A U.S. District Court has denied Stephen F. Austin State University’s motion for summary judgment in Christian Cutler’s civil-rights lawsuit against the institution.
“The law clearly requires the court, in this context, to draw all reasonable inferences in favor of ... Cutler,” Judge Rodney Gilstrap’s order shows. “Having done so, the court finds that there exists a genuine issue of fact whether defendants conducted a reasonable investigation and, as a consequence, whether they reasonably found that Cutler was responding to a request from Gohmert’s staff in his official capacity as director of galleries at SFA. Such factual issue is material to and directly impacts whether Cutler or defendants reasonably believed that Cutler was responding to a request to jury an art contest as a private citizen or to host the contest at SFA in his official capacity. The court finds that such disputed material fact issues prevent (it) from granting defendants’ motion for summary judgment on Cutler’s ... claim.”