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Friday, July 19, 2024 | Back issues
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Student Says College Had Her Committed|for Seeking Help from Prying Roommates

MANHATTAN (CN) - A student claims Brooklyn College "forcibly" sent her to a mental hospital where she was held for 2 weeks against her will because she complained that there was a hidden camera in her bedroom - which was true. After her 2 weeks of forcible detention in a hospital, she says, the college refused to let her take her final exams, and gave her the boot.

Chinemerem Eze, an international honor student who has "no history of psychiatric problems," says she spoke to Brooklyn College security in December 2008 about "potentially criminal activity involving her ex-roommates, and also involving her landlord at the time; specifically plaintiff suspected that she was being defamed on the Internet by her ex-roommates, and that her landlord at the time had installed a hidden camera in her bedroom."

Eze says her "suspicion was later confirmed, as a hidden camera was subsequently discovered in her bedroom."

But she says her pleas to campus security and the school psychologist fell on "deaf ears."

In her complaint in New York County Court, Eze says that a security officer from whom she fought help summoned defendant Sally Robles, an assistant professor and school psychologist to the room.

Robles then "proceeded to ask her a series of personal questions pertaining to her psychological state of mind, including but not limited to whether she ever 'heard voices,' whether she had any suicidal ideation and whether she thought of hurting herself," according to the complaint.

Eze responded "that she had no history of mental illness, was not experiencing any psychological problems and had no intention or thought of hurting herself in any way." She said that "she merely sought advice as to how to properly address her aforementioned suspicious, and that she believed that the professional security personnel of her school, Brooklyn College, could offer her useful initial advice as to those suspicions," according to the complaint.

"Plaintiff's responses to defendant Robles' questions fell on deaf ears, as for reasons unbeknownst to plaintiff, defendant Robles proceeded to call an ambulance to have plaintiff taken and admitted to Kings County Psychiatric Hospital.

"Plaintiff protested, stating that she did not need to go to the hospital for any reason, and stated that rather than going to the hospital, she no longer wished to be a student at Brooklyn College, and requested to leave the premises immediately.

"Notwithstanding plaintiff's protestations, she was restrained in the office of Brooklyn College against her will by defendants [Robert] Scott, Robles and said John Doe security officer and forcibly led into an ambulance."

Scott is the coordinator of the college's Honors Academy. Eze says he rode with her in the ambulance to the hospital, where she was involuntarily committed, "against her will and without her consent."

She says she was "unwillingly and improperly detained at Kings County Psychiatric Hospital for a period of approximately two (2) weeks." She was "deprived of her liberty and civil rights, and was made physically and emotionally ill and subjected to great humiliation, loss of reputation, monetary and emotional damages."

Finally, she says, when she tried to take her final exams and obtain grades for her 12 to 15 credits of courses, in January 2009, "defendant [Milga] Morales of Brooklyn College directed the professors of plaintiff's courses not to permit her to complete the final examinations, and thereby terminated Plaintiff's enrollment at Brooklyn College."

Morales is the dean of student affairs.

Eze seeks punitive damages for negligence, negligent supervision, civil rights violations and emotional distress. She is represented by Andrew Spinnell.

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