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 Pratt Institute 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 Pratt Institute's disciplinary process and why you need an attorney-advisor if you find yourself in this predicament.
Pratt Institute's Disciplinary Process
According to Title IX, Pratt Institute 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 Pratt Institute to respond to these accusations in a manner that is prompt and equitable. If the institute 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.
File a Complaint
Complaints of sexual misconduct may be made verbally or in writing to the Title IX Coordinator. The complaint is to include the names of the people involved, the names of witnesses, a detailed description of the alleged conduct, when and where the conduct occurred, and relevant evidence of correspondence (text messages, emails, social media, etc).
There is no statute of limitations with respect to filing a complaint of an alleged incident. However, complainants are encouraged to report a violation as soon as possible.
Upon notice of any complaint of sexual misconduct, a Title IX Coordinator will schedule an intake meeting with the complainant within one business day of receiving notice. At this meeting, the coordinator is tasked with seeking to determine how the complainant will wish to proceed, and whether he or she will pursue formal resolution or informal resolution (not available for complaints of sexual violence), or does not wish to pursue resolution of any kind.
The formal resolution process consists of three phases: 1) fact-finding, 2) adjudication, and 3) determination.
During the fact-finding phase, an investigator will interview all parties involved and comprise a finding. During the adjudication process, a Title IX Coordinator will appoint a trained adjudicator to conduct a hearing. One part of the determination phase is the hearing. The hearing entails statements made by the complainant, respondent, and witnesses and a questioning period for clarification. The other part of the determination phase is the actual decision. Based on the preponderance of evidence standard, the hearing panel will determine if the respondent violated the policy.
Either party may appeal the determination of the Adjudicator and/or the disciplinary decision of the Vice President for Student Affairs. Students havefive business days of the date the party is notified of the adjudicator's findings. A party has three grounds under which to appeal the Institute's determination:
- There was a procedural error.
- There is new evidence that was not reasonably available at the time of the hearing.
- The sanctions aren't consistent with past practices or the severity of the alleged misconduct.
New York Title IX Attorney
If you've been accused of sexual misconduct at Pratt Institute, 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 at 888-535-3686 for help.