Have you been accused of a sex-related offense in an educational setting in Indianapolis, Indiana? If so, you likely have many questions regarding Title IX. These claims can be complicated, and you could face harsh consequences if you’re found responsible for the alleged misconduct.
Below, we answer some frequently asked questions regarding Title IX. For legal advice, contact our Indianapolis Title IX attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC for a free consultation.
Table of Contents
How Can an Indianapolis Title IX Defense Attorney Help Me?
Colleges, universities, and other institutions are often hostile to people accused of Title IX violations, even though they’re supposed to be impartial.
An experienced Indianapolis Title IX defense lawyer will be your best chance at clearing your name and protecting your reputation. They’ll ensure that you’re treated fairly throughout the investigation and disciplinary proceedings.
If you hire an experienced Title IX attorney from Suhre & Associates, LLC, we can help by:
- Advising you of your rights and guiding you throughout the process
- Examining your school’s Title IX policies and procedures and ensuring they follow them appropriately
- Ensuring your due process rights are protected
- Investigating the alleged misconduct and gathering evidence proving your innocence
- Attempting to have the complaint dismissed or resolved without a hearing
- Representing you in Title IX hearings and appeals, as necessary
Some Title IX claims are far more serious than others. In some cases, an accuser may decide to press criminal charges. We can defend you in your Title IX proceedings and in any accompanying criminal matters. Contact our Indianapolis law office today for a free initial consultation to see how we can help.
What Is Title IX, and Who Does It Apply To?
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex-based discrimination in educational programs, activities, and institutions that receive federal funding (grants), including:
- Technical schools
- Local school districts
- Charter schools
- For-profit schools
- Educational agencies
Under Title IX, educational institutions must provide all individuals equal access to programs, activities, and opportunities. That means they must operate in a nondiscriminatory manner and take reasonable measures to protect people from sexual harassment and violence.
Title IX aims to provide a safe and comfortable environment on campus and allow everyone the opportunity to participate in activities and programs.
What Type of Conduct Does Title IX Prohibit?
Title IX covers all forms of sex discrimination and misconduct, which includes:
- Gender discrimination
- Discrimination based on sexual orientation
- Sexual assault
- Sexual harassment
- Dating violence
- Domestic violence
- Online harassment, such as cyber-stalking
Any type of unwelcome sexual conduct or violence occurring in an educational setting may fall under the purview of Title IX. That includes sexual advances, verbal abuse, intimidation, or hostility based on a person’s sex, gender, or gender identity.
Who Is Protected By Title IX? How Can They File a Complaint?
Anyone who observes or experiences discrimination or sexual violence in an education program or activity can file a Title IX complaint.
- Community members
What Happens When Someone Files a Title IX Complaint?
An accuser typically files their initial complaint with the school. All educational institutions can implement their own policies and procedures for Title IX complaints as long as they comply with federal law. Accordingly, you must follow your school’s guidelines and process for filing complaints.
The general process usually involves the following steps:
- The victim of the alleged misconduct (the “complainant”) files a complaint with the school’s Title IX coordinator. The complaint contains detailed information regarding the alleged incident.
- The coordinator will review the complaint and investigate the allegations against the alleged perpetrator (the “respondent”). They usually contact the complainant and respondent to discuss each party’s version of events. If any witnesses were present, they may also contact them to collect more information. The coordinator will also review any relevant texts, photos, videos, and other evidence.
- If safety is a concern, the coordinator may take preventive measures to protect the complainant, such as ordering no contact between the parties.
- Once the coordinator completes the investigation, they’ll create a report of their findings and send it to both parties. Some complaints can be resolved through an informal resolution process, but the parties must voluntarily agree. If the matter isn’t resolved, a hearing will be held.
- At the hearing, each party has an opportunity to be heard and present evidence and witnesses to a board or panel. An advisor or lawyer can represent each party. The panel will deliberate and decide whether the respondent is responsible for the misconduct in violation of Title IX.
- If the respondent is held responsible, the panel will impose sanctions, and the respondent can appeal the decision.
All educational institutions have a duty to promptly respond to Title IX complaints and handle them in an equitable manner.
How Can I Defend Myself Against Title IX Allegations?
All Title IX complaints should undergo a fact-based analysis to determine their validity.
Depending on the circumstances of the allegations, any of the following defenses may be available:
- You were falsely accused
- The sexual relationship was consensual
- Lack of evidence proving the alleged misconduct
- Mistaken identity
- You have an alibi for the time of the alleged incident
- The university failed to provide an impartial Title IX investigation or hearing
An experienced Title IX attorney will listen to your side of the story and develop a defense strategy tailored to the facts of your case.
What Are the Consequences of a Title IX Violation?
Disciplinary sanctions for a violation of Title IX can include:
- A written warning
- Loss of certain privileges on campus
- A no-contact order
- Disciplinary probation
- A requirement to take a sexual harassment course
- Mandatory counseling or participation in therapy
- Withholding a degree
Contact Our Indianapolis Title IX Lawyers for a Free Case Evaluation
If you’re facing Title IX accusations, protect your future by contacting an experienced attorney at Suhre & Associates, LLC for assistance. We know how to defend people accused of sexual harassment and violence. Call today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Title IX defense lawyer in Indianapolis, IN.