Process of a Washington DC Title IX Investigation

If the school board has notified you that they are investigating you for a Title IX violation, you may be worried about your future academic career. If the school finds you guilty, you the school may suspend you, expel you and note on your record the act the school believes you committed. This may affect your chances of higher education or obtaining certain professors or licenses.

The process for a Title IX investigation at each university in Washington DC may be a little different. You may find the advice of a knowledgeable Title IX attorney to help understand what you can expect and how best you may be able to protect yourself. You also may face criminal charges related to the same action, so be prepared, but know they are two separate actions with different rules.

Title IX Investigation Procedures

The process of a DC Title IX investigation begins with an allegation. A complainant informs that school that some Title IX violation occurred. Typically that means that one student allegedly sexually assaulted another. A proceeding may refer to the alleged actor as the respondent. There may also be an investigator whose job it is to gather the following types of information:

  • Statements from the involved parties and witnesses,
  • Documents,
  • Text messages,
  • Photos, and
  • Recordings.

The school board will inform the respondent that they are being investigated, and then the investigator will gather information, review it, write a report and submit the investigator’s findings to the board.

Evidence Rules

The rules of evidence are much lower than that of criminal court. The board may consider almost all evidence submitted for investigation. It is challenging for the respondent to argue that specific evidence should be excluded.

The Burden of Proof

Typically the burden of proof standard is the preponderance standard. The investigator evaluates evidence according to whether it is “more likely than not” that the evidence is true. Also, if all the evidence, taken together, points to the fact that it is more likely than not that the alleged act occurred, then the school disciplinary board will find the respondent guilty.

Appeals Process for a Title IX Investigation

After the investigation is over, the disciplinary board may conduct a hearing. If the board finds the student guilty of the alleged misconduct, the student may have the chance to appeal the decision. However, often the school board denies appeals unless the appellant gives a compelling reason.

The appeal typically must be given in writing and be submitted soon after a final decision. A panel unrelated to the original case may consider the request and decide if an appeal is appropriate based on the evidence presented at the hearing and the statements written by the affected parties.

Learn More About the DC Title IX Investigation Process

The process may be complicated and trying to understand. But you should not give up. You should fight to defend yourself. Your future goals and dreams may be ruined if you do not mount a strong defense.

An attorney may be able to help guide you through the process of a Washington DC Title IX and ensure you present your case forcefully and with authority. You may want to do everything in your power to protect your rights so that you can graduate on time and pursue your chosen career without issue.

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