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Lawsuit to prevent Mel Tucker from releasing Brenda Tracy's text messages is back in state court

FILE - Michigan State coach Mel Tucker watches the NCAA college football team's game against Rutgers, Nov. 12, 2022, in East Lansing, Mich. Tucker will wrap up spring practice Saturday afternoon, April 15, at Spartan Stadium, where fans will watch a 15-period practice that will include first-string offensive players scrimmaging against the team's top defense. (AP Photo/Al Goldis, File)
Al Goldis/AP
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Then Michigan State coach Mel Tucker watches the NCAA college football team's game against Rutgers, Nov. 12, 2022, in East Lansing.

A lawsuit against former Michigan State University football coach Mel Tucker is back under state court jurisdiction following a decision from a federal judge. According to the U.S. Western District Court of Michigan, the complaints in the case did not involve a violation of federal law.

Earlier this month, Brenda Tracy filed a lawsuit to keep Tucker’s attorneys from releasing what she described as private text messages meant to discredit her.

Tracy is a rape survivor and assault prevention activist who worked with Tucker as a consultant. She filed a Title IX complaint at MSU in December 2022, accusing him of sexual harassment.

Tucker failed to appear during the university's Title IX hearing earlier this month. A decision on the investigation is expected in the coming weeks.

The lawsuit's back and forth motions began earlier this week when Tucker’s legal team requested to move the case from state to federal court. His attorneys alleged Tracy’s lawsuit involved violations of federal law.

While Tracy’s initial complaint did involve a federal law violation, her subsequent amended complaints did not. Her legal team argued that striking the federal claim from her lawsuit provided sufficient reason to stop Tucker’s from moving the case to a different jurisdiction.

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker agreed. The order said Tracy’s civil suit does not include any alleged violations of federal law.

The lawsuit is now expected to move back to Ingham County Circuit Court.

As WKAR's Bilingual Latinx Stories Reporter, Michelle reports in both English and Spanish on stories affecting Michigan's Latinx community.
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