‘The puck stops here’: Lawyers for North Dakota university system call for UND women’s hockey lawsuit to be dismissed

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Lawyers for the North Dakota attorney general’s office filed the motion to dismiss on November 15. In this petition, lawyers say the plaintiffs in the case, a group of 11 former UND hockey players, do not have standing to bring the case because their claims are moot. Lawyers also argue that the former players did not submit a claim for redress. The North Dakota Attorney General’s Office represents the NDUS on behalf of the UND.

“The plaintiffs did not allege one iota of fact to suggest that the UND violated Title IX when it terminated the women’s ice hockey team,” the attorney general’s office wrote in the petition. in rejection. “… Worse yet, the plaintiffs no longer have a personal interest in the outcome of his litigation sufficient to maintain the quality of Article III. For all these reasons, this action must be rejected. The puck stops here.

Article III of the United States Constitution establishes the judicial system and the provisions governing legal proceedings.

The lawsuit was first filed in 2018, after the UND cut its women’s hockey program a year earlier. The group of ex-players claimed that UND violated Title IX by eliminating the program. Title IX is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on sex in schools that receive federal funding.

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he was rejected by a federal judge in 2019, but was then appealed by former hockey players. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled in August that the case should be referred to the North Dakota District Court for review.

In the motion to dismiss, the attorney general’s office argues that the former players’ claims are moot for a number of reasons.

Among those reasons, lawyers say former players no longer have the right to sue because they are no longer registered with the UND and do not have NCAA eligibility to compete in varsity track and field. Under Article III, standing must “persist at all stages of the litigation”. The fact that they can no longer play takes away their quality to bring a lawsuit and makes their claims moot, according to the lawyers.

Neither person can restore their NCAA eligibility, according to the 29-page dismissal document. Two of the former players have gone pro and are therefore ineligible. The eligibility period for the remaining players has expired.

The attorney general’s office also argues that the district court does not have jurisdiction over a moot claim. If the court reinstated the women’s hockey team, the complainants could never reinstate it and any alleged harm they suffered could never be remedied.

Likewise, the motion to dismiss relies in part on a 1992 trial, McFarlin v. Newport Special School District, which was also decided by the Eighth Circuit. In that case, a high school student sued her school district after being taken off a basketball team without a hearing. The court ruled against the student and found her claim moot because she had graduated while the trial was ongoing.

“(This) court is simply incapable of granting him effective preliminary relief. The court cannot put her back on the basketball team, ”the Eighth Circuit judges wrote at the time.

Dan Siegel, a lawyer representing former hockey players, was not available for comment. According to court records, no date has been set for a hearing on the motion and no further documents have yet been filed in response to the dismissal motion.


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