Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

7th Circuit Chides Students In Fee Dispute Against University For Online Classes During COVID-19, 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:

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