Jane Does Nos. 1, 2 and 3 ask to remain anonymous in lawsuit against TCU



The Brown-Lupton University Union. (Heesoo Yang/Staff Photographer)

By Renee Umsted

Lawyers for Jane Does Nos. 1, 2 and 3 asked the court to allow them to continue using a pseudonym in the lawsuit against TCU.

The motion was filed in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Texas on Sept. 11, in response to the court’s order to the plaintiffs to either reveal their names or file a motion to remain anonymous.

Does Nos. 1, 2 and 3, who are represented by lawyers at Anozie, LLP, said in the motion they had disclosed personal information about themselves in the lawsuit, which is “deserving of protection, including Plaintiffs being permitted to proceed under pseudonym/anonymously.”

“As a practice, TCU does not comment on pending litigation beyond the papers we file in court. TCU is focused on creating a respectful and inclusive community for all students,” the university said in a statement.

The motion filed on behalf of Jane Does Nos. 1, 2 and 3 on Sept. 11, asking the court to allow them to remain anonymous.

According to the motion, revealing the identities of Does Nos. 1, 2 and 3 would not benefit the defendants very much but would harm the plaintiffs, who have disclosed information of the “utmost intimacy,” anticipate retaliation based on the history of harassment of people who have spoken out against racism and sexism at TCU, and experience stigma due to their experiences with disabilities, mental health issues and assault.

This motion was filed in response to a court order filed Aug. 20, telling the plaintiffs to “file a Fourth Amended Complaint identifying their real names or move for leave to proceed anonymously” by Sept. 11.

The court’s order instructing the plaintiffs to either use their names or request to continue using pseudonyms.

Deadlines to add plaintiffs to the lawsuit

The court denied Does Nos. 4 and 5 — a former and a current graduate student at TCU, respectively — the opportunity to join the lawsuit with Jane Does Nos. 1, 2 and 3 in late June.

However, the court also said Does Nos. 4 and 5 could move separately to join the lawsuit, issuing a deadline of Aug. 21 to do so.

Read more: Court won’t allow graduate students to join discrimination suit

On Aug. 20, lawyers for Does Nos. 1, 2 and 3 filed a motion to extend the deadline to add plaintiffs to the lawsuit.

The Aug. 20 motion to extend the deadline.

The next day, the lawyers filed a motion to allow Jane Does Nos. 4 and 5 to join the lawsuit and add Dr. Frederick Gooding and Dr. Karen Steele as defendants.

According to the Aug. 21 document, Doe No. 1 already made allegations of negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and conspiracy against Gooding. Also, Steele’s alleged conduct toward Does Nos. 4 and 5 formed the basis of their discrimination complaints submitted to TCU, making her liable for the plaintiffs’ allegations of negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The Aug. 21 motion to add Jane Does Nos. 4 and 5 as plaintiffs and Gooding and Steele as defendants.

In response, TCU’s attorneys at McDonald Sanders filed a motion on Aug. 25 to ask the court to deny the plaintiffs’ request to extend the deadline for adding Does Nos. 4 and 5 to the suit.

According to the document, the plaintiffs requested the Aug. 21 deadline, and they gave no specific examples to warrant the extra time, including how the extended deadline is “crucial in having Does 1, 2, or 3’s respective claims fully and fairly adjudicated.”

In addition, TCU alleges in the motion that additional time would prejudice the defendants and slow down the lawsuit.

TCU’s Aug. 25 motion to deny the deadline extension.

TCU also filed a separate document Aug. 26, again asking the court to strike more than 44 paragraphs from the plaintiffs’ complaint.

This comes in response to the plaintiffs’ complaint in which they referenced, according to the motion, “immaterial and impertinent allegations that have no relationship to the claims of the Doe plaintiffs,” including news of the use of racial slurs by head coach Gary Patterson and an admitted student.

Read more: TCU asks court to strike almost 29 pages from plaintiffs’ complaint

According to TCU’s motion, Does Nos. 1, 2 and 3 do not cite any evidence supporting their allegation that past events are relevant to the plaintiffs’ claims.

“What was said or done on the campus of TCU decades ago — in a different era — has no connection to the present controversy,” according to the document.

TCU also said in the document that the motion to strike the paragraphs is done to expedite the lawsuit.