If you are facing the Title IX process, an experienced attorney at Kara Hoopis Manosh, Attorney and Counselor at Law at (401) 714-8926 will stand by your side, ensure that your rights are protected, and will help guide you through the entire process.
Understanding Title IX
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded educational institutions. However, over the years the rights and protections under Title IX have been stretched out significantly, to include conduct not only involving educational institutions, but also conduct between students of the institution, as long as occurrence takes place on the institution's grounds or is related to the institution's activities.
Once a Title IX complaint has been filed, a somewhat long and complicated process begins, which has the purpose of investigating the accusations and determining the truth, while ensuring the rights of both parties involved.
Title IX Investigation
The Title IX investigation process starts when a party (Complainant) gives notice to the appropriate personnel in the institution (Respondent) alleging that his or her rights have been violated. Institutions have processes and procedures in place that allow for those specifically trained to lead the Title IX investigation without any conflicts of interest or bias. The entire Title IX process is overlooked by a Title IX Coordinator.
The Title IX Coordinator will meet with both parties to discuss the allegations, review each party's rights, and explain the process, which will officially start the investigation.
During the investigation, the Coordinator and investigators must keep in mind that the standard of evidence required in these cases is ‘preponderance of the evidence,” which requires the investigators to make a determination whether there is a possibility more likely than not that the alleged behavior occurred and violated the Complainant's Title IX rights.
As part of the process, investigators will meet with both parties to interview them, may also question relevant witnesses that may have any useful information. Additionally, the investigators may review relevant written and documentary evidence, including files, documents, videos, social media posts, phone records and more. It is very important to have an experienced attorney representing you during this stage of the process, to ensure that every piece of exculpatory evidence is provided to the investigator in a way that best helps you.
Once the investigation is complete, investigators will write and create an official report, which is submitted to the parties for review before it is given to the Title IX Coordinator. The report will include everything taken into consideration during the investigation, the findings after the investigation, the rationale for the findings, as well as suggested sanctions.
While not all institutions follow this model, some have procedures in place to conduct a hearing during which, like a hearing in court, each party can present their case, interview or cross-examine witnesses, and present evidence. The panel will issue a decision highlighting the information and evidence presented, the findings based on this evidence and recommended sanctions, if any.
Both parties in the Title IX process can be represented by counsel. Kara Hoopis Manosh, Attorney and Counselor at Law can help you prepare for and assist you during the hearing to ensure that you are ready and help ensure that all of your rights are protected.
Title IX Appeal
After the decision is issued by the Coordinator or Panel, you may not agree with the findings. In this case, both parties have the right to appeal their decision. The appeal is a request for an administrative review by higher management. The appeal, however, is not another round of investigation or a new hearing. Rather, the higher management would only review the matter to determine if certain errors in the process occurred.
Additional Title IX Legal Considerations
Under the Jeanne Clery Act, after the Title IX determinations have been made, the institution must report the crime and the victim must be provided with information for available counseling and support services.
In addition, the victim has the option of reporting the incident to local law enforcement who would also have access to the evidence and materials collected during the institution's investigation process. This is one of many reasons why hiring an experienced criminal defense litigator is crucial to protecting a student accused of misconduct.
Even though the Title IX process should provide some basic due process rights for all parties involved, universities usually have their own legal team that can represent them and offers them protection. However, students are often left alone throughout the process if they do not choose to seek the counsel and representation of an experienced Title IX attorney.
Learn about the Title IX Process from an Experienced Attorney
Being accused of sexual wrongdoing is a very stressful and emotional event. Due to the seriousness and sensitivity of the event, it is crucial to have the right people on your side. If you have been accused of misconduct or are facing a Title IX complaint, call the compassionate and experienced attorney at Kara Hoopis Manosh, Attorney and Counselor at Law at (401) 714-8926, who can explain the entire process to you, and help ensure that justice occurs.
More information available on my website: Title IX Defense