Former Southern Mississippi Student Sues School Over Rights Violation


Adrel Ryan Tutwiler, a former University of Southern Mississippi student, has filed a complaint in Forrest County Circuit Court Tuesday against the school for violating his rights by unlawfully terminating him and manipulating his personal file.

Along with the university, Tutwiler has named Vice President of Student Affairs Joe Paul and Dean of Students Eddie Holloway, defendants.

The suit accuses the University of Contractual Violations. The Mississippi Supreme Court stated that the students are entitled to contractual protection.

"He was an undergraduate student at USM before being arbitrarily and capriciously dismissed in violation of his contractual rights," the suit states. "It has been alleged he was involved in an off-campus incident."

The Hattiesburg Police Department arrested Tutwiler on August 20, 2012 over an aggravated assault charge. Lt. Jon Traxler, Department spokesman said that the charges were laid against Tutwiler for allegedly shooting his roommate at Windsor Village Apartments four times.

The lawsuit claims that the defendants did not allow Tutwiler to attend the university the day following his arrest.

The complaint alleges that Tutwiler's personal file shows that he has 'withdrawn' from the institution.

"He was not withdrawn with the permission of plaintiff; he was terminated, dismissed and banned," the complaint states. "Plaintiff did not withdraw from any of his classes."

The suit blames Holloway and Paul for either making or authorizing the change in Tutwiler's file.

"Plaintiff paid considerable money to USM," the suit states. "He kept his end of the bargain. USM has not."

The lawsuit is seeking unspecified compensatory, actual and punitive damages, and injunctive and equitable relief.

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