinion on that?
Expert:  CALawyer replied 6 years ago.
My opinion on tort damages is that they would have to be reasonable, non-speculative, and reasonably related to the harm that came of you because of the actions.

You could put in a dollar amount with a brief explanation (don't get too detailed) or you could just say in amounts to be proven at trial with a brief explanation. The sample complaints I provided have good examples in their prayer's for relief.

Lost wages are a potential source of compensatory damages as long as you can establish that they are reasonably related to the violations of your rights and that they aren't speculative. This may require some expert testimony or expert opinion, but there is potential there.

For a tort, I don't see any way to ask them to purchase you a minivan. The idea of damages is compensation for something you lost, as opposed to giving you something that you need. The basic principal of a tort is that they harmed you in some way and that you need to be compensated for that harm.

Also, you can request damages for pain and suffering and emotional distress. The amount for those is the amount that it would take to compensate you for your pain and suffernig and emotional distress. The value of these would, in the long run, be decided by the judge and/or jury, but as long as you have a good faith reason for what you are claiming, its ok to ask for it. These damages could end up being enough for you to buy a minivan, but that wouldn't be a valid reason to state for the amount of them.



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Expert:  CALawyer replied 6 years ago.
I wanted to get a clarification on something also. Another expert pointed something out.

Is this for an employment discrimination complaint, or for discrimination against you as a student?

If employment, did you get a right to sue letter already?
Expert:  CALawyer replied 6 years ago.
I want to explain one thing about prayers for judgment.

Typically, what lawyers due is say something to the effect of "That the court award compensatory damages in amounts according to proof at for the plaintiffs lost wages, loss of earning capacity, etc... etc.."

As far as the general damages (pain and suffering), they will typically say "That the Court award general damages for the plaintiffs pain and suffering and severe emotional distress in amounts according to proof."

You can taylor those statements to meet your needs, but that is what is commonly alleged. Or you can put in specific amounts if you choose. Those statements just leave it open for the amounts to be proved later.



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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I was a student. I have already talked with the EEOC and my complaint is out of their jurisdiction. what I gather is that I should not enter an amount at all but asked the court to decide. That's what I would rather do , but wanted to make sure. I have proof out the wazoo. I will be asking the judge to appoint a lawyer for me. So when I go to the courthouse, I just specify that I want to file a Federal suit , but can still use the civil complaint form that we've been talking about, right? It doesn't look like the examples that you sent me. It does Not give me an option of asking for a jury.
Expert:  CALawyer replied 6 years ago.
Did you try filing a complaint through the Office of Civil Rights?

BTW, I have to go offline for the night, but will be back with you tomorrow. I am going to do some more research to see if I can find you some better forms or a source for better forms.

Edited by CALawyer on 4/12/2008 at 3:43 PM
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you and yes to ocr. night.
Expert:  CALawyer replied 6 years ago.
I wasn't able to find any different forms.

As far as the jury trial, you may or may not be entitled to one. My indication is that certain ADA actions wouldn't allow a jury trial as a matter of right, but certain ADA actions (ie. intentional discrimination cases) would. You can still use the complaint form that we previously discussed, but add in a jury demand if you want to try to get a jury trial.

As far as the complaint itself, if you do end up getting an attorney later, they may be able to amend it if necessary.


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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
would l demand under jurisdiction and statuteS? l think that's the right form too. my evidence is 9 typed pages of one or two sentences, each documenting an action. the instructions say to send copies of the claim to defendants. Does that include the 9 pages?
Expert:  CALawyer replied 6 years ago.
The demand for jury trial would typically go at the end of the complaint and be signed with a separate signature line. It just says that you demand a jury trial, it doesn't cite or reference any statutes. See those example complaints I posted.

As far as sending copies of the claim, you send whatever you actually file with the Court.
Typically, your evidence is something that would be obtained by the other party through discovery. Evidence is different than your claim unless those 9 typed pages are attached to your complaint that is filed with the Court.


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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
ok. copies go to parties that I have named in the lawsuit. I have named Indiana University Purdue university Indianapolis. Do I Send one to the president of the university? I have named the Indiana university school of social work. While it is under IUPUI is Should I send one to the president of IU (His offices in Bloomington Indiana, not Indianapolis.) ? I had named two employees working in the social work school. do I I send one to each of them , and to the affirmative action officer. I need to Give one to the court and keep one for myself. Other than to have to send copies, I believe we're done. There have been incredible and have helped me more than I can putinto words. I'm very grateful!
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
And, I just wanted to make sure that you realize I asked a question about Who to send copies to. I want to make sure that I pay you for your assistance. You have been awesome!
Expert:  CALawyer replied 6 years ago.
As far as who needs to be served, every defendant gets a copy, but they only have to get one per defendant. Also, the summons and complaint and related documents would need to be served on persons authorized to accept service.

The president of the University would likely be authorized to accept service. The individuals could be served in their own capacities. As far as the school of social work, whoever the head person (dean, etc.) is should be authorized to accept service.

The best way to achieve this is to hire a process server (most private investigators do this) to serve them.



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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Indiana university and Perdue University doesn't have its own president. Indiana university has A president and a Perdue University has a president. I'll figure out where to send paperwork.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
If I claim libel/slander/defamation can I list as supporting facts The same information that would last in the body of my nine pages of supporting evidence? It will be really tricky to pull out things from here and there , because each happened repeatedly. Button to just write "see attached documents But I know I have to put down something before adding the attached documents. The nine pages have I supporting facts that include names, and dates and that is what the claim asked me to answer.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The cause of action is brought pursuant to /I would I answer that? Probably nothing more from me to night, I'm gonna to see Bill Clinton give a speech in our neighborhood. I will Check your answers later and then accept, so that you will be paid.
Expert:  CALawyer replied 6 years ago.
In that section, you would place the federal law under which you are brining your cause of action. (Ie. the Americans With Disabilities Act, 42 USC Section 12131, et seq., or whatever statute or statutes under which you are making your claim).

As far as the libel/slander/defamation, you could refer to the attached documents. Attorneys will often put something like, "The actions of _____, set forth in Exhibit ___, attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference, consistute libel because _________________."


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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I'm finally ready to file. Thank you again, so much for your help. I'm going to look you up after it win this case.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I have filed a lawsuit and have received from the plaintiffs attorney "motion for judgment on the pleadings." I don't know how to answer this and need some help. I can give you a cause number if that will help you to review the motion or I can explain what it says. It's pretty lengthy. Can anyone help?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
you helped me start this lawsuitc in 08. now i need help ending it. i need to write a brief for appeal in the 7th circuit, illinois. will you please help...sorry typos

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CALawyer
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Graduated Magna Cum Laude (Law School), Graduated Undergraduate at 19 Years of Age.