Allegations of sexual misconduct on college campuses are subject to an investigation based on Title IX requirements. Title IX is a set of federal guidelines initially implemented in 1972 that prohibit discrimination in schools. Failures in compliance may lead to discontinuation of the school's vital federal education funds. Title IX coordinators at schools are tasked with creating and adhering to written procedures that are followed after receiving a complaint. The administration may levy tough sanctions against student violators including suspension or expulsion. Those students who are subject to disciplinary action may file a formal complaint with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR). This agency will review complaints they receive and may independently reevaluate the matter at their discretion. Students who are struggling with the consequences of campus disciplinary actions should contact the Lento Law Firm for strong legal representation.
Mandated Campus Investigations
Colleges and universities in Nevada are required to promptly launch an investigation after allegations such as sexual harassment or assault are made. The investigation ultimately leads to a hearing where the school reports their ruling and may then impose penalties and sanctions. Accused parties that wish to appeal the school's ruling may do so according to the university's grievance policies.
Filing an OCR Complaint
After an unsuccessful attempt to appeal the decision, violators may ponder filing an OCR complaint. It is typically recommended that you promptly contact an experienced attorney for a consultation. The attorney may draft a detailed complaint encouraging the OCR to begin a third-party probe into the matter.
Why Would the OCR Dismiss a Complaint?
- The complaint is determined as being outside of their range of legal authority
- Allegations cited do not clearly suggest that an OCR violation occurred
- The complaint was filed after the deadline and no waiver of time is granted
- Information is judged as “speculative, conclusory, or incoherent” or does not suggest actions of a discriminatory nature
- Complainant does not respond to a request made within the 14-day period allotted
- A resolution was reached in the matter elsewhere
- An agency that uses 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
Standards of Evidence
The Title IX provisions that were originally drafted 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 believe 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 plan 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 transition, it is important to retain experienced legal counsel.
Nevada Student Disciplinary Defense Lawyer
Students accused of Title IX violations often find that the campus disciplinary process is hurriedly conducted and does not fully protect their rights. Joseph D. Lento is an attorney that assists students that are facing sanctions and penalties. Contact the office for an immediate consultation today at (888) 535-3686.
- College of Southern Nevada
- DeVry University Nevada
- Everest College Henderson
- Great Basin College
- International Academy of Design and Technology Henderson
- ITT Technical Institute Henderson
- ITT Technical Institute Las Vegas
- Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Las Vegas
- Morrison University
- Nevada State College
- Sierra Nevada College
- The Art Institute of Las Vegas
- Truckee Meadows Community College
- University of Nevada Las Vegas
- University of Nevada Reno
- University of Phoenix Las Vegas Campus
- University of Phoenix Northern Nevada Campus
- Western Nevada 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 Nevada 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 Nevada and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.