Created: January 14, 2020 06:20 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— Pressure is mounting on the University of New Mexico to reinstate Lobo basketball player JJ Caldwell after he was recently suspended for alleged battery against his ex-girlfriend. No charges have been filed against him for the accusation.
JJ Caldwell added two new defendants to the lawsuit he filed against the school for violating his right to due process.
"Nobody gave him written notification of the charges, Nobody presented evidence against him and they closed up the university for the holidays and said see you later,” said Paul Kennedy, Caldwell’s attorney.
Caldwell added UNM Athletic Director Eddie Nuñez and the Lobo Development Corporation, the management company of the dorms where Caldwell was staying, to the defendant list.
According to Kennedy, lawyers for Lobo Village sent Caldwell an email Thursday asking him to vacate his dorm:
“If you do not contact management and turn in keys and vacate your unit prior to 1 p.m. tomorrow, I will file against you. In it, I will not only place an eviction against you, but will put a money judgement against you for my attorney fees and court costs incurred in the eviction, pursuant to your lease agreement. So as you can see, this will affect your credit, and future housing options, which I believe you do not want.”
The 12th Judicial District Attorney’s Office is reviewing the case after Bernalillo County District Attorney Raul Torrez said he had a conflict of interest because his wife works at UNM.
Caldwell remains banned from UNM’s campus and from practicing with the basketball team.
UNM officials said they do not comment on pending litigation, but did send a statement regarding his emergency ban from campus:
“An emergency ban can be instituted as an interim measure under Title IX for safety reasons, as per the UNM Student Grievance Procedure, section 4.3 and University Administrative Policy 2740 section 10. Interim bans from for safety reasons are not common, nor done lightly since it can have a major impact on a student’s life.
For example, in 2019 there were only 7 emergency bans for students, 4 of which were for Title IX reasons. When deciding whether an interim ban is necessary for safety reasons under Title IX, the Student Conduct Officer and the Title IX Coordinator use a rubric for all students that considers things like whether the allegations occurred on campus, if weapons or other actions of lethality may have occurred, and whether there were multiple allegations made about the same student. Federal law and UNM policy 2740, section 10, allows for interim measures under Title IX to ensure the safety of individuals and our campus community. UNM uses a rubric that was created based off national best practices, and vetted by the Department of Justice to determine whether these concerning factors were present in the allegations. It is used equally in all student matters, and implemented on a case by case basis.
When a student is emergency banned from campus, they do have an appeal under the Student Grievance Procedure, section 4.3, by meeting with the Dean of Students. An emergency ban is not a final sanction for a violation of the student code of conduct. If, after an Office of Equal Opportunity investigation, it is determined that the evidence showed it was more likely than not that the student’s actions violated UNM policy and the student code of conduct, then the student may face a conduct sanction and would be entitled to due process under policy 2740."
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