When allegations are made on campus of sexual misconduct the school's Title IX coordinator has a duty to investigate. Colleges and universities must comply with established federal guidelines or risk the possibility of losing important federal aid. Title IX was established to prevent discrimination in all educational institutions. Schools are required to probe potential violations and may levy penalties and sanctions on the student. Violators may consider filing a formal complaint with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) who has the option of reviewing the findings as a third-party. Students facing sanctions in these campus disciplinary actions may benefit from contacting the Lento Law Firm for assistance.
College Title IX Investigations
Colleges in Wyoming have specific written procedures in place for scrutinizing complaints involving sexual harassment or assault. The findings of their investigation are disclosed at a hearing and sanctions may be handed down. Those choosing to appeal the decision of the institution may do so in accordance with the grievance policy of their school.
Filing OCR Complaint
Students that are unable to prevail in their appeal may decide to pursue a formal OCR complaint. It is strongly recommended that this process be done after consulting with experienced legal counsel. A lawyer can assist you with drafting a highly effective complaint that will persuade the OCR to reevaluate the matter.
Reasons Why the OCR Dismisses Title IX Complaints
- The complaint is beyond their scope of legal authority
- A clear violation of an OCR enforced law is not contained in the complaint
- The complaint was not filed prior to the deadline and waiver of time is not 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 14-day period allotted
- The complaint has otherwise been resolved
- 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
Standard of Evidence
The standard of evidence is the burden of proof that must be satisfied when evaluating allegations of wrongdoing. In the past, the Department has suggested that claims be proven by a “preponderance of the evidence” such as in civil litigation. Detractors feel 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 enacted as an available option. With such significant considerations like the burden of proof being potentially changed it is more critical than ever to retain experienced legal counsel.
Attorney for Student Disciplinary Defense in Wyoming
Title IX violators may face harsh sanctions in these matters. Often the college or university investigation is conducted hastily and the rights of the accused are overlooked. Joseph D. Lento is a lawyer with a solid understanding of the campus disciplinary process. Students who are struggling to defend themselves are encouraged to contact the office for a confidential consultation today at (888) 535-3686.
- Casper College
- Central Wyoming College
- College America Cheyenne
- Eastern Wyoming College
- Laramie County Community College
- Northwest College
- Sheridan College
- University of Phoenix Cheyenne Campus
- University of Wyoming
- Western Wyoming 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 Wyoming 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 Wyoming and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.