It is not uncommon for a person to be facing a Title IX hearing and not be entirely sure of what that means or what they should do. Many students in that position do not even realize that they have a right to a criminal defense attorney. Now, with recent changes to Title IX regulations, it is even more confusing than it was.
That is why Law Office of Michael L. Fell is here to explain the basics of these changes. If you or your student is facing a hearing for a Title IX related regulation, or is otherwise facing an Office of Student Conduct, contact us at (949) 585-9055 for a free legal consultation.
New Regulations Have Been Issued by Betsy DeVos
The Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, has issued filing rules that affect how both public and private schools must address any allegation of sexual misconduct. The changes have increased protections for students and faculty, but is not as strong as past proposals because critics worried they would hurt the victims of these alleged crimes.
What the Changes Will Mean for Schools
There are a number of ways the changes will affect schools. For example, the definition of sexual harassment is more narrowly defined. Colleges must hold live hearings so that he alleged victim and the accused could both be cross-examined and have their credibility challenged. There are also limits being imposed on the complaints that schools are required to investigate. Those limits mean that only complaints filed through the correct formal process must be investigated.
Notably, schools will also now only be required to investigate situations that allegedly arose during school programs and activities. The schools can decide if they want to use evidentiary standards that require a preponderance of evidence, or standards that require clear and convincing evidence.
Additionally, in order for schools to be found legally culpable for not correctly handling an allegation in the future, they must be shown to be “deliberately indifferent” in investigating the complaint. Finally, the new regulations require that universities allow both sides to inspect and review any evidence found during the investigation, even if the university is not going to rely on said evidence to render its decision.
Contact an Attorney if You Have Been Accused of a Title IX Issue
If you are going to be facing the Office of Student Conduct, remember that the decision they make could affect the rest of your life. Do not assume that you will get out with no consequences or just a slap on the wrist. Do not assume that being innocent is enough – the burden of proof is much lower than in a court of law. Contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 now to request a free legal consultation.