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Case Name DOJ Investigation of University of Montana-Missoula's Office of Public Safety PN-MT-0001
Docket / Court docket unknown ( No Court )
State/Territory Montana
Case Type(s) Policing
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On May 1, 2012, the Special Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division ("Division") of the Department of Justice ("DOJ") opened a civil pattern or practice investigation into the University of Montana's Office of Public Safety (OPS), focusing on allegations that OPS was failing to adequately ... read more >
On May 1, 2012, the Special Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division ("Division") of the Department of Justice ("DOJ") opened a civil pattern or practice investigation into the University of Montana's Office of Public Safety (OPS), focusing on allegations that OPS was failing to adequately investigate and prosecute alleged sexual assaults against all women in Missoula, not just university students, due to gender discrimination in violation of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. § 14141, and the anti-discrimination provisions of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968. (The Division and the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights also launched a companion investigation of the University itself and the Division simultaneously investigated the City of Missoula Police Department and the Missoula County Attorney's Office. These are linked as related cases, below.)

On May 9, 2013, the DOJ released a findings letter, which identified that OPS's response to sexual assaults was compromised by deficiencies in policy, training, and practice.

Also on May 9, 2013, a memorandum of agreement between the Division and the University regarding OPS's response to sexual assault was executed, resolving the Division's investigation. The agreement requires the University to implement or revise policies; provide training and change practices to improve its response to sexual assault, including combating gender bias; retain an independent reviewer and work with the reviewer, community-based organizations and other stakeholders, to develop and implement the reforms described in the agreement; evaluate OPS' success in effecting meaningful reform; demonstrate that its implementation of the agreement has eliminated a pattern or practice of constitutional violations and that it has put in place systems and oversight that will prevent patterns or practices of unconstitutional conduct from recurring; and develop procedures for gathering and analyzing data to assess the incidence and outcomes of reports of sexual assault. The University agreed to pay all costs and fees associated with the independent reviewer, who is mandated by the agreement to produce quarterly written, public reports.

Thomas T. Tremblay, the designated independent reviewer, submitted reports on progress under the agreement on November 6, 2013, June 10, 2014, and December 3, 2014. On June 30, 2015, the independent reviewer issued his final report of sustained compliance, reporting that the University of Montana Police Department (UMPD) had reached compliance under all provisions of the agreement. The report also outlined a sustainment plan under which the University would sustain and continue to build the progress made under the agreement after DOJ oversight. The UMPD agreed to maintain the changes in its approach to sexual assault after the end of the agreement, and to continue in-service training on sexual assault, annual review of policies and procedures on sexual assault response, and improved analysis and reporting of campus sexual assaults through the UMPD/Title IX Compliance Specialist, a new position created under the agreement. The agreement terminated with the final report, and the DOJ announced the UMPD's full implementation of the agreement's requirements in a July 10, 2015 press release.

Louisa Eberle - 11/11/2013
Heather Turner - 05/04/2014
Sarah McDonald - 08/19/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Goals and Timekeeping
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Monitor/Master
Monitoring
Provide antidiscrimination training
Reporting
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
General
Disparate Impact
Failure to train
Inadequate citizen complaint investigations and procedures
Incident/accident reporting & investigations
Pattern or Practice
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Special Case Type
Out-of-court
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 14141
Defendant(s) University of Montana-Missoula's Office of Public Safety
Plaintiff Description U.S. DOJ Civil Rights Division, Educational Opportunities Section, investigating into allegations of discrimination against female residents of Missoula in OPS's response to sexual assault.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Moot
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration 2013 - 2015
Filing Year 2012
Case Closing Year 2015
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing ED-MT-0001 : University of Montana-Missoula (No Court)
PN-MT-0002 : DOJ Investigation of Missoula Police Department (No Court)
CJ-MT-0003 : DOJ Investigation of Missoula County Attorney’s Office (D. Mont.)
Additional Resources
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  Data examining the Department of Justice's civil rights investigations of local and state police departments
Marshall Project
Date: Jan. 17, 2017
By: Tom Meagher (Marshall Project)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  The Civil Rights Division’s Pattern and Practice Police Reform Work: 1994-Present
https://www.justice.gov/
Date: Jan. 4, 2017
By: U.S. Department of Justice
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  An Interactive Guide to the Civil Rights Division’s Police Reforms
https://www.justice.gov/
Date: Jan. 4, 2017
By: U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  What Happens When Police Are Forced to Reform?
Date: Nov. 13, 2015
By: Kimbriell Kelly, Sarah Childress and Steven Rich (Frontline/Post)
Citation: Washington Post (Nov. 13, 2015)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town
Date: Apr. 21, 2015
By: Jon Krakauer
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Federal Enforcement of Police Reform
Date: 2014
By: Stephen Rushin (University of Illinois College of Law, University of California, Berkeley - Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program Faculty)
Citation: 82 Fordham Law Review 3189 (2014)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Justice Department Announces Investigations of the Handling of Sexual Assault Allegations by the University of Montana, the Missoula, Mont., Police Department and the Missoula County Attorney’s Office
PN-MT-0001-0009.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 05/01/2012
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Re: The United States' Investigation of the University of Montana's Office of Public Safety
PN-MT-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/09/2013
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Memorandum of Agreement Between the United States Department of Justice and the University of Montana Regarding the University of Montana Office of Public Safety's Response to Sexual Assault
PN-MT-0001-0002.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 05/09/2013
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
First Report of the Independent Reviewer Covering June 19, 2013 - October 1, 2013
PN-MT-0001-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/06/2013
Source: Defendant or Defendant's Counsel
Second Report of the Independent Reviewer Covering October 1,2013 - April 1, 2014
PN-MT-0001-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/10/2014
Source: U.S. DOJ, Civil Rights Division, Education Section
Third Report of the Independent Reviewer Covering April 1, 2014 - August 8, 2014 and First Year Compliance Assessment
PN-MT-0001-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/03/2014
Source: U.S. DOJ, Civil Rights Division, Education Section
University of Montana Police Department Final Report of Sustained Compliance Regarding the Agreement Between the United States Department of Justice and the University of Montana in Relation to UMPD's Response to Sexual Assault
PN-MT-0001-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/30/2015
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Justice Department Announces University of Montana Police Department Has Fully Implemented Agreement to Improve Response to Reports of Sexual Assault
PN-MT-0001-0008.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 07/10/2015
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Plaintiff's Lawyers Austin, Roy L. (District of Columbia)
PN-MT-0001-0002
Cotter, Michael W. (Montana)
PN-MT-0001-0001 | PN-MT-0001-0002 | PN-MT-0001-0008 | PN-MT-0001-0009
Gupta, Vanita (District of Columbia)
PN-MT-0001-0008
Mondino, Jennifer L. (District of Columbia)
PN-MT-0001-0002
Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)
PN-MT-0001-0001 | PN-MT-0001-0002 | PN-MT-0001-0009
Smith, Jonathan Mark (District of Columbia)
PN-MT-0001-0002
Trepel, Samantha Kay (District of Columbia)
PN-MT-0001-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Engstrom, Royce (Montana)
PN-MT-0001-0002

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