Case No. 1:03-cv-01388-DFH-VSS.
February 24, 2005
Christopher Aldo Porco, Plaintiff pro se
ENTRY ON CROSS-MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Plaintiff Christopher Porco was a student at Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis ("IU") from August 2001 until his graduation in December 2003. Like most state-supported universities, IU charges non-residents of Indiana higher tuition fees than it charges Indiana residents. At the time IU admitted Porco to the law school, the university classified him as a non-resident student and charged him the higher non-resident tuition. IU denied Porco's later request to be reclassified as an Indiana resident for tuition purposes.
Porco then filed this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on September 23, 2003. He alleges that the rules IU uses to determine in-state residence for tuition purposes violate the Due Process Clause, the Equal Protection Clause, and the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, both facially and as applied to him. His complaint sought preliminary and permanent injunctive relief preventing IU from charging him tuition at the non-resident rate for his last semester at IU. The defendants in this case are IU officials responsible for Porco's continued classification as a non-resident student while he attended IU. Before the last semester ended, Porco and defendants agreed that Porco would deposit the difference between resident and non-resident tuition for that semester — $5,825.60 — with the Clerk of Court to be distributed based on the court's final judgment.
Porco attacks two provisions of IU's rules for determining resident and non-resident status: the "predominant purpose rule" and the "one-year residence rule." Defendants have moved to dismiss Porco's complaint for lack of standing to assert the claims alleged in his complaint. In the alternative, defendants have moved for summary judgment on the merits of all claims. Porco has also filed a motion for summary judgment. For the reasons explained below, the court grants defendants' motion for summary judgment on the merits of Porco's challenge to the "predominant purpose rule." The court grants defendants' motion to dismiss Porco's challenge to the "one-year residence rule" for lack of standing. The court also denies Porco's motion for summary judgment.
Plaintiff Porco has filed a motion for oral argument. Oral argument would not clarify the decisive issues in this case. Accordingly, the court denies plaintiff's motion for oral argument.
Standard of ReviewWhen a plaintiff lacks standing to bring suit, a court has no subject matter jurisdiction over the case. Simmons v. Interstate Commerce Comm'n, 900 F.2d 1023, 1026 (7th Cir. 1990) ("If the petitioners have no standing, there is no case or controversy, and the court does not have the power to entertain the case under Article III of the Constitution."). In ruling on a motion to dismiss for lack of standing, the district court accepts as true all material allegations of the complaint, drawing all reasonable inferences therefrom in the plaintiff's favor, unless the defense challenges standing as a factual matter. Reid L. v. Illinois State Board of Education, 358 F.3d 511, 515 (7th Cir. 2004). If the defense challenges standing as a factual matter, the court may properly look beyond the allegations of standing in the complaint "and view whatever evidence has been submitted on the issue to determine whether in fact subject matter jurisdiction exists." Grafon Corp. v. Hausermann, 602 F.2d 781, 783 (7th Cir. 1979). A defendant may base a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, including lack of standing, in terms of the pleadings, or evidence in the form of affidavits, or even based on live testimony from witnesses as to contested facts. See Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 561 (1992); Hay v. Indiana State Board of Tax Comm'rs, 312 F.3d 876, 879 (7th Cir. 2002) (district court may look to evidence beyond the pleadings in deciding jurisdictional issues); Capitol Leasing Co. v. FDIC, 999 F.2d 188, 191 (7th Cir. 1993) (district court could properly consider affidavits and documentary evidence in deciding jurisdictional motion); see also Sierra Club v. EPA, 292 F.3d 895, 899-901 (D.C. Cir. 2002) (a petitioner whose standing is not self-evident should establish its standing by submitting its arguments and any affidavits or other evidence at the first appropriate point in the review proceeding; standing is self-evident only if no evidence outside the administrative record is necessary for the court to be sure of it).
If the court finds that the plaintiff has standing to bring a claim, the merits of the claim may be subject to a motion for summary judgment. The purpose of summary judgment is to "pierce the pleadings and to assess the proof in order to see whether there is a genuine need for trial." Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). Summary judgment is appropriate where the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, affidavits, and other materials demonstrate that there exists "no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). When deciding a motion for summary judgment, the court considers those facts that are undisputed and views additional evidence, and all reasonable inferences drawn therefrom, in the light reasonably most favorable to the non-moving party. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986); Baron v. City of Highland Park, 195 F.3d 333, 337-38 (7th Cir. 1999).
Because the court is granting the defendants' motion for summary judgment as to the "predominant purpose rule," the court sets forth the material facts that are either undisputed or that reflect the evidence in the light reasonably most favorable to the plaintiff. Adverse facts established by the defendants beyond reasonable dispute are necessarily included in the narrative. Also, facts relevant to the standing issues are set forth based on the affidavits, giving plaintiff the benefit of conflicts in the evidence and reasonable inferences that might be drawn from the evidence in his favor.
Porco was born and raised in Dewitt, Michigan, where his parents still reside. He graduated from high school in 1997 and attended Alma College in Michigan. He graduated from Alma College in the spring of 2001. Porco worked in Lansing, Michigan during the summer following graduation. Porco Dep., Def. Ex. A. Porco applied to six law schools, including IU Law School. He was admitted to IU and came to Indianapolis in August 2001, when his summer employment in Michigan ended and classes at IU began. Porco was initially classified as a non-resident student, and he did not appeal that original designation. Porco Dep. at 20-21, 70-71.
IU classifies a student as a resident or non-resident for tuition purposes according to the Rules Determining Resident and Nonresident Student Status for Indiana University Fee Purposes ("IU Rules"), which have been in effect since 1974, the year after the Supreme Court decided Vlandis v. Kline, 412 U.S. 441 (1973) (striking down irrebuttable presumption that student's residence status at time of application could not change throughout education). May Dec., Def. Ex. A. The IU Rules are divided into 13 paragraphs. Paragraphs 1 and 2 set forth the rules central to Porco's challenge:
1. "Residence" as the term, or any of its variations (e.g., "resided"), [is] used in the context of these Rules, means the place where an individual has his or her permanent home, at which he or she remains when not called elsewhere for labor, studies or other special or temporary purposes, and to which he or she returns in seasons of repose. It is the place a person has voluntarily fixed as a permanent habitation for himself or herself with an intent to remain in such place for an indefinite period. A person at any one time has but one residence and a residence cannot be lost until another is gained.
1a. A person entering the state from another state or country does not at that time acquire residence for the purpose of these Rules, but, except as provided in Rule 2(c), such person must be a resident for twelve (12) months in order to qualify as a resident student for fee purposes.
1b. Physical presence in Indiana for the predominant purpose of attending a college, university, or other institution of higher education, shall not be counted in determining the twelve (12) month period of residence; nor shall absence from Indiana for such purpose deprive a person of resident student status.
2. A person shall be classified as a "resident student" if he or she has continuously resided in Indiana for at least twelve (12) consecutive months immediately preceding the first scheduled day of classes of the semester or other session in which the individual registers in the University; subject to the exception in (c) below.
* * *
2c. Such person may be classified as a resident student without meeting the twelve (12) month residence requirement within Indiana if his or her presence in Indiana results from the establishment by his or her parents of their residence within the state and if he or she proves that the move was predominantly for reasons other than to enable such person to become entitled to the status of "resident student."
Rule 1a sets forth the "one-year residence rule" requiring that a student be a resident for twelve months in order to qualify as a resident student for fee purposes. Rule 1b sets forth the "predominant purpose rule," which provides that as long as a student's physical presence in Indiana is for the predominant purpose of attending an institution of higher education, the student will not be eligible for in-state tuition.
The IU Office of Admissions initially classifies a student as resident or non-resident when the student applies for admission to IU. May Dec. ¶ 5; IU Rule ¶ 6. A student may appeal that initial classification to the Standing Committee on Residence within 30 days after receiving written notice of the decision. IU Rule ¶ 8. A student who has been initially classified as a non-resident for tuition purposes may later apply to the Registrar for a change in status based on changed circumstances. May Dec. ¶ 5. IU Rule Paragraph 4 provides:
A person classified as a nonresident student may show that he or she is exempt from paying the nonresident fee by clear and convincing evidence that he or she has been a resident (see Rule 1) of Indiana for the twelve (12) months prior to the first scheduled day of classes of the semester in which his or her fee status is to be changed. Such a student will be allowed to present his or her evidence only after the expiration of twelve (12) months from the Residence Qualifying Date, i.e., the date upon which the student commenced the twelve (12) month period for residence.
The Registrar, or the Standing Committee on Residence upon appeal of the Registrar's decision, considers several factors when evaluating whether a student's physical presence in Indiana is for the predominant purpose of attending the university. These factors are set forth in Paragraph 4 of the IU Rules:
a. The residence of a student's parents or guardians.
b. The situs of the source of the student's income.
c. To whom a student pays his or her taxes, including property taxes.
d. The State in which a student's automobile is registered.
e. The State issuing the student's driver's license.
f. Where the student is registered to vote.
g. The marriage of the student to a resident of Indiana.
h. Ownership of property in Indiana and outside of Indiana.
i. The residence claimed by the student on loan applications, federal income tax returns, and other documents.
j. The place of the student's summer employment, attendance at summer school, or vacation.
k. The student's future plans including committed place of future employment or future studies.
l. Admission to a licensed profession in Indiana.
m. Membership in civic, community and other organizations in Indiana or elsewhere.
n. All present and intended future connections or contacts outside of Indiana.
o. The facts and documents pertaining to the person's past and existing status as a student.
p. Parents' tax returns and other information, particularly when emancipation is claimed.
No single factor is determinative of a student's status. May Dec. ¶¶ 6-8. "All factors will be considered in combination and ordinarily resident status will not result from the doing of acts which are required or routinely done by sojourners in the state or which are merely auxiliary to the fulfillment of educational purposes." IU Rule ¶ 4. "The fact that a person pays taxes and votes in the state does not in itself establish residence, but will be considered as hereinbefore set forth." IU Rule ¶ 5.
At the end of his first academic year, Porco sought to be reclassified as a resident student. Porco's application for classification as a resident student included a personal statement, which stated in relevant part:
I came to Indiana because this is where I want to live. . . .
Since Indiana is where I will reside for the rest of my life, it was a natural choice to attend law school in this state. I didn't apply to any law schools in Michigan because I wanted to immediately immerse myself in the Indianapolis community. I applied to law schools outside of Indianapolis, but I rejected any offers for admission I received other than the one I received from Indiana University School of Law — Indianapolis. One of the schools I declined an acceptance from was the University of San Diego. I turned down this "California dream" because I knew it wasn't where I belong — I belong in Indiana.
Since the day I moved to Indiana, I have taken all the steps I possibly could to be just like any other Indiana resident. I have a driver's license issued by the State of Indiana. My car is registered by the State of Indiana. I am registered to vote in Indiana. I pay Indiana taxes. All of the property and assets I own are in Indiana. The residence I have claimed on loan applications, federal income tax returns, and ALL other documents is Indiana. I am employed in Indiana. I am successfully networking and making lifelong contacts in Indiana. And as far as the future is concerned, I will not only work in Indiana — I will raise a family in Indiana.
Porco Dep., Def. Ex. A; see also Porco Aff. ¶ 4. Porco also submitted photocopies of his Indiana voter registration card, Indiana driver's license, Indiana automobile registration, Indiana proof of auto insurance, and Indiana checking account. Porco Dep. at 12-14, Def. Ex. B. Porco never actually voted in Indiana. Porco Dep. at 76-77. Also, Porco had never been married and had no present plans to marry. Porco Dep. at 38-39.
Porco lived in Indiana during the time he attended IU. During his second summer of law school he studied abroad but maintained his rental in Indiana. He worked as a law clerk with an Indianapolis firm from March 2002 until December 2002. He worked about 10 hours per week at the firm from March until the academic semester ended in May. His work at the firm increased to about 40 hours per week for the summer, and he then returned to part-time from August until December, when he resigned. He also worked part-time promoting a beverage product in Indianapolis beginning in March 2002 and ending some time during that summer.
Thomas May, IU's Associate Registrar, denied Porco's application for re-classification to resident status by letter dated May 29, 2002. Porco appealed May's decision on June 10, 2002 and attended a hearing before the Standing Committee on Residence on July 11, 2002. Porco Dep. at 57-58. The Standing Committee denied Porco's appeal on July 17, 2002 in a letter sent by defendant Jo Anne Bowen, chair of the Committee. May Dep., Def. Ex. 11. The letter stated in relevant part:
In arriving at this determination [that Porco was correctly classified as a non-resident student for fee-paying purposes], the Committee considered information provided in your written application, as well as information you provided in person. Based on these facts, the members deemed you were not eligible for resident student status based on Rule 1b.
The Committee discussed at length your reasons for coming from Michigan to Indiana initially and your current reasons for staying, which include your professional goal of becoming a lawyer. They could not overlook, however, your continuous full-time enrollment since your arrival in Indiana; therefore, the Committee felt your predominant purpose for coming to Indiana was to attend school and that that purpose has not changed.
During his entire time at IU, Porco remained classified as a non-resident and paid non-resident tuition. Porco Aff. ¶ 5. Porco initiated his lawsuit pro se in September 2003.
Porco graduated from IU in December 2003, and moved back to Michigan. Porco Dep. at 66-67. He then applied for jobs in both Indiana and Michigan. Porco Dep. at 68-69. He stayed with friends in Zionsville, Indiana, "just about every week" to seek employment and to visit friends. Porco Dep. at 36-38, 68-69. Porco did not take an Indiana bar review course or apply to take the Indiana bar examination. Id. On December 12, 2003, Porco signed and submitted to the Michigan State Board of Bar Examiners an application to sit for the Michigan bar examination. Armbrustmacher Dec. In the application, Porco stated: "I state in good faith that it is my intention to practice or teach law in Michigan." Id. Porco listed his parent's address in Dewitt, Michigan as his current address. Id.; Porco Dep. at 4-5. Porco also stated in the application that beginning in January 2003, he had been president of an e-commerce limited liability company with a post office address in Dewitt, Michigan, and that he had owned 10 percent or more of the company. Armbrustmacher Dec. He also stated that he had been president of a non-profit corporation since March 2003. Id. Porco took a bar review course for the Michigan bar in January and February 2004 and sat for the Michigan bar examination in February 2004. Porco Dep. at 66-67.
Plaintiff Porco's constitutional claims reduce to two issues on the merits. His main claim is that the "predominant purpose rule," as set forth in IU Rule ¶ 1b, is not a bona fide residence criterion as defined by the Supreme Court and so is unconstitutional. His second claim is that the "one-year residence rule" set forth in IU Rule ¶ 1a does not comport with the Supreme Court's rulings and is also unconstitutional.
I. Predominant Purpose Rule
A plaintiff must meet three requirements to have constitutional standing to bring suit in federal court: (1) the party must personally have suffered an actual or threatened injury in fact; (2) there must be a causal connection between the injury and the conduct complained of such that the injury is fairly traceable to the challenged conduct; and (3) the injury must be one that is likely to be redressed through a favorable decision. Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560-61 (1992); City of Evanston v. Regional Transportation Auth., 825 F.2d 1121, 1123 (7th Cir. 1987). The party invoking federal jurisdiction bears the burden of establishing these elements. Lujan, 504 U.S. at 561. The facts related to Porco's activities, living situations, and work activities, both while a student at IU and after he graduated, are not disputed. The parties dispute the legal implications of those facts, as well as inferences that might be drawn from them about Porco's subjective intentions while he was physically present in Indiana.
In addition to the constitutional standing requirements, the standing doctrine embraces several prudential limits on the exercise of federal jurisdiction, such as the general prohibition on a litigant's raising another person's rights. O'Sullivan v. City of Chicago, 396 F.3d 843, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 1486, *20, 2005 WL 196669, *7-8 (7th Cir. Jan. 31, 2005). These prudential standing requirements are especially important when the plaintiff challenges the actions of a State, id., as is the case here.
Porco has sufficiently alleged an actual injury in fact. He was required to pay the out-of-state tuition rate, which is higher than the in-state rate he would have paid if IU had designated him as a resident student for the purpose of tuition. Also, a causal connection existed between Porco's alleged injury and the conduct complained of — the decision by the Residence Committee that he continued to be a non-resident student based on the "predominant purpose rule."
The dispute here is on the third element of standing, redressability. Porco's alleged injury must be one that is likely to be redressed through a favorable decision. City of Evanston, 825 F.2d at 1123. If Porco was not a bona fide resident for the purpose of university fees while he was an IU student, a decision that IU Rule ¶ 1b is unconstitutional would not entitle Porco to any refund of tuition. He paid out-of-state tuition because IU determined that he was a non-resident student. If that determination was correct regardless of the "predominant purpose rule," he still would not have been entitled to instate tuition.
Defendants argue that Porco does not have standing to challenge the "predominant purpose rule" in IU Rule ¶ 1b because he is not now and never was a bona fide resident of Indiana. Defendants argue that because Porco returned to Michigan after graduating and sat for the Michigan bar, the court should infer that he never had the requisite intent to stay in Indiana while he was physically present in the state. The definition of "residence" in IU Rule ¶ 1 includes an "intent to remain . . . for an indefinite period." Porco responds that his intent to stay in Indiana indefinitely, as required by the definition of residency, is not undermined by the fact that he later left the state. Pl. Br. 32 at 7-8.
Defendants also contend that Porco has not submitted admissible evidence that he ever had the requisite intent to remain in Indiana, but has simply stated the legal conclusion that he was domiciled in Indiana. Def. Br. 31 at 5; Porco Aff. The court takes Porco's claim that he was domiciled in Indiana during the period he was a student at IU and before he filed suit as equivalent to a claim that he had the intent to remain in Indiana indefinitely.
Porco has objected to any consideration of his more recent actions, which were not part of the record in his administrative appeal. In deciding jurisdiction and standing, however, the court is not confined to an administrative record compiled in the university procedures. The facts relating to Porco's actions after graduating IU are relevant to Porco's intent during the applicable period to reside in Indiana indefinitely. The court is entitled to look at all facts, including facts relating to later actions and facts not brought out in administrative proceedings, to resolve the question of standing. For example, if Porco had stayed in Indiana after graduation and had started working full time, this evidence might reflect positively on the credibility of his claim that he intended, while he was a student, to remain in Indiana indefinitely. By similar reasoning, Porco's return to Michigan after graduation and his sitting for the Michigan bar examination might reflect negatively on his intent at that time to remain in Indiana.
Porco's ultimate return to Michigan demonstrates why, as discussed below on the merits, state universities are entitled to impose predominant purpose tests to bar from in-state tuition students who are present in the state only or primarily for purposes of their education. See Vlandis v. Kline, 412 U.S. 441, 452 (1973) ("Our holding today should in no wise be taken to mean that Connecticut must classify the students in its university system as residents, for purposes of tuition and fees, just because they go to school there."). On the issue of standing, however, Porco's ultimate return to Michigan is not inconsistent, at least as a matter of law, with the possibility that he was a bona fide resident of Indiana while he was a student and then eventually changed his mind and decided to return to Michigan. An intent to remain indefinitely does not necessarily imply an intention never to leave. Martinez v. Bynum, 461 U.S. 321, 332, n. 13 (1983) ("Given the mobility of people and families in this country, changing a place of residence is commonplace."); see also Eastman v. University of Michigan, 30 F.3d 670, 672 (6th Cir. 1994) (district court decided the merits of the plaintiff student's claim that she should have been reclassified as a resident even though she apparently graduated in August 1991, one month after she filed suit, and then moved away from Michigan before her loss in the district court was reversed).
The important issue with regard to Porco's standing to challenge IU Rule ¶ 1b is whether he was a resident of Indiana at some time between July 17, 2002, when the Standing Committee rejected his request for reclassification, and December 2003, when he graduated from IU. Since defendants chose to challenge Porco's standing on affidavits and written evidence, Porco is entitled to the benefit of favorable inferences from the evidence, including the benefit of the doubt about whether he honestly intended to remain in Indiana. Giving him the benefit of the doubt on that question, the court assumes that he was a good faith resident of Indiana while he was a student at IU, notwithstanding some later evidence that calls that assumption into question.
B. Merits of the Predominant Purpose Rule
In Porco's original request for injunctive relief, he claimed violations of the Equal Protection Clause, Due Process Clause, and Privileges and Immunities Clause. His briefs on summary judgment, however, argue only an Equal Protection violation, so the other claims are waived. Porco claims that the "predominant purpose rule," as set forth in IU Rule ¶ 1b, is not a bona fide residence criterion, so that IU's use of Rule 1b to classify students as non-residents for tuition purposes impermissibly discriminates against a class of full-time students.
Federal courts have often upheld the power of states to charge different tuition rates to resident and non-resident students. See, e.g., Lister v. Hoover, 655 F.2d 123 (7th Cir. 1981); Michelson v. Cox, 476 F. Supp. 1315 (S.D. Iowa 1979); Montgomery v. Douglas, 388 F. Supp. 1139 (D. Colo. 1974), aff'd mem., 422 U.S. 1030 (1975); Sturgis v. State of Washington, 368 F. Supp. 38 (W.D. Wash. 1973), aff'd mem., 414 U.S. 1057 (1973); Starns v. Malkerson, 326 F. Supp. 234 (D. Minn. 1970), aff'd mem., 401 U.S. 985 (1971). The Supreme Court wrote: "We fully recognize that a State has a legitimate interest in protecting and preserving the quality of its colleges and universities and the right of its own bona fide residents to attend such institutions on a preferential tuition basis." Vlandis v. Kline, 412 U.S. at 452-53. Because a state's use of residence status to differentiate between people can raise constitutional issues affecting free movement from one state to another, however, there are some constitutional constraints on such tuition differences. In Vlandis, for example, the Supreme Court struck down a state's irrebuttable presumption that a student's status at the time of application for admission determines the status throughout the student's education.
The Supreme Court defined a bona fide residence requirement as a requirement that "furthers the substantial state interest in assuring that services provided for its residents are enjoyed only by residents" and "simply requires that the person does establish residence before demanding the services that are restricted to residents." Martinez, 461 U.S. at 328-29 (upholding Texas statute permitting school districts to deny tuition-free admission to minor who lives apart from a parent or guardian if the minor's presence in the district was for the primary purpose of attending the public free schools). Porco argues that IU's "predominant purpose rule" is not a valid criterion or requirement that may be applied to determine whether a student is a bona fide resident of Indiana, and that IU uses Rule 1b to classify as non-residents some students who are in fact bona fide residents of Indiana. Pl. Br. 28 at 17-18. According to Porco, Rule 1b does not simply test a student's subjective intent to remain in Indiana indefinitely or merely require the student to establish bona fide residency in Indiana before becoming eligible for in-state tuition. Rather, Porco argues, Rule 1b has the effect of treating some new legal residents differently than it treats others.
To the extent that Porco contends the "predominant purpose rule" is unconstitutional because a student can be a "legal resident" of Indiana but still be classified as a non-resident student for tuition purposes, controlling Seventh Circuit precedent is to the contrary. A state may use residence standards for college tuition purposes that differ from the standards it uses for other purposes. Lister v. Hoover, 655 F.2d 123 (7th Cir. 1981). The Lister court explained:
[P]laintiffs assert that the state may not classify as non-residents persons who are residents of the state for all other purposes. With apologies to Gertrude Stein, a resident is not a resident is not a resident. Resident status necessarily varies with the state program at issue.Id. at 128.
The Supreme Court requires that residence requirements affecting access to education be rationally related to legitimate state purposes, which include preserving the quality of its universities and granting residents access to higher education at preferential rates. See Martinez, 461 U.S. at 328-29 n. 7; Vlandis, 412 U.S. at 451-53. Porco argues that the predominant purpose rule conflicts with the relevant Supreme Court decisions, which have spoken in terms of whether a person came to a state "solely" for educational purposes. In Martinez, the Court wrote that the state's interest in reserving instate tuition for bona fide state residents permits a state to "establish such reasonable criteria for in-state status as to make virtually certain that students who are not, in fact, bona fide residents of the State, but who have come there solely for educational purposes, cannot take advantage of the in-state rates." 461 U.S. at 327, quoting Vlandis v. Kline, 412 U.S. at 453-54 (emphasis added).
Porco also asserts that where university residence rules have used the term "principal purpose," courts have interpreted the phrase to mean "sole purpose." He cites Lister, which stated that under the Wisconsin statute at issue, a "student from another state who is in this state principally to obtain an education (would) not be considered to have established a residence in Wisconsin by virtue of attendance at educational institutions." 655 F.2d at 125 (emphasis added). According to Porco, the term "principally" in the Wisconsin statute "is probably more akin to the term `solely.'" Pl. Br. 28 at 21.
Porco's arguments are unconvincing. First, nothing in Lister supports this narrow reading. Porco's reasoning appears to be that since the courts may equate the term "principally" with "solely," the correct criterion is "solely." Second, although the Supreme Court used the word "solely" in one passage in Vlandis, the student's predominant or primary purpose is a reasonable and practical standard for protecting the state's legitimate interests. See Martinez, 461 U.S. at 327 (a state may "establish such reasonable criteria for in-state status as to make virtually certain that students who are not, in fact, bona fide residents of the State, but who have come there solely for educational purposes, cannot take advantage of the in-state rates"), quoting Vlandis v. Kline, 412 U.S. at 453-54 (emphasis added).
In several challenges to university residence rules, neither the plaintiff nor the court found fault specifically with a "primary purpose" rule as opposed to a "sole purpose" rule. See Eastman, 30 F.3d at 672 (recognizing but not criticizing language in university rules requiring registrar to determine whether a student came to Michigan "for the sole or primary purpose" of attending the University) (emphasis added); Lister, 655 F.2d at 125-26 (denying relief where Wisconsin statute provided that "a student from another state who is in this state principally to obtain an education will not be considered to have established a residence in Wisconsin"; university could consider "whether plaintiffs were residents because of their intention to remain in Wisconsin . . . or whether they were primarily in Wisconsin for the purpose of attending the University") (emphasis added); Ward v. Temple University, 2003 U.S. Dist. Lexis 544, *5, 2003 WL 21281768, *2 (E.D. Pa. Jan. 2, 2003) (ruling on a motion to dismiss and recognizing but not criticizing language in university guidelines requiring a student who came to Pennsylvania " primarily or solely for the purpose of pursuing his/her education" to be classified as a non-resident for tuition purposes) (emphasis added); Black v. Sullivan, 561 F. Supp. 1050, 1064 (D. Me. 1983) (state had legitimate interest in ensuring that students entitled to in-state tuition be in Maine " primarily as a permanent resident and not merely as a student") (emphasis added).
This approach is eminently practical and is sufficient to protect the constitutional interests at stake. Determining whether or not a person has come to a state "solely" to obtain an education will often not be a practical test. There may always be other reasons to attend one university over another that are not directly related to obtaining an education. (Imagine, for example, a student who moves to Indianapolis for law school and claims that, in addition to liking the law school, he is a lifelong auto racing fan who also wanted to be close to Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Parallel claims could be asserted by students moving to schools anywhere in the nation.) The "predominant purpose rule" in Rule 1b is a practical standard that is rationally related to Indiana's legitimate interest in reserving in-state tuition for bona fide residents. There is no evidence that IU applied Rule 1b to Porco in any manner other than as a rough indicator of his intent to stay in Indiana indefinitely, or that IU applied Rule 1b differently to Porco than it did to a similarly situated student. Accordingly, IU did not violate Porco's constitutional rights by relying on the "predominant purpose rule" in Rule 1b to deny his request for in-state tuition.
II. One-Year Residence Rule
Porco's second claim is that the durational residence requirement set forth in IU Rule ¶ 1a violates the Supreme Court's limitations set forth in Vlandis v. Kline, 412 U.S. 441 (1973). Porco argues that the Supreme Court set forth in Vlandis two elements of a constitutional durational requirement: the requirement must be able to be met while the student is still in student status, and it can be used only as one factor in determining bona fide residence of a student. IU uses the durational requirement, Porco argues, to discriminate against new bona fide residents of Indiana rather than for its intended purpose, which is to give the university a better assessment of whether a student has in fact become a bona fide resident of the state. Pl. Br. 28 at 17-18.
The district court in Black, 561 F. Supp. 1050, cited by Porco in his brief, held a durational residence requirement to be unconstitutional. In Black, the University of Maine applied resident tuition rates to any student who had been "a bona fide domiciliary of the State for at least a year immediately prior to registration for the term for which resident status is claimed." The university denied plaintiff Black's request in July 1979 that she be reclassified to resident status after her first year of law school. Black again requested reclassification in July 1980, and her request was again rejected. Id. at 1056. In the fall of 1981, Black informed the defendants that she had accepted a position as a law clerk in a Maine court, set to begin after graduation. The University then reclassified her as a resident for the spring semester of 1981, explaining that because she had applied for the law clerk position about one year prior to the spring semester of 1981, she had shown the requisite intent to remain in Maine and thus was a domiciliary of Maine for one year prior to the spring 1981 semester, as required by the residency rules. Id.
The term "domiciliary" as used in the University of Maine rules is equivalent to "residence" in the IU Rules.
The Black court analyzed the precedents and concluded that the one-year bona fide domicile requirement discriminated against new bona fide residents by making them wait a year for in-state tuition even where the university determined that the students had been bona fide residents for tuition purposes for the prior year. The university had no formal or informal provision for according retroactive effect to any such decision, such as by refunding the tuition differential for the preceding one-year domiciliary period. This system, according to the district court, distinguished between old and new bona fide residents and bore no rational relationship to the general purpose served by the residency rules, which was to provide only bona fide Maine residents with an educational subsidy. Black, 561 F. Supp. at 1067-68, 1071.
The Sixth Circuit came to a similar conclusion in Eastman v. University of Michigan, 30 F.3d 670, 673-74 (6th Cir. 1994) with regard to the University of Michigan's residence rules; but see Podgor v. Indiana University, 381 N.E.2d 1274, 1284-86 (Ind.App. 1978) (holding that IU's durational residency requirement did not violate the Equal Protection Clause because cost-equalization provided a rational basis for imposing the requirement).
Porco does not have standing to challenge the one-year residence requirement set forth in IU Rule ¶ 1a. The parties do not dispute that IU denied Porco's request to be reclassified as a resident for tuition purposes based on Rule 1b, the "predominant purpose rule," and not Rule 1a, the "one-year residence rule." Bowen Dep. at 44-45; Hamilton Dep. at 22-23. Porco was denied reclassification as a resident for tuition purposes because IU deemed that he was present in Indiana for the predominant purpose of attending IU. Thus, Porco's injury is not fairly traceable to any application of Rule 1a by IU. Also, a decision in his favor on the merits of this challenge would not entitle him to any relief.
A student who had been reclassified as a bona fide resident for the purpose of tuition after one year based on a change in circumstances that occurred before the end of the one-year waiting period would be more likely to have standing to challenge Rule 1a.
ConclusionAlthough plaintiff Porco has standing to challenge IU's "predominant purpose rule," this provision is not unconstitutional either facially or as applied to Porco. Porco does not have standing to challenge IU's "one-year residence rule." The court grants defendants' motion to dismiss in part and their motion for summary judgment on the remaining claim. Final judgment shall be entered accordingly.