Title IX is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender in educational programs or activities that receive federal funding. This law includes the majority of schools in Delaware, extending to most of the state's colleges and universities. Title IX addresses sexual assault, sexual harassment, or any other gender-based discrimination that creates a hostile environment for students, staff, or any member of the college community.
In the event that a student is found “responsible” for violating Title IX, he or she has the right to appeal this decision and/or sanction. This is especially true in cases where there's speculation that a case outcome was unfair.
A Student's Right to Appeal
The right to appeal is one of the most important rights for student respondents. The appeals process in colleges and universities keep schools accountable for the decisions they make in Title IX cases. As most students know firsthand, schools are capable of making grave mistakes that can compromise the educational and professional future of student respondents. This is why respondents are encouraged to utilize their right to appeal a case outcome. An appeal exists to ensure that, as far as possible, boards and committees will eventually come to a correct and fair decision.
Grounds for an Appeal
An appeal will only be granted if it based on specific grounds. Grounds for an appeal are valid to a school when they contain issues related to the procedural methods in the disciplinary process. Therefore, evidence that further supports a respondent's claim of innocence (unless it is new evidence that wasn't available before), or anything of that nature, should not be included in an appeal. Essentially, a decision to appeal a determination and/or sanction boils down to a committee or authority's ability to assess and establish at least one of four specific grounds:
- Disproportionate sanction: the sanction was unduly disproportionate to the severity of a violation
- New evidence available: new evidence that could have significantly benefited a respondent and had a great impact on an outcome became available after a hearing.
- A violation of due process rights: an appeals committee must assess whether a respondent was not stripped of any of the entitled rights.
- Procedural error: an error made throughout the entire disciplinary process was made that significantly affected the outcome of a determination and/or sanction.
In the event that an appeal is considered substantively ineligible by your school, the initial finding and sanction will stand.
Delaware Title IX Appeal Advisor
If you are a student attending a Delaware university or college who is thinking about appealing a Title IX case outcome, you need the help of a skilled attorney. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students in bleak situations win appeals. He has the skills and expertise to do the same for you. Contact him today.
Delaware colleges and universities where Joseph D. Lento can help as your or your student's Title IX advisor during investigations, hearings, and appeals include, but are not limited to, the following schools:
- Delaware College of Art and Design
- Delaware State University
- Goldey–Beacom College
- University of Delaware
- Wesley College
- Widener University–Delaware Campus
- Wilmington University
A Title IX finding of responsibility can change an accused student's life if not properly addressed and appealed, and Joseph D. Lento has a decade of experience passionately fighting for the futures of his clients at universities and colleges throughout the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph Lento is a licensed attorney in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, is admitted as an attorney pro hac vice in state and federal court if needed when representing clients nationwide, and serves as a Title IX advisor and educational consultant to students facing disciplinary cases in Delaware and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.