Federal civil rights law Title IX forbids gender-based discrimination in federally funded educational institutions and programs. It is implemented and enforced in the majority of schools in Hawaii, including the state's colleges and universities. It specifically condemns acts discriminatory acts like sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other forms of sexual misconduct.
When a school receives notification of a complaint containing alleged sexual misconduct, Title IX requires the institution take immediate action for resolution. If a student is found “responsible” for said misconduct after an investigation and hearing, he or she is granted the right to appeal this decision.
Your Right to Appeal
The right to appeal is among the most important rights entitled to student respondents under Title IX. An appeal is a written request for the school to reconsider its decision due to mistakes the school made. The goals of the appellate process in education settings resemble the process in the criminal justice system. It exists to keep school authorities accountable for the decisions they make, especially when these decisions have the ability to drastically affect a student's life. Title IX sanctions are notoriously harsh. Students found responsible for sexual misconduct are oftentimes subjected to semester and year-long suspensions, and even expulsion. With so much at stake, it's important to assure that every decision is fair and founded. Student respondents can do so by utilizing their right to appeal.
Any questions about the appellate process and your course of action after notification of allegations should be discussed with a student defense attorney. A legal professional can help you develop an effective and compelling appeal.
Grounds for an Appeal
In order to overturn an unfavorable Title IX case outcome, you must have a good reason. These reasons are known as grounds. Unfortunately, your school will only consider your appeal if it is based on very limited and specific grounds. You'll waste your time if you're planning on asserting your innocence in an appeal because that's not what it's intended for. Basically, the decision to appeal hinges on how well you and your advisor can establish at least one of the four following grounds:
- Procedural error: a significant error was made at some point in the Title IX resolution process, and it greatly influenced the outcome of a determination and/or sanction.
- New evidence available: crucial evidence that could not be obtained at the time of an investigation or hearing is now readily available.
- Disproportionate sanction: the sanction(s) imposed were unduly disproportionate to the alleged violation.
- A violation due process right: a student's rights entitled under Title IX and school policy have been denied by the school.
Each school has its own unique set of appeal content and submission guidelines. To identify deadlines, content parameters, and other important information, check your school's code of conduct or student handbook. If your appeal is not submitted in a manner that is timely or it is not considered substantively eligible, the initial sanction and determination will stand.
Hawaii Title IX Appeal Advisor
If you are contemplating appealing a Title IX outcome at a Hawaii college or university, you need the help of a skilled student defense attorney. Contact Joseph D. Lento online or give him a call at 888-535-3686 for assistance.
- Argosy University Hawaii
- Brigham Young University Hawaii
- Chaminade University of Honolulu
- Hawaii Community College
- Hawaii Pacific University
- Heald College Honolulu
- Honolulu Community College
- Kapiolani Community College
- Kauai Community College
- Leeward Community College
- New Hope Christian College
- Remington College Honolulu Campus
- University of Hawaii at Hilo
- University of Hawaii at Manoa
- University of Hawaii Maui College
- University of Hawaii West Oahu
- University of Phoenix Hawaii Campus
- Windward Community College
A Title IX finding of responsibility can change an accused student's life if not properly addressed and appealed, and Joseph D. Lento has a decade of experience passionately fighting for the futures of his clients at universities and colleges throughout the nation. 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, 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 and educational consultant to students facing disciplinary cases in Hawaii and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.