Allegations of sexual misconduct are taken seriously on campuses today. Colleges and universities must comply with established federal guidelines or risk the possibility of losing critical federal aid. Title IX is a set of rules implemented in 1972 that prohibits discrimination. Schools are required to investigate all alleged violations. Violators may face sanctions such as a suspension or expulsion. Those accused and found to have violated the rules may consider filing a formal complaint with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) who may choose to review the matter independently. Students facing potentially harmful sanctions in these disciplinary actions may find the help they need by contacting the Lento Law Firm.
Colleges in New Mexico typically have a designated Title IX coordinator. Upon receiving a serious complaint such as for sexual harassment or assault, administrative staff will begin their inquiry. The findings of their investigation are disclosed during a hearing and sanctions may be imposed. Those choosing to appeal the decision of the institution may do so in accordance with the grievance policy of their school.
OCR Complaint Process
If the student is unsuccessful in the appeals process they may want to consult with a seasoned attorney about filing an OCR complaint. The attorney can assist you with drafting a highly effective complaint that will persuade the OCR to reevaluate the matter.
Reasons the OCR Will Dismiss a Title IX Complaint
- The complaint in outside of the OCR's area of legal authority
- A clear violation of an OCR enforced law is not contained in the complaint
- The complaint was not filed in time and waiver of time is denied
- Information within is “speculative, conclusory, or incoherent” or does not suggest actions of a discriminatory nature.
- Complainant has not responded with information requested regarding the complaint in a 14 day period
- A resolution has been reached in the complaint
- Another agency employing a similar acceptable process for resolving Title IX complaints has or is currently 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
What is the Standard of Evidence?
The standard of evidence that applies to Title IX complaints is not specifically stated within the provisions. In the past, the Department has suggested that claims be proven by a “preponderance of the evidence” such as in civil litigation. Critics contend this standard is not appropriate because Title IX processes do not have clear evidentiary rules and the parties are often not represented by counsel. The Department recently proposed that the “clear and convincing evidence” standard be implemented as a discretionary alternative. With such critical considerations like the burden of proof in a state of flux, can you afford not to have experienced legal counsel?
Campus Discipline Defense Attorney in New Mexico
Colleges and university administrators are responding quickly to complaints relating to Title IX. Sometimes their well-intentioned efforts fail to properly consider the accused student's rights and access to due process. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has an excellent understanding of the student disciplinary process. Students who are struggling to defend themselves are encouraged to contact the office for a consultation today at (888) 535-3686.
- Brown Mackie College Albuquerque
- Central New Mexico Community College
- Clovis Community College
- Computer Career Center
- Eastern New Mexico University Main Campus
- Eastern New Mexico University Roswell Campus
- Eastern New Mexico University Ruidoso Campus
- Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture
- ITT Technical Institute Albuquerque
- Luna Community College
- Mesalands Community College
- National American University Albuquerque
- National American University Rio Rancho
- Navajo Technical College
- New Mexico Highlands University
- New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
- New Mexico Junior College
- New Mexico Military Institute
- New Mexico State University Alamogordo
- New Mexico State University Carlsbad
- New Mexico State University Dona Ana
- New Mexico State University Grants
- New Mexico State University Main Campus
- Northern New Mexico College
- San Juan College
- Santa Fe Community College
- Santa Fe University of Art and Design
- Southwest University of Visual Arts Albuquerque
- St John's College
- University of New Mexico Gallup Campus
- University of New Mexico Los Alamos Campus
- University of New Mexico Main Campus
- University of New Mexico Taos Campus
- University of New Mexico Valencia County Campus
- University of Phoenix Albuquerque Campus
- University of the Southwest
- Western New Mexico 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 New Mexico 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 New Mexico and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.