Title IX is a federal civil rights law that forbids gender-based discrimination within any educational programs or activities that are funded by the government. Title IX policy exists in most schools in Washington, D.C., including the area's colleges and universities. The law covers sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other types of discrimination committed on the basis of gender that creates a hostile environment for members of the college community.
When a student is accused of violating Title IX policy, he or she will undergo a specific resolution process. Across the board, it generally entails an investigation and a hearing that will lead to either a finding of responsibility or a dismissal of these charges. In the event that Title IX proceedings result in the former option, a student respondent has the right to appeal this decision and/or sanction, especially in cases when there's speculation that a case outcome was unfair.
Your Right to Appeal
The appeals process in schools exists as a means to hold schools accountable for their decisions. So, students are encouraged to utilize this right when they believe that something isn't quite right in the course of their case. In most cases, students tend to appeal an entire outcome, which is a finding of responsibility and a recommended sanction. However, it's become more common for students to accept responsibility for the violation but appeal a sanction.
Any questions concerning which course of action should be taken in a student's case should be addressed by an experienced student defense attorney. A violation of Title IX should be taken seriously since it exposes respondents to relatively harsh sanctions. This is why you fully understand your right to appeal on outcome in your case.
Grounds for an Appeal
In order for an appeal to be granted, it must be based on substantial grounds. A decision to appeal a determination and/or sanction boils down to the proper establishment of at least one of four specific grounds:
- New evidence is available: new evidence that could have significantly advantaged a respondent and could have had a large impact on an outcome of a determination and/or sanction.
- Disproportionate sanction: the sanction was unduly disproportionate to the severity of the sanction.
- There was a violation of due process rights: an institution stripped a student respondent of their entitled rights under Title IX.
- Procedural error: a mistake was made throughout the disciplinary process that substantially affected the outcome of a determination and/or sanction.
If an appeal is not considered substantively eligible in the eyes of the school, the original finding and sanction will stand.
Washington D.C., Title IX Appeal Advisor
If you are a student attending a Washington D.C. college or university, and you're contemplating appealing a Title IX case outcome, you need the help of a skilled attorney. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has advocated for countless students in this situation, spanning from undergraduate students to masters and doctoral students. Even if your situation seems bleak and you're facing harsh sanctions, there is hope. Attorney Lento has the skills and expertise to help you win an appeal. Contact him today.
Washington, D.C., colleges and universities where Joseph D. Lento can help as your or your student's Title IX advisor during investigations, hearings, and appeals include, but are not limited to, the following schools:
- American University
- Catholic University of America
- Corcoran College of Art and Design
- Gallaudet University
- George Washington University
- Georgetown University
- Howard University
- Potomac College Washington
- Trinity Washington University
- University of the District of Columbia
- University of Phoenix - Washington DC Campus
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 Washington, D.C., and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.