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UWM Student Association v. Student Association at UWM
United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
June 18, 2018
UWM STUDENT ASSOCIATION, LENA-ROSE M. ABU SAIF, ANDRES GABRIEL AGUILAR, ALLA R. AHMAD, JAMEELA AL-ASMAR, EMMA BORKOWSKI, PHILLIP A. COCHRAN, GONZALO COUTO-LAIN, KEITH CRUM, PAUL GARNI, USMAN GHAFFAR, REBECCA L. HADRIAN, FLAUNTAJIA HARRIS, BRITTNEY HENRY, LAWRENCE W. IVORY, JR., SAMUEL A. JADIN, CASANDRA JOHNSON, NORIELLE T. JOHNSON, KAYLA BRIANNE KAPLAN, THOMAS KELLY, HEIDI W. LAGERMAN, DANIEL S. LAUGHLAND, KARINA D. LEMPERT, REBECCA LILLIE, BRENT LINDQUIST, MICHAEL LUDWIG, JONNELLI N. NAVES-GONZALEZ, DHARA PAREKH, ALEX PARTEE, SHREYA PATNAIK, SYED A. QADIR, VINCE CASIMIR ROLBIECKI, LEYTON SCHIEBEL, ALIZAR S. B. SALEEM, TREVOR THOMAS SCHERMERHORN, WILLIAM J. SCHMIDT, TAYLOR Q. SCOTT, AHMED SHEHADEH, MOHAMMAD SAMIR SIDDIQUE, RYAN THOMAS STETZ, ANDREW CARLYLE URBAN, KIARA A. WILSON, KORINA YEE, and ALAN D. EISENBERG, Plaintiffs,
STUDENT ASSOCIATION AT UWM, DR. MICHAEL LALIBERTE, DAVID STOCKTON, RICHARD R. THOMAS, THOMAS G. MCGINNITY, RYAN SORENSON, MARK A. MONE, EDWARD C. MELCHIOR, NICOLE HEINEN, CAMILLE RIDGEWAY, ROBIN JENS, JOHN BEHLING, MARK BRADLEY, JOSE DELGADO, TONY EVERS, MICHAEL FALBO, MARGARET FARROW, EVE HALL, NICOLAS HARSY, TIM HIGGINS, EDMUND MANYDEEDS, REGINA MILLNER, JANICE MUELLER, DREW PETERSON, CHARLES PRUITT, ANICKA PURATH, JOSE VASQUEZ, DAVID WALSH, GERALD WHITBURN, and UW-MILWAUKEE PUBLIC RECORDS CUSTODIAN, Defendants.
Stadtmueller U.S. District Judge
current or former students at the University of
Wisconsin-Milwaukee (“UWM”), assert several
claims relating to actions taken by UWM administrators
against the student government and its officials. After
several rounds of motions to dismiss and amended complaints,
the Court finally dismissed the action with prejudice in an
order dated June 21, 2017. UWM Student Assoc. v.
Lovell, 266 F.Supp.2d 1121 (E.D. Wis. 2017).
appealed. The Court of Appeals affirmed in part and reversed
in part. UWM Student Assoc. v. Lovell, 888 F.3d 854
(7th Cir. 2018). The Seventh Circuit affirmed this
Court's dismissal of several previously unserved
Defendants, as well as the Court's dismissal of
Plaintiffs' sixth cause of action, a broadly written
claim of interference with the students' right to
organize. Id. at 859-62. The Court of Appeals also
agreed that the remaining six claims were improperly joined
under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 18 and 20 because they
lacked a sufficient legal and factual relationship with each
other. Id. at 863-64.
the appellate court reversed this Court's decision to
sanction the misjoinder through dismissal with prejudice.
Id. at 864. It noted that “[t]he proper remedy
for violations of Rules 18 and 20 is severance or dismissal
without prejudice, not dismissal with prejudice.”
Id. (citing Wheeler v. Wexford Health Sources,
Inc., 689 F.3d 680, 683 (7th Cir. 2012); Lee v. Cook
Cnty., 635 F.3d 969, 971 (7th Cir. 2011)). The Seventh
Circuit remanded the case for further proceedings.
with the directive from the Court of Appeals, the Court will
afford Plaintiffs an opportunity to elect which of the six
remaining claims they wish to pursue in this action. The
others will be dismissed without prejudice and may be
reasserted in separate actions should Plaintiffs elect to do
so. Plaintiffs must file, no later than July 2,
2018, an amended complaint containing only the claim
they wish to assert in this proceeding. If they do not, the
action will be dismissed in its entirety for their failure to
prosecute. Civ. L. R. 41(b).
IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiffs shall file an
amended complaint in accordance with this Order no later than
July 2, 2018.
Sometimes, dismissal without prejudice
can raise concerns with the running of the statute of
limitations. Lee, 635 F.3d at 971-72. It is not
clear whether such a concern exists with respect to
Plaintiffs' remaining claims, which are all
constitutional claims governed by a generous six-year statute
of limitations, save the seventh claim, which arises under
Wisconsin open-records law. See UWM Student Assoc,
266 F.Supp.2d at 1125-28. The open-records claim is of little
moment, however; it could never stand on its own in federal
court since it lacks a viable basis for subject-matter
jurisdiction. Thus, severing that claim would lead to its
immediate dismissal. Further, as to the constitutional
claims, even if their limitations period nears expiration,
Plaintiffs, who have attended to this case for many years
already, should be able to quickly file new complaints to
avoid the limitations bar. In the end, whatever the concerns