by Andy Brownfield
Posted In: News
at 03:27 PM | Permalink
Phi Kappa Tau claims university unconstitutionally suspended it
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
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.