Counsels for AU, student who was forcibly removed from apartment motion for protective order

The University also motioned to add co-counsel to case

Counsels for AU, student who was forcibly removed from apartment motion for protective order

The Mary Graydon Center, pictured in 2016. 

Lawyers for American University and Gianna Wheeler, a student who sued AU after AUPD forcibly removed her from her apartment in 2019, filed a motion for a protective order Monday. 

The University also motioned to request that Kimberly C. Ohanuka, an associate at the law firm Carr Maloney P.C., serve as co-counsel in the case. The motion was denied Tuesday, because she didn’t declare whether she is a member of the District of Columbia Bar or if she has an application pending, according to the minute order. However, AU filed a motion again on Wednesday.

AU spokesperson Stacie Burgess told The Eagle in an email Wednesday that the University doesn’t comment on pending litigation. 

The lawsuit, which alleges that Wheeler was discriminated against based on her race and mental health condition, was filed in September 2020. 

Wheeler is being represented by the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. 

The protective order, which was issued on Monday by U.S. District Judge Christopher R. Cooper, classifies multiple elements of the case as confidential, including personal, identifiable information. 

All confidential information will be treated as proprietary, meaning that the information brought forth in the case remains private from the general public. The order lays out specific guidelines on who is allowed access to what information, and how it can be shared in a timely manner. Confidential information will only be disclosed to specifically named parties. 

The protective order was jointly filed by all parties to protect the confidential information of the case, Burgess said.

Wheeler’s lawyers and AU’s counsel Paul Maloney have not responded to The Eagle when asked for comment on the update.

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