Timothy Piazza Anti-Hazing Law Passed in Pennsylvania

Tim Burke, Manley Burke LPA, tburke@manleyburke.com It was neither surprising nor inappropriate when the Pennsylvania legislature adopted new legislation last year aimed at stopping hazing. The facts around the death of Timothy Piazza were particularly horrific. His death occurred during...
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Bloomington Ordinance Found Unconstitutional

Gary Founds and Mike Allen, Mallor Grodner, LLP, gfounds@lawmg.com An increasing number of municipalities across the country are using zoning ordinances to give universities the right to determine whether a given fraternity or sorority may occupy privately-owned property.  Typically, zoning...
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Court Finds for Alpha Chi Rho in Zoning Challenge

Tim Lynch (Fraternal Law) and Jeffrey Rosario, ESQ, (Office of Jeffrey Rosario Turco) Fraternal Law previously reported on a Pennsylvania state case involving the Penn State fraternity chapter of Alpha Chi Rho (AXP) and the State College Borough Zoning Appeals...
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"Penn State Fraternity Houses Should 'at the very least' Continue to be Used by Students

Tim Lynch, Manley Burke That’s a quote from Daniel Lee, the vice president for communications of the Penn State Interfraternity Council. His opinion comes in light of the growing number of empty fraternity houses in State College, a result of...
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Michigan Fraternities Sever Ties With University

Sean Callan, Manley Burke, sean.callan@manleyburke.com Michigan passed an ordinance amending elements of the Ann Arbor zoning code that specifically impact fraternity and sorority chapter houses. Of particular concern, the changes tie zoning compliance to the resident fraternity or sorority maintaining...
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Manley Burke Files Amici Brief in Hanover NH Zoning Case

Sean Callan, Manley Burke, sean.callan@manleyburke.com In September, 2017, we reported on New Hampshire Alpha of SAE Trust v. Town of Hanover, and Town of Hanover Zoning Board of Adjustment, (Docket No. 16-CV-283), a case then pending in the Grafton County...
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Losing University Recognition Could Mean Losing Your House

Tim Lynch, Manley Burke When a university strips a fraternity of its recognition status and right to be on campus, problems for the fraternity do not always end there. The fraternity’s house can also be shut down by the municipality....
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DKE Wins Right to Return to its House at Wesleyan and its Attorney's Fees

Tim Burke, Manley Burke, tburke@manleyburke.com In 2014, Wesleyan University in Middleton, Connecticut adopted a policy requiring all residential fraternities to become coed.  That policy triggered a long dispute which remains in litigation.  However, it is the University now on the...
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Darmouth College and the Town of Hanover, NH, A Dystopian Partnership

Sean Callan, Manley Burke, sean.callan@manleyburke.com At a recent administrative zoning hearing, Dartmouth Assistant General Counsel Kevin O’Leary testified that Dartmouth College may de-recognize any organization for any reason or no reason. “…we are entitled through whatever process we want to...
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Jury Awards Major Victory to DKE at Wesleyan University

Micah Kamrass & Tim Lynch, Manley Burke, mkamrass@manleyburke.com Introduction: With Harvard’s recent attempts to punish students who join single-sex organizations, there have been significant discussions recently about the opportunities that exist for fraternities and sororities to challenge these types of...
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Zoning Issues for Closed Greek Houses

Sean Callan, Manley Burke, sean.callan@manleyburke.com Recent events leave the future of the Greek system at Penn State University uncertain at best.  Penn State President Dr. Eric Barron recently wrote as follows: In the past, Greek life had a powerful positive...
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Lawsuit and Possible Sale Follows Closing of Beta House

Tim Burke, Manley Burke, tburke@manleyburke.com Make no mistake, the death of Tim Piazza is the utmost tragedy of the events of February 2nd and 3rd in the Beta Theta Pi House at Penn State.   The consequences too are very real...
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Minneapolis Proposed Zoning Changes to Embrace Greek Growth

Amy Hebbeler, Manley Burke, amy.hebbeler@manleyburke.com In light of some cities making it more difficult for fraternities and sororities to have fraternity houses, especially after the fraternity or sorority has lost recognition by a college or university, one city has made...
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Zoning Issues for Housed Groups Without Recognition

Tim Burke, Manley Burke, tburke@manleyburke.com Zoning has become another potential problem for fraternity houses whose chapters do not have recognition by the college or university where they are located. On April 20, 2015, the Alpha Delta Chapter of Dartmouth College...
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Emotional Support Animal Requests Continue to Rise

Tim Burke, Manley Burke, tburke@manleyburke.com The July 2016 ABA Journal, the monthly publication of the American Bar Association, included a two-page article “Who Let the Dogs, Cats and Ponies In?  Colleges See an Uptake in Requests for Emotional Support Animals...
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Therapy Animals Coming to a Dorm Room Near You

Tim Burke & Kathleen Farro Ryan, Manley Burke, tburke@manleyburke.com & kryan@manleyburke.com On January 4, 2016, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio announced the settlement of a lawsuit against Kent State University.1  The suit challenged the University’s...
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Sorority Ends Recognition of Chapter House Following a Dispute With the House Corporation

Micah Kamrass, Manley Burke, mkamrass@manleyburke.com Alpha Omicron Pi recently announced that it would no longer recognize the chapter house at the University of California at Berkeley.  The sorority said it would remove letters from the house, discontinue insurance for the...
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Kentucky Supreme Court Rules That Fraternity Houses Are Private Residences Under the Fourth Amendment

Micah Kamrass, Manley Burke, mkamrass@manleyburke.com On May 14, 2015, the Kentucky Supreme Court issued a decision regarding privacy rights of students who reside in fraternity and sorority houses.  Specifically, Milam v. Commonwealth of Kentucky1 examined the extent to which the...
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North Carolina Law Removes University Recognition From Zoning Considerations

Micah Kamrass, Manley Burke, mkamrass@manleyburke.com Earlier this year, the North Carolina general assembly passed a law that deals with a particular issue pertaining to the zoning of fraternity and sorority houses. This new state law was passed as a much...
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Who Owns the Sorority House?

James Harvey Alpha Omicron Pi (AOΠ) is an international women’s fraternity founded in 1897.  AOΠ’s Tau chapter has existed at the University of Minnesota since 1912.  As early as 1921, the local alumnae organized a Minnesota corporation to provide housing...
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Kappa Alpha Order Prevails Against Break Away Group

Jim Ewbank In July 2001, most of the members of the Omicron Chapter of Kappa Alpha Order at the University of Texas (while under suspension and on involuntary alumni sta­tus) voted to break away from KAO National and form a...
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Public/Private Partnerships in Greek Housing; Does the Reward Justify the Risk?

Sean Callan, Manley Burke, sean.callan@manleyburke.com The University of South Carolina, Bowling Green State University, the University of Alabama, Texas Christian University, High Point University, Clemson University, William & Mary – all of these institutions are either beginning or in the...
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The Chapter House Rules; How Corporate Structure Can Handcuff a House Corporation

Sean Callan, Manley Burke, sean.callan@manleyburke.com When we think of the Greek chapter house, we think of more than simply bricks and mortar.  The chapter house is often the dominant evidence of a Greek organization’s presence on a particular campus.  More...
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NORTHWESTERN MANDATES ADA COMPLIANCE

Tim Burke, Manley Burke, tburke@manleyburke.com Fraternities and sororities at Northwestern University are experiencing the complexities of operating out of houses owned by the University.  There are 29 Greek houses on Northwestern’s campus.  The University is pushing those organizations which occupy...
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JUDGE DISMISSES BERKELEY ZONING CASE

Daniel McCarthy, Manley Burke Judge Steven A. Brick, of the Superior Court of Alameda County, California, recently granted the defendants Demurrer to Complaint in South of Campus Neighborhood Ass’n v. Interfraternity Council et al., Case No. RG10494360.  As reported in...
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DORMANT CHAPTER HOUSES

Dianne Chipps Bailey & Seth Huffstetler, Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, PA, dbailey@rbh.com & shuffstetler@rbh.com When a collegiate chapter of a national fraternity or sorority loses its charter or otherwise becomes dormant, whether permanently or temporarily, special attention must be paid...
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UPDATE ON BERKELEY ZONING CASE

Jim Ewbank After the temporary restraining order was denied, the Plaintiffs began serving summons on the Chapters and House Corporations.  As of February 15, 2010, less than ½ have been properly served. Jim Ewbank of Ewbank & Byrom, P.C. in...
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VERDICT IN PHI DELTA CASE AT MISSOURI

Tim Burke, Manley Burke, tburke@manleyburke.com Falls from high places continue to be an important risk management issue. In October of 2002, Katie Beetz was in attendance at a party at the Phi Delta Theta Chapter house in Columbia, Missouri.  While...
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ZONING COMPLAINT AT UC-BERKELEY

Tim Burke, Manley Burke, tburke@manleyburke.com On October 28, 2009, representatives of some 30 recognized fraternities at the University of California Berkeley were notified by the Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life that the Berkeley City Manager had received letters from...
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TRI-DELTA RETAINS UTAH SORORITY HOUSE AFTER LEGAL BATTLE WITH HOUSE CORPORATION

Adam Eckstein After a legal battle with a house corporation, national sorority Delta Delta Delta recovered the title to the sorority house at the University of Utah that had served the inactivated Theta Phi Chapter.  The state trial court’s decision...
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PENN STATE SUES TO PURCHASE FORMER PHI DELTA THETA CHAPTER HOUSE

Daniel McCarthy, Manley Burke On November 25, 2008, Penn State sued the former Pennsylvania Theta Chapter of the Phi Delta Fraternity and its current house corporation, 240 North Burrowes Road Alumni Association, in the Court of Common Pleas of Centre...
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DOES THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT APPLY TO FRATERNITY HOUSES?

Daniel McCarthy, Adam Eckstein The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in, among other things, employment, government and public accommodations.  The issue of whether the ADA applies to fraternity and sorority houses was addressed...
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HOUSE CORPORATION SUES NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY

Tim Burke, Manley Burke, tburke@manleyburke.com The Wranglers is a House Corporation that has leased a fraternity house from Northwestern University since 1916.  During that time it has provided housing to five different fraternities with its current tenant being Sigma Alpha...
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STRATFORD HEIGHTS

Matthew Steele Private-public partnerships to redevelop and revitalize neighborhoods are being forged in almost every American community today.  In particular, colleges and universities are joining with municipal and state governments and private developers to revitalize neighborhoods adjoining campuses as part...
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GREEK HOUSES ON UNIVERSITY LAND

Robert Manley & Tim Burke, Manley Burke For the last hundred years, many fraternities have built houses on university property, or leased space in university buildings. Years after the relationship began, the parties may find that the terms of the...
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