Is a college or university required to treat a respondent equitably under the Title IX Final Rule?

A college or a university is required to treat a respondent equitably under the Title IX Final Rule by not imposing disciplinary sanctions without following a Title IX grievance process. That being said, schools often based on a mere allegation can take steps or actions against the respondent that would severely impact the respondent. They could impose, say, a no-contact order which could lead to further disciplinary issues. They could impose an interim or temporary suspension on the respondent which disallows the respondent from, say, either being on campus or taking classes.

This is a gray area, a school may regard these as not disciplinary sanctions, but arguably they would be anything but that. Ultimately under the Title IX Final Rule, the Title IX Final Rule was designed to shift the equities in a Title IX process to state that a school is not supposed to take certain actions against a responded without following a grievance process. Going back to the example of a no-contact order on interim suspension, arguably the school should have a grievance process to address even those, say, temporary steps, or interim steps in the process.

Ultimately, a Title IX grievance process must be followed for the school to be regarded as being equitable towards the respondent. If you're facing a Title IX case or a Title IX sexual misconduct concern, having an experienced attorney advisor can help you best navigate the process and can help work towards trying to ensure a fair process and a favorable outcome, and they should be involved as early as possible in the case.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact our offices today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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