Abalkhail v. Claremont University Center

Case No. B014012 (1986)

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Abalkhail v. Claremont University Center

California Court of Appeal
Case No. B014012 (1986)

Facts

Sulaiman Abalkhail (plaintiff) received a PhD in government from the Claremont Graduate School (CGS), which was part of the Claremont University Center (Claremont) (defendant). A year after awarding Abalkhail his PhD, CGS received a letter from the director of the Arab Planning Institute (the institute), Abdullah Ali, a resident of Kuwait. Ali stated that Abalkhail’s dissertation had been copied from a seminar paper written by another member of the institute, which had been published as a chapter in a book one year prior to the publication of Abalkhail’s dissertation. CGS appointed a subcommittee to investigate the charges. The subcommittee compared the two publications and determined they were mostly identical. Abalkhail received a letter from CGS notifying him of the charges and that a formal hearing would be held, which he would be allowed to attend and participate in. The letter informed Abalkhail that his PhD might be revoked if the committee determined that his dissertation was plagiarized. Abalkhail received a copy of the letter sent by Ali and defended his dissertation in a letter to CGS. Abalkhail’s defense was that he worked for the institute and had made substantial contributions to the seminar paper that was published, so he believed that he could draw on that work for his dissertation. Abalkhail was present at the hearing, but Ali was not. Ali was subsequently contacted and interviewed by the subcommittee, and he contradicted Abalkhail’s claim that Abalkhail had contributed to the seminar paper. The subcommittee ultimately decided to revoke Abalkhail’s PhD, concluding the charges of plagiarism were substantiated. Abalkhail’s filed suit, alleging a violation of due process. A district court denied Abalkhail’s request for a writ of mandate on his due-process claim, and he appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning ()

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