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August 29th, 2012 By Andy Brownfield | News | Posted In: News, Education

Suspended Frat Sues Miami U. for $10M

Phi Kappa Tau claims university unconstitutionally suspended it

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UPDATE: 5:11 p.m. Updated with comment from Miami University spokeswoman.

A Miami University fraternity that was suspended after an alleged fireworks battle led to police finding drugs when executing a search warrant has filed a lawsuit with the frat demanding $10 million from the university.

The Phi Kappa Tau chapter at Miami university alleges in their lawsuit that university officials improperly suspended the fraternity, damaged its business and property and made libelous allegations out of “malice, hatred and ill will.”

The frat is suing for compensation as well as $10 million in punitive damages and attorneys fees.

The Tuesday court filing demanded a trial by jury.

The fraternity was suspended after members of the Phi Kappa Tau and Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternities allegedly threw lit fireworks between their two frat houses. 

When Oxford police officers tried to investigate, students refused to let them into the houses without warrants. So the police got warrants.

According to the filing, inside the Phi Kappa Tau house police found fireworks, a baggy of marijuana and two pipes.

The lawsuit alleges that the university improperly suspended the fraternity because it did so in the absence of any written complaint. It claims that there are no police complaints or charges as of the lawsuit’s filing.

The suit also alleges that the university recklessly made false statements damaging the reputation of the fraternity and causing some of its members “severe emotional distress.”

Miami University spokeswoman Claire Wagner declined to comment on the lawsuit. However, she said the school's student code allows the Dean of Students or a designee to issue a summary suspension without a written complaint if there is a pending investigation. She said the university, as well as Oxford fire and police, are investigating the incident.

 
 
 
 
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