Allegations of sexual misconduct are taken seriously on today's colleges and universities. Title IX is one of the measures implemented for preventing discrimination at learning institutions. Noncompliance could jeopardize the school's critical federal educational funding. They now have designated Title IX coordinators and have created written procedures to follow when they receive a complaint alleging a violation. The administration may levy tough sanctions against student violators such as suspension or expulsion. Those students who are subject to disciplinary action may file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR), which is an agency that reviews these complaints and may consider intervening as a neutral third-party to reassess these matters. Students struggling with the consequences of these actions may contact the Lento Law Firm for campus disciplinary defense.
Title IX Investigations
Idaho's colleges and universities will promptly begin an inquiry after receiving a complaint about allegations such as sexual harassment or assault. The investigation concludes with a hearing where the school discloses their ruling and may then impose sanctions. Schools have written grievance procedures explaining how students may file an appeal to contest an unfavorable decision.
Filing an OCR Complaint
Proceeding with a formal OCR complaint may be a consideration when an appeal is unsuccessful. Consulting with experienced legal counsel is strongly recommended when considering whether to file a complaint. Your attorney will assist you in composing a highly effective complaint that is more likely to persuade the OCR to initiate their own independent inquiry into the matter.
Reasons the OCR Dismisses Complaints
- The complaint is determined to be beyond the agency's scope of legal authority
- Details of the complaint do not clearly show that an OCR violation occurred
- The complaint was not filed in a timely manner and no waiver of time granted
- Information is deemed as “speculative, conclusory, or incoherent” or does not suggest actions of a discriminatory nature
- Complainant does not respond to a request made within the allotted 14-day period
- There has since been a resolution reached in the matter
- Another agency using an acceptable process for handling Title IX complaints has or is now investigating the matter
- A state or federal court has received a filing alleging the same or related facts contained in the complaint
- The complaint is one of a series of filings against recipients that places an undue strain on the resources available to the OCR
Title IX: Standard of Evidence
When the Title IX provisions were drafted they did not specify the standard of evidence to be used. In recent years, the Department has advised using the “preponderance of the evidence” standard employed in civil matters. Opponents feel this standard is not suitable for Title IX processes, which do not have formal rules of evidence and typically do not have parties represented by attorneys. A recent Department proposal suggests that the “clear and convincing evidence” standard be used as a discretionary option. With key aspects of these matters such as the burden of proof in a state of flux, it is important to retain experienced legal counsel.
Idaho Student Disciplinary Defense
Those students accused of Title IX violations often find that their rights are ignored and that they are not afforded their due process. Joseph D. Lento is a lawyer with a firm understanding of the Title IX campus disciplinary process. Students that are subject to sanctions and penalties should contact the office for a confidential consultation today at (888) 535-3686.
- Boise Bible College
- Boise State University
- Brigham Young University Idaho
- Broadview University
- Brown Mackie College Boise
- College of Southern Idaho
- CollegeAmerica Stevens Henager College
- Eastern Idaho Technical College
- Idaho State University
- ITT Technical Institute Boise
- Lewis Clark State College
- North Idaho College
- Northwest Nazarene University
- Stevens Henager College
- The College of Idaho
- University of Idaho
- University of Phoenix Idaho Campus
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 Idaho 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 Idaho and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.