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Savona v. Southern Oregon University

United States District Court, D. Oregon, Medford Division

March 29, 2018

MIKHAIL SAVONA, Plaintiff,
v.
SOUTHERN OREGON UNIVERSITY; LINDA SCHOTT; CHARLES LANE; JODY WATERS; JOHN AND JANE DOES 1-50, Defendants.

          OPINION & ORDER

          Ann Aiken United States District Judge.

         This matter comes before the Court on Defendants' Partial Motion to Dismiss the Fourth Amended Complaint ("FAC"), ECF No. 32. This motion is appropriate for resolution without oral argument. Defendants' Motion is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. Plaintiff shall have thirty (30) days from the date of this Order in which to file an amended complaint.

         BACKGROUND

         Defendant Southern Oregon University ("SOU") is an Oregon public university located in Ashland, Oregon. Defendant Dr. Linda Schott ("Schott") is the president of SOU, a position she has held since August 2016. Defendant Dr. Charles Lane ("Lane") is a professor of environmental science at SOU, Defendant Jody Waters ("Waters") is the SOU administrator responsible for providing services and accommodations to students with disabilities.

         Plaintiff Mikhail Savona ("Savona") is an SOU student. Savona suffers from dyslexia, a disorder affecting his ability to interpret words, letters and other symbols, and from dyscalculia, a disorder affecting his ability to calculate numbers and perform other mathematical functions. Savona's dyslexia and dyscalculia are considered to be disabilities and entitle him to certain academic accommodations, such as additional time for test-taking, or having his exams administered orally, rather than in writing.

         During the fall term of 2015, Savona enrolled in a class called "Business, Government, & Society, " or BA110.[1] Savona requested testing accommodations for BA110, but the accommodations were not provided. Savona received a failing grade in BA110. Savona does not allege that he appealed his grade in BA110, or initiated any other sort of grievance procedure related to the failure to provide him with accommodations.

         During the fall term of 2016, Savona enrolled in a class called "Environmental Science, " or ES101, taught by Lane. Savona is required to pass ES101 in order to graduate. The course materials for ESI01 include timed online quizzes and a written exam. Savona requested, but did not receive, accommodations while enrolled in ESI01. Savona received a failing grade in ESI01. Savona appealed his failing grade and the failure to provide accommodations through the SOU grievance procedures. An administrative hearing was held on March 6, 2017, and SOU subsequently denied Savona's grievance. This action followed.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         Where a plaintiff "fail[s] to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, " the court must dismiss the action. Fed, R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). In order to state a viable claim, a plaintiff must allege "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." BellAtl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007); see also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 697 (2009). This means a complaint must contain "factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). The complaint must contain "well-pleaded facts" which "permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct." Id. at 679.

         For purposes of a motion to dismiss, the complaint is liberally construed in favor of the plaintiff and its allegations taken as true. Rosen v. Walters, 719 F.2d 1422, 1424 (9th Cir. 1983). Bare assertions, however, that amount to nothing more than a "formulaic recitation of the elements" of a claim "are conclusory and not entitled to be assumed true." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 681.

         DISCUSSION

         Savona brings claims against SOU (1) for violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., (2) for violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 794; and (3) against Schott, Lane, and Waters for violation of his due process rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

         Defendants move to dismiss Savona's claims insofar as they relate to BA110 because any ADA or Rehabilitation Act claims related to BA110 are barred by the applicable statute of limitations. Defendants move to dismiss Savona's claims against Lane and Schott on the basis that Savona has failed to state a claim as to those individual defendants.

         I. ...


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