Title IX of the Education Amendments is a federal law that prohibits sexual misconduct in federally funded colleges and universities. Being accused of sexual assault, sexual harassment, rape, or any other form of sexual misconduct at Hamilton College is a Title IX violation that your school must resolve. If you are found “responsible” for this conduct, you could be exposed to pretty serious repercussions that could jeopardize your plans to graduate.
For the purposes of this article, we'll address Hamilton College's disciplinary process and why you need an attorney-advisor if you find yourself in this predicament.
Hamilton College's Disciplinary Process
According to Title IX, Hamilton College is required to adjudicate any cases of sexual misconduct brought to the institution's attention. The Department of Education urges compliant higher education institutions like Hamilton College to respond to these accusations in a manner that is prompt and equitable. If the school fails to do so, its federal funding is at stake. Complainants (the reporter of the complaint) and especially respondents (the person accused of sexual misconduct) should understand that their school will approach their case with the utmost seriousness, and each party should follow suit.
Notice of Complaint
Complaints of sexual misconduct may be made orally or in writing and may come from the report of a responsible employee, directly from a complainant, or from a third party. In order for the complaint to be pursued by a Title IX Coordinator, it might include, at a minimum (to the extent known), the time, place, and nature of the alleged offense and the name of the respondent.
Evaluation of Response
After receiving the notice, the Title IX Coordinator will determine if the conduct alleged by the complainant falls within this policy. If the Coordinator decides that there was no potential violation of school policy, no further action will be taken. If, however, the complaint has sufficient evidence and validity, the process will proceed.
Investigation of Complaint
A trained investigation team will interview all parties and witnesses and collect relevant information. The Investigation Team is authorized to contact any relevant people and to access any relevant and available records. The team will make every effort to conclude a thorough investigation, including the submission of its report, within 60 days. The investigators will comprise a finding.
The hearing will be led by a 3-person panel, who will facilitate statements made by each party and a questioning period for clarification. When all statements are heard and all questions are answered, the panel will make a determination based on the preponderance of evidence.
Either party may appeal the determination and/or sanction within three business days of the receipt of the determination. An appeal must be based on at least one of the following factors to be considered:
- There was a procedural error
- There is new evidence that was not available at the time of the hearing
- The sanctions are too severe or not severe enough
New York Title IX Attorney
If you've been accused of sexual misconduct at Hamilton College, you can choose anyone to be your advisor in the Title IX process. It would be in your best interest to choose an attorney who can help you effectively navigate the process and build a solid defense for you. Contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today for help at 888-535-3686.