Administrative Law

Title 9 – Sexual Misconduct in Educational Settings

What is Title 9?

Title 9 is a group of federal statutes that governs rules of conduct for individuals enrolled in educational institutions, among other things.  Title 9 deals with sexual harassment, dating violence, discrimination, stalking, and sexual misconduct. The group of laws forces a university to investigate and respond to any of the above types of incidents.

What happens in a Title 9 hearing?

First there is an opening statement by the appealing party (the party who didn’t like the school’s response to one of the above listed incidents), then opening statement by the non-appealing party (usually the school), next witnesses for the school will be called in whatever order the school wishes to present the witnesses, then closing statements by both sides. In most cases, all witnesses will be asked to leave the room until it is their turn to testify.  Rulings are usually taken under advisement and handed down within ten days following a formal hearing. That just means the court usually thinks about how to decide the case for a few days after the hearing, and likely won’t make a decision on the spot.

What is the legal standard in a Title 9 hearing?

In an Arkansas Title 9 hearing, the standard of evidence is preponderance of the evidence. This basically means the court will choose the side of whichever party is more likely to be telling the truth, based on the evidence.   

What does an attorney cost for a Title 9 hearing?

Most Title 9 hearings are full day hearings.  Our firm charges a flat fee of $3,000 to represent you through a Title 9 hearing.

Who is in charge of a Title 9 issue at an Arkansas University?

The Title 9 coordinator at a university is in charge of the university’s compliance with Title 9 of the educational amendments of 1972. The Title 9 coordinator works with the university staff and students to ensure compliance with Title 9.

Do I need an attorney for a Title 9 issue?

Yes, definitely. Title 9 violations run parallel with multiple criminal violations. Also, the police can use anything that happens in a Title 9 investigation or hearing in a criminal investigation.  An experienced Title 9 attorney will be able to advise you on your rights and how a Title 9 case may affect a looming criminal case. It is important to have someone who is knowledgeable about criminal law and Title 9 standards when you are preparing to fight accusations of violating Title 9.  

What can happen if you violate Title 9?

An experienced attorney will be able to weigh and assess the Title 9 violation evidence presented against you. The university has many options to deal with a Title 9 violation. All the way from ordering treatment of the violating individual, to expulsion of the violating individual.  

If you’re facing possible Title 9 accusations or you’re an individual who feels your university has not adequately addressed an incident involving sexual harassment, dating violence, or other sexual misconduct, call us today so we can assess the severity of your case and advise you on your next steps.

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