If you are a college student in Maine and have been accused of sexual misconduct in violation of Title IX, you are likely to find that the investigation process that is supposed to protect your rights is more concerned with protecting the school's reputation.
Filing a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) can be a good way to ensure your rights are protected when your school wants to throw you under the bus. Hiring a Title IX and OCR complaint lawyer like Joseph D. Lento can help you craft an effective complaint letter.
The Office for Civil Rights
In the U.S. Department of Education, there is the Office for Civil Rights. This federal agency is supposed to enforce a handful of federal laws that protect students in higher education settings, including their rights to due process in disciplinary proceedings. However, the agency cannot oversee all of the cases pending across the country, so petitioning them to intervene in your situation is a necessary first step.
Filing this complaint with the OCR has to be done within 180 days of the violation of your rights, and a poorly-crafted complaint can hamstring the agency's investigation.
How the OCR Investigation Process Works
If the OCR receives and accepts and complaint and initiates their own investigation, its agents will come to Maine and investigate the allegations listed in the complaint. Even though this often takes the same turns as your school's investigation, the OCR's investigation is independent and unbiased.
If the OCR's investigation determines that your rights were violated, the agency will often push for mediation. If your school refuses to participate, it can face administrative sanctions that implicate its federal funding.
Protections from Retaliation in Maine
Importantly, you are protected from your school's retaliation or intimidation during the OCR investigation. If you face either one of these reactions because you brought the OCR in to oversee your case, it can become the grounds for another OCR complaint and another investigation.
Facilitated Resolution to Settle Cases
In many cases, though, a college accused of violating your rights and aware of the OCR's impending investigation will try to settle the case as quickly as possible. The OCR has the process of Facilitated Resolution Between the Parties to bring you and your school to the negotiation table to create a mutually beneficial agreement. Even though the agency will not partake or oversee this process, if your school violates the agreement it signed in Facilitated Resolution then it can be the grounds for another OCR complaint, just like an instance of retaliation.
Maine's Title IX and OCR Complaint Lawyer
Joseph D. Lento is a Title IX defense and student discipline defense lawyer who helps students file a complaint with the OCR. When your school has violated your rights, getting a federal agency involved in your case can be the best way to preserve your rights and interests.
If you are a student or the parent of a student in Maine, contact attorney Lento online or by phone at 888-535-3686 for the help you need to protect your future.
- Bates College
- Bowdoin College
- Central Maine Community College
- Central Maine Medical Center College of Nursing and Health Professions
- Colby College
- College of the Atlantic
- Eastern Maine Community College
- Husson University
- Kaplan University Maine Campus
- Kennebec Valley Community College
- Landing School of Boat Building and Design
- Maine College of Art
- Maine Maritime Academy
- New England School of Communications
- Northern Maine Community College
- Saint Joseph's College of Maine
- Southern Maine Community College
- Thomas College
- Unity College
- University of Maine
- University of Maine at Augusta
- University of Maine at Farmington
- University of Maine at Fort Kent
- University of Maine at Machias
- University of Maine at Presque Isle
- University of New England
- University of Southern Maine
- Washington County Community College
- York County Community College
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 Maine 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 Maine and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.