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Source: Grand Forks Herald, October 15, 1988
SUIT AGAINST SCHOOL MOVES CLOSER TO TRIAL
Sarah Smith, Herald Staff Writer
A former UND professor's $4.25 million civil rights lawsuit over his dismissal from the university moved a step closer to trial because of a federal magistrate's ruling this week.
Clyde Morris of Grand Forks is suing UND for his 1982 termination after 18 years of teaching three. Morris began in UND's education department in 1965 and later moved to the Center for Teaching and Learning. He is contending that he was arbitrarily dismissed in 1982 after a faulty review process. He has named several UND and CTI, administrators and faculty members in the suit.
U.S. Magsitrate Karen Klein denied a motion Wednesday by the university defendants, including President Thomas Clifford to render summary judgment. When a party to a lawsuit requests summary judgment, they are asking the court to prevail on their side because the case has no basis to continue.
UND has 10 days to appeal the ruling. If it doesn't the case will proceed to trial, Boyd Wright, counsel for the university, declined comment Friday on Klein's ruling.
In denying the request, Klein ruled that Morris was deprived of his right to due process when the faculty members did not provide him adequate notice of review hearings.
The defendants also "pretextually, arbitrarily or capriciously" terminated Morris employment "based upon a record consisting primarily of a black notebook which was represented to be the plaintiff's personnel file," Klein wrote.
Morris claims that "general unsubstantiated and inaccurate allegations" against him were compiled into a black notebook and then with held from him.