Process of a Maryland Title IX Investigation

Almost every college and university in Maryland is required to investigate and punish violations of Title IX. This is because the federal government provides funding to schools contingent on them following federal laws.

Not only does Title IX prohibit any discrimination on the basis of sex committed by the school’s administration, but it also requires schools to investigate any alleged instances of crime that affect a student because of their sex.

If you are facing allegations of a Title IX violation, it is extremely important that you understand how the Title IX investigatory process in Maryland works. This understanding can allow you to object to certain portions of an investigation on the grounds that it does not follow established procedures.

It is also useful in that you can avoid providing any unnecessary information that could harm your case. Finally, knowing how to appeal a decision could grant you a final opportunity to prove your innocence. An accomplished lawyer with experience regarding the process of a Maryland Title IX investigation could help you. Call a dedicated Title IX lawyer today.

How an Investigation Begins

Every school in Maryland has its own unique process for investigation Title IX accusations. However, in general, a school will have a Title IX coordinator who will establish a means for any student to file a complaint.

This complaint may state that a fellow student committed a criminal offense because of the complainant’s sex or may merely allege that a defendant student made them feel uncomfortable.

The coordinator then has the duty to investigate whether this complaint is made in good faith. If the coordinator determines that the complaint is founded in fact, they will refer the case to a disciplinary board.

The Role of the Disciplinary Board

Schools’ disciplinary boards have broad powers to gather evidence, hold hearings, and to mete out punishment. These investigations are not criminal hearings and as such do not need to follow the rules of evidence or privacy. Boards of inquiry can rely on hearsay evidence to build a case and could even compel a defendant to speak and answer questions.

A board can issue punishment if they simply believe that it is more likely than not that an offense occurred. This is less than the standard in criminal cases that requires a prosecutor to prove a charge beyond all reasonable doubt. The board can take a variety of disciplinary actions ranging from issuing a formal reprimand to suspending a student, to full expulsion. No matter the outcome, all students have a right to appeal.

What to Do After a Board’s Decision

Of course, if the board rules in defendant student’s favor, they can simply move on with their lives. However, the decision of the board to enact punishment is not the end of the case.

All schools have an appeal process whereby a guilty party can ask for a reconsideration. Typically, this will involve asking an advanced officer of the school, such as a vice president or dean to consider the matter.

This could result in a dropping of the charges, the issuance of a new hearing, or reduced punishment. However, it is essential to act quickly. Many schools offer their students a week or less to request an appeal after receiving a disciplinary boards’ decision.

Understanding the Process of a Maryland Title IX Investigation is Vital

Almost every school in Maryland is obligated to investigate and punish violations of the federal laws known as Title IX. This is in exchange for the receipt of federal education funding. While each school’s processes for these investigations will vary, they all have a few things in common.

The coordinators and investigators who handle the claim have very broad powers to gather evidence. They could even require you to answer direct questions in a hearing.

They do not need to prove that you committed an offense beyond a reasonable doubt; simply demonstrating that it was more likely than not is enough to warrant punishment. Finally, all students always have the right to appeal a disciplinary board’s decision.

A seasoned attorney could help you to understand the process of Maryland Title IX investigations and work to protect you every step of the way.