Complaints made by current student pursuant to university anti-harassment policy protected by absolute privilege

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Boehm, Justice.

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 . . .

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Bose McKinney & Evans LLP is a business law firm, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, serving both publicly held and privately held businesses, governmental entities and high-growth industries. Our clients include Fortune 100 companies, international manufacturers, national and regional financial institutions, agribusinesses, sports teams, university-incubated start-ups, media, utilities, cities and schools, to name a few. We strive to build strong relationships with our clients as key business advisors, to exceed expectations in the quality of our work, to be knowledgeable about our clients’ businesses and sectors, to be responsive to service needs and to continually seek to improve the delivery of client services. Our ultimate focus is on our clients.
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