Title IX Attorney to File OCR Complaint in Indiana

If you go to college in Indiana and get accused of violating Title IX by committing sexual misconduct, you are likely to find that your school's disciplinary proceedings have a dark side. While they claim to be neutral and impartial, the investigation and hearing often seem designed to find that you violated the school's code of conduct.

Protecting your right to due process can be difficult. The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is there to help, but they will only intervene if they are convinced to do so. Filing an effective OCR complaint can take the help and knowledge of a lawyer, but is well worth the time and effort.

The Office for Civil Rights

The Office for Civil Rights is a federal agency that is a part of the U.S. Department of Education. This agency's responsibility is to enforce the federal laws that impact the higher education system. However, because there are so many instances where these federal laws can apply and so few resources to expand, the OCR will only act in your case if you persuade them to. This takes a complaint filed within 180 days of the alleged violation of your rights.

The OCR Investigation Process

If the OCR decides to investigate your complaint, it will conduct its independent investigation into each of the allegations you set out in the petition. This stresses the importance of crafting a well-worded, persuasive, and broad OCR complaint to allow the agency to conduct a full investigation.

While this complaint is ongoing, your school is prohibited from intimidating or retaliating against you for filing the OCR complaint or implicating the agency in your case. If they do either of these things, it entitles you to file another OCR complaint and spawn another OCR investigation into your school's conduct.

Once the OCR finishes its investigation, it will issue a letter of findings to both you and to your school. If violations were found, the agency usually pushes for mediation. Your school can be penalized for refusing to attend mediation, and can even lose its federal funding for not taking the process seriously.

Facilitated Resolution Settles Most Cases

However, once the OCR becomes interested in a case, most colleges in Indiana move to settle the ordeal before much else happens. The OCR supplies a process to allow this to happen smoothly – called Facilitated Resolution Between the Parties – but does not take an active role in overseeing the settlement negotiation. However, if you and your school reach a settlement agreement and then your school violates its provisions, you can file another OCR complaint and urge the agency to conduct another investigation.

Joseph D. Lento: OCR Complaint Lawyer for Indiana

Joseph D. Lento is a student discipline defense attorney who helps to represent students accused of sexual misconduct and Title IX violations. Filing an OCR complaint is a frequent maneuver in these defense cases because schools tend to behave better when they know the federal agency is watching. To get help filing an OCR complaint in Indiana, contact attorney Lento online.

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