Title IX: Information and Consequences You Need to Know
Title IX proceedings in university settings have become an increasing area of concern for students and parents. These proceedings can have major implications and consequences in both the university disciplinary process and the criminal justice process. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education. It provides in part that "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." The sex discrimination aspects of Title IX includes sexual violence
Generally speaking, students can be confronted with Title IX cases when there are allegations of sexual violence, assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking or other sexually inappropriate conduct. While Title IX proceedings are technically not criminal proceedings, the process can quickly evolve into interaction with law enforcement and the possible investigation of criminal complaints.
We have dealt with every aspect of Title IX investigations on both sides of the docket. While we primarily represent those students who are accused of inappropriate conduct, we have also assisted the individuals making the complaint. We have helped guide many students and families through a complicated and convoluted administrative proceeding. The process can be very time consuming for the student and his or her family. Sanctions and interim remedies imposed by the university during the investigation or upon final disposition can involve suspension or expulsion and immediate removal from the campus setting, changes in academic living situations and orders of no contact. The process will involve interaction with the university's Title IX Offices and the disciplinary process. It will likely involve meeting with university administrative officials and Title IX investigators. It may involve interviews and written responses to complaints. There is a complicated appellate process that can come into play in many of these cases. One of the more dangerous aspects of Title IX proceedings is that all of the information gathered by the university is subject to discovery by law enforcement and a District Attorney's Office. We know for a fact, because of our dealings in these cases in the past, that the McLennan County District Attorney's Office is aggressive about getting this information and using it in the criminal investigation of criminal complaints.
Typically, a student is notified in writing by the university that there is an ongoing Title IX investigation. Upon receipt of this notice, we strongly urge a student to contact an attorney experienced in Title IX matters as well as criminal defense. It is imperative to seek the advice of an experienced attorney before making any statements or responses to university officials or law enforcement.
We have handled many Title IX cases from the initial investigation notice to cases involving the final appeal to the university president. We will be happy to answer any question a student or parent might have regarding this type of case.