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Court of Appeals Denies U of Kentucky
Law Student's Claim

The Associated Press

The University of Kentucky did not violate a former law student's civil rights by refusing his readmission after he left school for medical reasons, the Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled Friday.

Marcus Todd Hash, a former law student, was appealing a Fayette Circuit Court ruling that sided with the university in the matter. In his appeal, Hash claimed that the school discriminated against him because of his medical disability.

Hash was a student at the law school for the 1998-1999 school year. However, he withdrew from classes for medical reasons during his first semester, and intended to return the next year.

He submitted his application for the 2000-2001 school year a day after the deadline. The school subsequently denied his application.

Following a denied appeal to the university, Hash took the matter to court. He was denied again, and the circuit court found UK did not deny his application solely because of his disability.

Still, Hash claimed he was qualified to be readmitted because his LSAT test score and grade point average were the same as in the application that got him admitted the first time. Because they were the same, Hash argued, his rejection was based on his disability.

But the three-judge panel said his first application was irrelevant. The school also had other reasons, including the tardiness of his application, for denying his admission, the court found.

"The ultimate question is whether the university discriminated against appellant because of his disability. The issue is not whether the university made a correct decision," Judge Laurance VanMeter wrote in the court's opinion.

In another decision, the court ruled that people charged with petty offenses may opt for a bench trial instead of a jury trial without approval from prosecutors.

The case was prompted by two men charged in Jefferson County with first-time DUI. They were scheduled for bench trials rather than jury trials without consent from prosecutors. Prosecutors argued that the defendants could not have a bench trial without their consent.