CARLISLE — A student at Penn State Dickinson School of Law has filed a federal lawsuit against the institution for what she said was a violation of her Constitutional rights and inadequate handling of her alleged Honor Code violations.
Nicole Suissa, of New York, filed the suit Aug. 19 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania against Penn State Dickinson School of Law and the law school association, as well as employees Carla Pratt, associate dean for academic affairs; Megan Riesmeyer, president of the hearing board; and James Houck, who was then interim dean of the school.
Suissa said the actions of the school and certain employees violated her constitutional right to due process.
Suissa, a graduate of the University of Hartford, was in her second year of a three-year juris doctor program at the time of the alleged misconduct and hearing. She was suspended from the school due to an Honor Code violation for the fall 2014 semester.
According to Suissa’s lawsuit, she was enrolled in a fall 2013 course in which her final exam was called into question and reported to Pratt, associate dean for academic affairs. A report was made that Suissa improperly used her cellphone while on a bathroom break during the exam, in violation of the school’s Honor Code.
The lawsuit claims there was wrongdoing on the part of the school, including an employee’s active and aggressive plot to force the student to withdraw from the school.