We hold complaints made by a current student pursuant to a university anti-harassment policy are protected by an absolute privilege and cannot serve as the basis for civil liability to a person who is the subject of the complaint.
Conclusion (slip op. at 7): This case is remanded to the trial court with instructions to grant the defendants’ motion for summary judgment.
Key Analysis (slip op. at 5, 6): Protecting their complaints with anything less than an absolute privilege could chill some legitimate complaints for fear of retaliatory litigation . . . A university should be given the latitude to tailor its processes to the educational environment without degrading the protection the law gives to complaints of misconduct in the educational setting . . . there is both a diminished need to deter false reporting and a greater need to encourage reporting than exists outside the educational environment . . .
Shepard, C.J., and Dickson and Sullivan, JJ., concur.
Rucker, J., concurs in result with separate opinion: I concur in the result reached by the majority. I write separately to explore a point of departure . . .