Understanding Title IX Appeals
For students who are found to be responsible for Title IX violations, the ruling can be devastating for the students, their families, and their future educational and career prospects. Student defendants have the right to appeal the sanction assessed against them and the appeal may be successful when the decision was unjustified or unfair. Understanding the appeals process is critical for students so that they might be likelier to succeed.
You Have the Right to Appeal
When students receive unfavorable decisions in Title IX actions against them, they have the right to appeal. When you appeal, you submit a written document asking for your university to review its decision. Generally, appeals are heard by committees that are made up of instructors, staff members, and other students. Some colleges and universities have the dean or another authority hear appeals of Title IX violation matters.
Grounds for Appealing a Title IX Sanction
For your appeal to be allowed, it must be based on valid grounds related to the procedures used during the disciplinary process. Deciding to appeal a sanction or decision will be based on an evaluation of one or more specific grounds, including the following:
- New evidence that would have impacted the outcome is available.
- A procedural error during the process had a substantial impact on the outcome.
- The respondent's due process rights were violated.
- The punishment was excessive when considering the violation.
If the committee decides that your appeal is not eligible based on one of the preceding grounds, the sanction and original ruling will stand, and the decision will be final.
Tips for Title IX appeals
While most Title IX appeals are reasonably straightforward, an appeal might be more effective when supporting evidence and case law citations are included. Being clear and concise in your arguments is crucial. There are several things that you can do to make it likelier that your appeal will succeed.
- While retaining an experienced attorney can help you to draft a more effective appeal, you should also make sure that you work closely with your lawyer and remain involved. It would help if you were prepared to provide as much information to your lawyer as possible.
- Make sure to know the deadlines and strictly adhere to them. Every school has a unique process for appeals. Once you receive your notice of the school's decision, you will have a limited time period to file your appeal. If you do not timely file an appeal within the deadline, the sanction, and original finding will stand.
- You should add context and personalize the appeal by including some details about your situation and who you are. Since you will be unlikely to meet the committee members in person, including a little information to make your appeal more personal might be helpful.
Contact a Houston Title IX Defense Lawyer
Receiving your school's decision to expel or suspend you for an alleged Title IX violation can be devastating. Students and families invest a substantial amount of effort, money, and time in higher education. When your university makes an unjustified or unfair decision, you have the right to appeal.
The Title IX defense lawyers at The Law Offices of Jed Silverman have advocated for many students facing allegations of sexual misconduct at colleges and universities in Houston and Texas. We understand the stakes involved in these matters and are dedicated to protecting students' and families' rights.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation to learn more about your rights and legal options by calling us at (713) 597-2221.