Liu v. Portland State University

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Administrative Law
  • Date Filed: 09-28-2016
  • Case #: A152675
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Armstrong, P.J., for the Court; Egan, J.; & Shorr, J.

The Oregon Court of Appeals has jurisdiction to review a final order of a public university where the university's procedures which are "substantially similar" to those used in contested cases are inconsistent with those required of contested cases under former ORS 351.088 and ORS 183.413 to 183.497.

Liu sought judicial review of his expulsion from Portland State University (PSU), arguing that the proceedings leading to the expulsion order were legally deficient under the standards of the Oregon Administrative Procedures Act (APA). PSU contended that the Oregon Court of Appeals did not have jurisdiction to review PSU’s order under former ORS 351.088. Under former ORS 351.088, public universities’ adjudicative procedures must “be consistent with ORS 183.413 to 183.497” when the procedure is substantially similar to that used in a contested case. The Court held that the procedure was “a proceeding before an agency” of a significant level of formality, and therefore substantially similar to a contested case under the APA. The Court further held that because PSU specifically precluded judicial review of its decisions in its procedures, its procedures cannot logically be “consistent with” the APA’s requirements for adjudicative procedures which are substantially similar to contested case procedures. The Court therefore held that it had the jurisdiction to review PSU’s order because former ORS 351.088 did not exempt PSU from review of its procedures where they were substantially similar to contested case procedures. Reversed and remanded.

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