OGDEN -- A Weber State University student banned from campus has filed a lawsuit claiming the school's no trespassing order issued against him is in "flagrant violation" of state law.
The student was told by campus police the ban was perpetual. But the suit claims it is good for only 14 days according to state statute, which also calls for a hearing at that time, which was never held.
The "withdrawal of consent" as the order is also known, was issued against William Silver last summer by police after a "verbal altercation" between Silver and a co-worker. Silver, of Huntsville, was also a part-time maintenance worker at the school.
After a weeklong investigation of the altercation that took place July 31 in an elevator and a hallway of WSU's University Village, Silver was booted off campus Aug. 8. The suit says as a result, he lost his job and opportunity to pursue his MBA after earning a bachelor's degree in business at WSU in 2009.
The suit says the no trespass order cites the wrong state statute, relying on a section of the criminal code that merely defines trespassing, but gives no authority for enforcing violations. The suit also says no state law allows for any "indefinite" ban of a student from a public university without the formal "due process" denied Silver.
Silver's lack of due process is a "flagrant violation" of the law, reads the suit, in that Silver was given no hearing, and the university president or his designate did not sign the no trespassing order as required.
"As such, the no trespass order is illegal and plaintiff is entitled to relief therefrom," reads the suit filed last month by Samuel Hood, a partner in the Ogden law firm run by Brad Smith, who is also the superintendent of the Ogden School District.
Although not mentioned as part of the due process violations alleged, no criminal charges were filed against Silver for the incident that got him expelled, according to court records for 2nd District Court or Roy Justice Court, which also handles nonfelony charges stemming from the WSU campus.
A response to the lawsuit filed last week by the Utah Attorney General's Office is largely a series of denials of the allegations, often limited to the one-word sentence "Deny."
The response does claim the school's police have the authority to "direct individuals to leave campus property when those individuals are a threat to person or property."
The state's lawyers admit Silver was told the ban had no expiration date and he was given no hearing, but argue that's because Silver never asked for a hearing.
The suit names the state Board of Regents as well as WSU as defendants, and asks that the university declare Silver's no trespass order null and void, and "be enjoined from issuing any future such orders" without following proper state law.
The case is pending before Ogden 2nd District Judge Noel Hyde, currently without date.