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Requirements

  1. The Complainant (party) or Respondent (party) may submit a written appeal using the (hereafter “RFA”) to the Appeal Officer through the Title IX Coordinator.

  2. The written appeal will be sent to the Title IX Coordinator who will forward the appeal to the appropriate Appeal Officer and the other party.

  3. Any party to a complaint may only file one appeal per incident, exigent circumstances notwithstanding.

  4. Sanctions instituted by the Administrative Hearing Panel are to be implemented following the appeal determination.

  5. The presumptive stance of the Appeal Officer is that the Administrative Hearing Panel (hereafter AHP) finding(s) and sanction(s) were correct in their finding. The burden is on the party to show that an error occurred as outlined below in the Grounds for Appeal.

  6. Appeals are not intended to be re-interviews of the allegation(s). In most cases, appeals are confined to a review of the written documentation or record of the original investigation and adjudication of the case. Interviewing of or testimony by the parties is not appropriate - exigent circumstances notwithstanding.

  7. The Appeal Officer may, at his/her discretion, request information regarding procedure from the Investigator, Title IX Coordinator, or Hearing Panel Chair. Ideally, this information would not be necessary, as it should be included in the written requests and/or responses.

Procedures for appeals

  1. Following the conclusion of an AHP, both parties are required to daily check their University email for the notification of the AHP findings.

  2. The RFA must be submitted within 3 business days of notification of the AHP’s findings and include all evidence substantiating the appeal.

  3. Any RFA not filed in a timely fashion will be denied. No exceptions to this timeline are permissible without the express permission of the Appeal Officer.

  4. Any RFA will be shared with all parties (Complainant, Respondent, Title IX Coordinator, and AHP Chair) who may respond in writing to the Appeal Officer.

    • All responses must be submitted to the Appeal Officer within three (3) business days of the notification that an appeal has been filed and all responses will be shared with all parties.

Grounds for appeal

  1. A procedural error or omission occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the process (e.g. material deviation from established procedures).

  2. To consider new evidence, unavailable during the original investigation or adjudication, that could substantially impact the original finding or sanction. A summary of this new evidence and its potential impact must be included.

    NOTE: When a party fails to provide a statement/evidence (e.g. under advice of counsel/ advisor) during an investigation, and subsequent to the interview/hearing decides to provide the statement/evidence, it will not be considered “new evidence” for the purposes of this ground. Additionally, subsequent findings of a criminal or civil court (e.g. dismissals, plea bargains, settlements) alone do not constitute sufficient grounds for appeal, but may be considered if new evidence was the grounds for said finding.

  3. A conflict of interest or bias by an investigator, coordinator, or AHP member that substantially impacted the outcome of the investigation or adjudication.

    NOTE: Parties have the ability to address an investigator’s, coordinator’s, or AHP member’s potential conflict of interest or bias for or against a given party at the time of notification of the individual’s involvement in the case. Therefore, in the appeal, the party must also explain why the party did not exercise this opportunity at the time the investigator, coordinator, or AHP member’s name was disclosed.

Appeals under consideration

  1. The Appeal Officer, after considering the original appeal and all associated responses, will make a decision on the appeal and communicate one of the following determinations within three (3) business days of receiving the final response - exigent circumstances notwithstanding.

    The decisions are limited to the following:

    1. Affirming the decision of the original AHP and or investigation.

    2. In cases where it is determined that the procedural error did significantly impact the finding or sanction, the Appeal Officer will require one of the following two remedies:

      • Remand the case back to the original coordinators, investigators and/or AHP with instruction to repair the procedural error.

      • Remand the case back to be reinvestigated by new investigators, new coordinator, and/or new AHP. This is typically done in cases where the procedural error is so profound as to render the original investigation and/or adjudication too biased or influenced.

  2. In cases where it is determined that the new evidence, unavailable during the original investigation, is now available and could substantially impact the original finding or sanctions of the AHP, the Appeal Officer will remand the case back to the original AHP with instruction to consider the new evidence.

    • In this cases, the original AHP will convene solely to consider the new evidence.