What is Title IX?
Title IX is a group of federal statutes which govern the rules of conduct for individuals enrolled in education institutions, among other things. Institutions that fail to comply with federal Title IX provisions may lose federal aid. Title IX provisions require that the campus Title IX office to investigate allegations of sexual harassment, assault, or other forms of sexual misconduct. If that investigation shows that violations of Title IX have occurred, the educational institution will follow their disciplinary procedures.
What is the Process for a Title IX matter?
All reported cases of alleged sexual misconduct will be addressed by the Title IX office of the educational institution where it is reported. If the allegation warrants an investigation, the case will move forward for a full and comprehensive investigation. The Title IX investigator will conduct interviews with all relevant parties, including witnesses, and collect and relevant documentation such as police reports, medical records, text messages, etc. The Title IX investigator will compile all of those records to create an investigative summary of the alleged incident.
Both the complainant, and respondent, will be provided with a copy of the investigative summary. At the conclusion of the investigation, the Title IX coordinator will make a decision, based on that investigative summary, and render a decision. Either party is allowed to appeal that decision within five days of the notification of the outcome. If appealed, the matter goes to a formal hearing.
What rights does the student have in a Title IX matter?
The student has the right to be notified of the allegations.
The right to a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation and resolution.
The right to review available information and a list of witnesses.
The right to propose information and witnesses.
The right to be accompanied by a lawyer.
The right to have to appeal.
What are the potential penalties for sanctions for violating Title IX?
All potential sanctions that an institution may impose on a student are documented within their student handbook, or otherwise accessible to the student. Common sanctions when a violation occurs include a disciplinary probation period, ordered treatment, suspension, or expulsion from the institution. Appealing an adverse decision may be an option, but a student is best served by taking the necessary steps as early as possible to achieve the best possible outcome so that an appeal is not necessary.
Do I need a lawyer for dealing with a Title IX matter?
Students facing allegation of a Title IX violation should consult with a lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer will assess the circumstances of the alleged violation and devise a strategy to formulate a defense. It is critical to have a lawyer who understands both criminal law and Title IX.
Obtaining a positive result in a Title IX hearing can mean the difference between achieving academic and professional goals or having those dreams dashed. It is critical to contact an experienced lawyer as soon as the student is made aware of a potential Title IX matter.