Michigan

Title IX Defense Lawyer

Title IX is a civil rights law passed as part of Education Amendments of 1972 to prevent discrimination on the basis of sex in educational institutions.

While everyone agrees that discrimination should be forbidden, Title IX investigations and hearings against individual students or faculty sometimes overstep their boundaries or accuse an innocent person.

Whether or not you are facing legal charges in addition to your school’s allegations, if you have been accused of a TItle IX violation, you need an experienced defense attorney on your side to help you through this complicated process.

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Title IX is a civil rights law passed as part of Education Amendments of 1972 to prevent discrimination on the basis of sex in educational institutions.

While everyone agrees that discrimination should be forbidden, Title IX investigations and hearings against individual students or faculty sometimes overstep their boundaries or accuse an innocent person.

Whether or not you are facing legal charges in addition to your school’s allegations, if you have been accused of a TItle IX violation, you need an experienced defense attorney on your side to help you through this complicated process.

What is covered under Title IX?

Title IX states 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.

This means that this type of discrimination is forbidden in any educational institutions who receive federal funding – including schools, universities, libraries, museums, etc.

TItle IX prohibits discrimination in the following categories:

  • Athletics
  • Recruitment
  • Admissions
  • Counseling
  • Financial Assistance
  • Discipline
  • Employment
  • Retaliation (Anyone who asserts a Title IX claim is protected against retaliation or penalizations.)
  • Athletics
  • Recruitment
  • Admissions
  • Counseling
  • Financial Assistance
  • Discipline
  • Employment
  • Retaliation (Anyone who asserts a Title IX claim is protected against retaliation or penalizations.)

Even though the text doesn’t specifically mention sexual assault or sexual harassment, over time, the scope of Title Ix has broadened to include protection against other types of gender-based discrimination and violence, including:

  • Sexual Harassment and Assault – Schools are obligated to ensure their students are not in a hostile environment.
  • Pregnancy – Anyone who has been, is, or might be pregnant should be given the same resources as everyone else.

What happens when you’re accused of a Title IX violation?

As a school, Title IX violations can lead to losing government funding. That’s why these institutions are encouraged to:

  • Hire and maintain a sexual assault allegation coordinator
  • Maintain a written policy that details the sexual violence/harrassment investigation process
  • Provide accommodations to the alleged victims

But when we’re dealing with individual Title IX violations, those accusations are almost exclusively sexual assault allegations.

Here’s what to expect after an accusation has been made:

  • A thorough investigation into the allegations, including interviews, evidence, etc.
  • Restrictions on the accused, ranging from a “no contact letter” to school suspension to expulsion from degree programs.
  • A meeting where the accused is allowed to make a statement with a support person (silently) present.
  • Sexual assault hearings in which your university will use a lower standard of proof than criminal courts.

Here’s what to expect after an accusation has been made:

  • A thorough investigation into the allegations, including interviews, evidence, etc.
  • Restrictions on the accused, ranging from a “no contact letter” to school suspension to expulsion from degree programs.
  • A meeting where the accused is allowed to make a statement with a support person (silently) present.
  • Sexual assault hearings in which your university will use a lower standard of proof than criminal courts.

Note: Sometimes law enforcement officers will conduct criminal/civil investigations at the same time as school investigations.

Rights of the accused

Unfortunately, there have been many Title IX cases where school administrators have failed to protect the rights of the accused. If you have been accused of a Title IX violation, don’t assume a school will support and defend their rights as diligently as they support the accuser.

Your school can take disciplinary action against you even if the legal prosecution is pending, has been dismissed, or charges have been reduced. You could still be suspended or expelled regardless of the result of criminal or civil proceedings.

But what rights do the accused have in these types of cases?

  • The right to be informed of the nature, rules, and procedures of the Title IX process and the nature of the violation and possible sanctions.
  • The right to not have irrelevant prior sexual history admitted as evidence in a campus investigation.
  • The right to have an advocate for support and assistance during the campus investigation process.
  • The right to be given written notice of the outcome and sanction.
  • The right to appeal the outcome and/or sanction at the conclusion of the investigation.

But what rights do the accused have in these types of cases?

  • The right to be informed of the nature, rules, and procedures of the Title IX process and the nature of the violation and possible sanctions.
  • The right to not have irrelevant prior sexual history admitted as evidence in a campus investigation.
  • The right to have an advocate for support and assistance during the campus investigation process.
  • The right to be given written notice of the outcome and sanction.
  • The right to appeal the outcome and/or sanction at the conclusion of the investigation.

If you have been accused of harassment or misconduct:

  • Do NOT contact the alleged victim – even electronically or through a third party.
  • Do NOT make any actions as retaliation against a complaint – that will only make the situation worse.
  • DO hire an attorney as soon as possible to help you through this process.
"
Shannon was amazing from the first day I met with her. She assured me of her confidence in me and the case throughout the entire process. She is confident and strong in the courtroom, and is yet easy and comfortable to talk to. She knows her stuff, and it shows in her ability to act on the fly when things come up that are unexpected. Little things don’t get past her, and she is quick to act on them. She brought me through the trial of my life with barely a scratch. I am so grateful for Shannon, and I cannot even bring to words all she has done for me. I would definitely retain her as my lawyer again, and I highly recommend her to anyone needing representation."
~ Stacia

"

Shannon was amazing from the first day I met with her. She assured me of her confidence in me and the case throughout the entire process. She is confident and strong in the courtroom, and is yet easy and comfortable to talk to. She knows her stuff, and it shows in her ability to act on the fly when things come up that are unexpected. Little things don’t get past her, and she is quick to act on them. She brought me through the trial of my life with barely a scratch. I am so grateful for Shannon, and I cannot even bring to words all she has done for me. I would definitely retain her as my lawyer again, and I highly recommend her to anyone needing representation."

~ Stacia

Get in touch with Smith Blythe to get an experienced defense attorney on your side

A defense attorney can help prevent you from being arrested or expelled by providing context for the nature of the allegations, potential punishments, and what your next steps should be. At Smith Blythe, we develop effective defense strategies for each of our clients. Contact us today to get started.

Fill out the form with the details of your situation to get started.

Are you a new client? Yes, I am a potential new client.No, I am a current existing client.I'm neither

Get in touch with Smith Blythe to get an experienced defense attorney on your side

A defense attorney can help prevent you from being arrested or expelled by providing context for the nature of the allegations, potential punishments, and what your next steps should be. At Smith Blythe, we develop effective defense strategies for each of our clients. Contact us today to get started.

Fill out the form with the details of your situation to get started.

Are you a new client? Yes, I am a potential new client.No, I am a current existing client.I'm neither