University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Bonner v. Colby College ED-ME-0001
Docket / Court 1:03-cv-00103-MJK ( D. Me. )
State/Territory Maine
Case Type(s) Education
Case Summary
On June 6, 2003, four female students filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Maine under Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment against Colby College. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, ... read more >
On June 6, 2003, four female students filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Maine under Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment against Colby College. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, claimed that the College violated their rights to participate in athletics based on their sex. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that Colby College provided male athletes with more funding, newer equipment, more coaching, and a better locker room. The plaintiffs sought injunctive relief and attorney's fees.

On June 23, 2003, Colby College moved to dismiss the Equal Protection claim on the basis that, as a private college, they were not a state actor and therefore could not be sued under 48 USC 1983. On July 31, 2003, the Court (Judge John Woodcock, Jr.) granted the defendant's motion.

On February 19, 2004, the parties reached a settlement and stipulated to dismissal of the action with prejudice. While the settlement agreement was not filed, new reports state the Colby College agreed to adjust coaching assignments, remodel the women's locker room, and maintain policies and practices to ensure equivalent programs for men's and women's teams.

Richard Jolly - 02/22/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Defendant-type
College/University
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Non-government non-profit
Causes of Action Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq.
Defendant(s) Colby College
Plaintiff Description High school students claim denial of equal treatment and benefits accompanying opportunity to participate in athletics based on gender; including funding, supplies, travel, and coaching.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Order Duration 2004 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Courts and Kids: Pursuing Educational Equity Through the State Courts
By: Michael Rebell (Columbia University, and Campaign for Educational Equity)
Citation: (University of Chicago Press, 2009)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Links Dear Colleague Letter: Athletic Activities Counted for Title IX Compliance
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html
Posted: Sep. 17, 2008
By: United States Department of Education—Office of Civil Rights (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:03-cv-00103-MJK (D. Me.) 02/19/2004
ED-ME-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 06/09/2003
ED-ME-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation of Dismissal 02/19/2004
ED-ME-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Kravchuk, Margaret J. (D. Me.) [Magistrate]
ED-ME-0001-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Coughlin, Eugene C (Maine)
ED-ME-0001-0001 | ED-ME-0001-0002 | ED-ME-0001-9000
Schiller, Samuel (Tennessee)
ED-ME-0001-0001 | ED-ME-0001-0002 | ED-ME-0001-9000
Yasser, Raymond (Oklahoma)
ED-ME-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Crouter, Jerrol A. (Maine)
ED-ME-0001-9000
Hewey, Melissa A. (Maine)
ED-ME-0001-0002 | ED-ME-0001-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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