Wednesday, June 1, 2022
Law.com, Appeals Court Chides Students in COVID-19 Fee Dispute Against University:
A federal appeals court, rejecting an attempt to revive a lawsuit against a university over fees charged during the COVID-19 pandemic, said the students are lucky opposing counsel did not seek sanctions for filing frivolous litigation [Thiele v. Board of Trustees of Illinois State University, No. 21-3017 (7th Cir. May 27, 2022)].
Students Jack Moylan and Bailey Thiele alleged Illinois State University violated the U.S. Constitution by continuing to collect part of a fee meant to cover the cost of on-campus facilities and programs, even though the school switched to remote learning due to the pandemic. They argued the purported breach of contract violated the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause and 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause.
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Judge Frank Easterbrook, joined by Judges Michael Scudder and Joel Flaum, said not only is that argument incorrect, but the students’ attempt to keep their lawsuit alive by naming a board of trustees member and the college’s former president in their individual capacities was not appropriate.
Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:
- Federal Judge Reinstates Harvard Law Students' COVID-19 Tuition Refund Class Action (Apr. 8, 2022)
- D.C. Circuit Revives COVID Tuition Refund Lawsuits Against American, George Washington Universities (Mar. 10, 2022)
- COVID-19 Tuition Refund Fights Heat Up In Appeals Courts (Feb. 2, 2022)
- Columbia Settles COVID-19 Class Action Tuition Refund Suit For $12.5 Million (Nov. 27, 2021)
- Federal Judge Dismisses Harvard Law Students' COVID-19 Tuition Refund Class Action (June 24, 2021)
- Although Courts Have Dismissed Many Of The 300+ COVID-19 Tuition Refund Lawsuits, Dozens Are Proceeding Toward Trial; Colleges Have Settled Two Of The Cases And Paid Millions In Damages (May 20, 2021)
- Courts Differ On Whether Colleges Should Pay Tuition Refunds For Classes Shifted Online During COVID-19 (Apr. 23, 2021)
- Federal Judge Dismisses Santa Clara Law Students' COVID-19 Tuition Refund Class Action (Apr. 15, 2021)
- Federal Judge Allows Student Tuition Refund Class Action To Proceed Against Quinnipiac University Over COVID-19 Shift To Online Learning (Apr. 14, 2021)
- GWU And NYU Beat Student COVID-19 Tuition Refund Lawsuits (Mar. 31, 2021)
- Legislation Would Force Kansas Colleges To Give Students 50% Tuition Refunds For Classes Shifted Online Due To COVID-19 (Feb. 18, 2021)
- Update On Student Tuition Refund Lawsuits Following Colleges' Shift To Online Classes During COVID-19 (Oct. 6, 2020)
- University Pays $1.65 Million To Settle Tuition Refund Class Action Claiming Online Classes During Covid Were 'Subpar'; Students Get $185 Each; Lawyers Get $550,000 (May 12, 2022)