College students in Delaware who have been accused of a disciplinary violation or of sexual misconduct in violation of Title IX can find themselves fighting for their rights in a hearing procedure designed to find them guilty. Especially when the allegation you are facing is a Title IX violation, schools will stack the deck against you because their federal funding can be stripped if they do not vigorously enforce their rules against sexual discrimination and misconduct.
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is a powerful agency that can defend your rights against this overreach. Getting them to oversee your case, though, can take the help of a lawyer.
What is the Office for Civil Rights?
The OCR is a federal agency that is a part of the U.S. Department of Education. Responsible for enforcing numerous federal laws, the OCR protects the rights of students, including their due process rights, in a variety of circumstances.
By filing a complaint with the OCR within 180 days of your school's misdoings, you can urge the agency to investigate, oversee your case, and protect your rights.
How the OCR Investigates Cases in Delaware
If the OCR accepts your case, it will conduct an investigation that is independent of your college's process, and that focuses on the allegations you make in your complaint to the agency. This investigation can lead to document review and witness interviews that aim to determine if the school broke any laws or violated any of your rights.
If your school retaliates or intimidates you at any point during this investigation, the incident can be used as the grounds for yet another OCR complaint with the agency and will be investigated separately.
After conducting its investigation, the OCR will send its letter of findings to both you and to your school. If a violation was found, the OCR will urge mediation as a pathway towards a suitable resolution between you and your school. However, if the school refuses to come to the table and discuss the case, the OCR has the power to take administrative action against your school, which can include a reduction in the school's federal funding.
The Settlement Process of Facilitated Resolution
However, many schools take steps towards a settlement well before the OCR's investigation is completed. In these cases, the OCR will oversee the process of Facilitated Resolution Between the Parties, a formal settlement negotiation between you and your school. Even though the OCR organizes this resolution process, it does not officially approve any outcome of the process, nor will it enforce the terms of that agreement. However, if your school violates the agreement that comes from Facilitated Resolution, you will be able to file another OCR complaint about their violation.
Joseph D. Lento: Delaware's Title IX and OCR Complaint Lawyer
Joseph D. Lento is a student discipline defense lawyer who can help you bring OCR into your Title IX case or disciplinary violation, helping you protect your rights. Contact him online or by phone at 888-535-3686 to file the OCR complaint that will help to protect your future.
Delaware colleges and universities where Joseph D. Lento can help you or your student file a Title IX complaint with the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights 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
Students and parents at times do not realize until after a finding of responsibility and the imposition of adverse sanctions that sexual misconduct allegations at college can result in severe consequences academically and professionally and in the short and long-term. The earlier the necessary steps are taken to address a Title IX case, the better, because these are cases that can be won at the school-level. There are times, however, that the help of the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (DOE-OCR) is needed and Joseph D. Lento has a decade of experience passionately fighting for the futures of his clients at colleges and universities throughout the nation and has helped many clients seek recourse with the DOE-OCR. 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 who helps students in Delaware with DOE-OCR Title IX complaints, 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 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.