Waters v. Metropolitan State U., 102502 FED8, 00-2209

Docket Nº:00-2209
Party Name:Waters v. Metropolitan State U.
Case Date:March 14, 2002
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

Randi (Ricklick) Waters, Plaintiff - Appellant,


Metropolitan State University, a state program; Defendant, Mark Matthews, in his individual and of official capacity; Defendant - Appellee, State University Board, a state agency; Minnesota, State of, Defendants.

No. 00-2209

United States Court of Appeals FOR THE EIGHTH CIRCUIT

Submitted: March 14, 2002


October 25, 2002

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District Minnesota.

Before LOKEN and JOHN R. GIBSON, Circuit Judges, and GOLDBERG,1 Judge.


Randi Waters appeals the district court's2 grant of summary judgment against her on her sexual harassment claim against Mark Matthews under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The district court held that a reasonable jury could not find that Matthews' sexual advances to Waters were unwelcome as a matter of law. Waters does not challenge the latter part of the summary judgment order, in which the district court analyzed her Title IX claim against Metropolitan State University and found that she failed to present evidence of "deliberate indifference" on the University's part. On appeal, Waters challenges only the dismissal of the § 1983 claim against Matthews. She argues that the district court erred in analyzing her claim against Matthews as a Title IX suit, rather than as a § 1983 claim against Matthews in his individual capacity for deprivation of her right to equal protection of the laws. Waters also asserts that the district court failed to assume her version of the facts was true and to give her the benefit of all reasonable inferences. We affirm the judgment of the district court.

The record before the district court shows that defendant Mark Matthews was and is a professor of philosophy at Metropolitan State University, where plaintiff Randi Waters was a student. In January 1995, Waters took a class with Matthews. During the spring term of 1995, Waters enrolled in a second class with Matthews, an independent study, but was unable to complete the work due to a personal tragedy. Over the next few months, Waters remained in contact with Matthews regarding her independent study and received an extension on her assignments. The independent study then lapsed in September 1995. Waters and Matthews met in his office at least once during the fall of 1995. In February 1996, Waters called Matthews to thank him for his support and friendship over the previous few months. In March 1996, Matthews told Waters that he "wanted to pursue this friendship more" and invited her over to his apartment. Waters got a babysitter for the evening and went over to Matthews' apartment for a few hours. Over the next week or so, she returned to his apartment four or five times upon his request. By April 1996, Waters and Matthews had entered into what Waters later termed a "consensual sexual relationship," which continued until approximately January 1997.

After making a formal sexual harassment complaint to Metropolitan State University in March 1997, Waters filed this action in federal district court alleging, among other claims, that Matthews...

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