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Title IX complaints may name public educational institutions, their students, and school or university employees when alleging claims of sexual assault, harassment, discrimination, or other misconduct based on a violation of equal rights. These accusations create a minefield of potential missteps and hazards for the accused. In Indiana, schools and universities establish their own policies and procedures for handling Title IX complaints, making it difficult for the named respondent to prepare a defense without assistance. The Indianapolis Title IX defense lawyers of Keffer Hirschauer LLP know Title IX law and the various processes used by schools in Indiana. We are certified to perform Title IX investigations and experienced in defending clients against these accusations. If you have been accused of Title IX violations, you can trust our Title IX defense attorneys to guide your steps and walk with you along this difficult path.
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The Accused Need Experienced Title IX Defense Lawyers
If you’re facing a Title IX complaint or investigation in Indiana, you need experienced Indiana Title IX defense attorneys on your side. Title IX sanctions, or even allegations and the investigation process, can wreak havoc on your life, your family, and your future prospects. At Keffer Hirschauer LLP, our attorneys are well-qualified to successfully represent Indiana college students, employees, and others accused of Title IX violations. We work diligently to protect the futures, degrees, and careers of the accused by fighting Title IX allegations and related penalties, such as suspension, expulsion, or termination.
Why should you trust the lawyers of Keffer Hirschauer LLP to protect your rights and your future? Because our knowledge and experience set us apart. We combine our skill as aggressive Indianapolis criminal defense attorneys with our in-depth understanding of protecting constitutional rights and our knowledge of Title IX law and other legislation that affects Title IX cases. Our clear understanding of the different Title IX processes implemented at various Indiana schools and universities allows us to provide much-needed guidance and a forceful defense for students and employees who face Title IX allegations.
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Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination based on sex at any federally funded educational institution. The legislation protects both students and employees at public schools and universities. Claims may be based on conduct by a student, an employee or educator at the school, or the institution itself.
Title IX claims may arise in the following circumstances, among others:
- Employment discrimination
- Gender-based discrimination in a school office, student athletic program, school activity, or classroom
- Sexual harassment or sexual assault by a school employee or student against another employee or student
- Sexual misconduct or dating violence
- Creation or toleration of a hostile work environment related to gender-based discrimination or harassment
- Retaliation for reporting or making a Title IX complaint
The Act prohibits discrimination that may be based on sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, parental status, gender identity or nonconformity, or other sex- or gender-based scenarios.
Indiana holds a special place in the history of Title IX law. Former Indiana Senator Birch Bayh originally introduced the Title IX legislation nearly 50 years ago in an effort to advance and protect the civil rights of women and prevent sex discrimination in public educational institutions. Continuing this connection with the law and dedication to the protection of the civil rights of all Americans, Keffer Hirschauer LLP’s Indianapolis Title IX defense lawyers stay up-to-date with the current Title IX policies and procedures at Indiana schools and universities. We work to ensure that the efforts made in the interest of protecting the rights of some do not overstep and ultimately infringe upon the rights of others.
All schools, universities, and other educational institutions that receive federal funds are bound by the requirements of Title IX law. Each Indiana school or university that falls under Title IX establishes and follows its own procedures to investigate and decide claims. Other federal and state laws can further complicate matters, adding layers to the Title IX claim process. Because of the complex nature of these cases, legal representation in this area is essential. At Keffer Hirschauer LLP, we have attorneys who are Trained Title IX Investigators, certified by the Association of Title IX Administrators.
Although processes and procedures vary by school, two models for Title IX investigations are generally used in Indiana. Both of these models include the following stages for Title IX complaints:
- Initial evaluation to determine if a full investigation is needed
- Investigation, which includes interviewing witnesses, gathering evidence, reviewing testimony, and reporting of information by a Title IX Investigator
- Determination of whether Title IX violations occurred and ruling on appropriate Title IX sanctions
This sounds like a relatively simple process. However, that apparent simplicity is part of what makes Title IX investigations so potentially damaging for the accused. Defendants in Title IX cases usually are not granted the same rights they would have in the criminal law system. This can include the right to view evidence, to question witnesses, and even to retain counsel.
Additionally, the guidance provided to schools by government officials regarding Title IX administration can change with each election cycle and even remain in flux, both of which have happened in recent years. These changes can have serious implications for the rights of the accused in Title IX cases.
Title IX investigations often move quickly, leaving precious little time for preparing a defense. Yet Title IX sanctions and even mere accusations can have severe consequences like expulsion, damage to your reputation, and difficulty finding future employment. Findings and information obtained in Title IX investigations can even be used against you in a future civil or criminal court case. Consulting with experienced Indiana Title IX defense lawyers as early in the process as possible is key to mounting an effective defense and minimizing damage related to Title IX allegations.
Title IX processes are not as robust as those in criminal or other court cases, in part because the procedures are not clearly defined in legislation. The law mandates action by schools but fails to specify how schools should carry out that action, leaving room for personal biases and outside pressure to unduly influence outcomes. The mandate of a response and lack of guidance, combined with public pressure on schools to take swift and decisive action in Title IX cases, has contributed to environments and procedures that heavily favor the accuser.
People facing a Title IX claim have fewer protections and less access to information than those charged with crimes. And Title IX investigations and hearings move rapidly. Educational institutions generally complete their proceedings in 60 days. Meanwhile, the potential consequences for students or employees determined to be guilty of Title IX violations can be severe.
Title IX sanctions for students include, but are not limited to:
- Prohibition from participation in certain programs or activities
- Denial of diploma
Title IX sanctions and other consequences of alleged Title IX violations for employees of educational institutions are equally harsh and include disciplinary actions such as suspension, loss of tenure, and even dismissal.
Title IX violations may also negatively impact future educational or employment opportunities in addition to tarnishing an accused’s reputation. And the information collected in Title IX proceedings may form the basis of later criminal charges or civil actions for money damages. Even when a defendant is cleared and Title IX sanctions are not imposed, the effects of an accusation of this nature can still linger long into the future, especially if a case is not well-managed from the start.
Far too much is at stake when individuals are accused of Title IX violations. If you find yourself in this situation, contact the Indianapolis Title IX defense lawyers from Keffer Hirschauer LLP as soon as possible so we can start working immediately to protect your rights and your future.
The pace of proceedings and potentially severe consequences of Title IX violations make it critical for those accused to contact experienced counsel right away. Engaging a reliable Title IX defense lawyer early in the process can better protect your rights and bring about the best possible outcome.
If you are facing Title IX allegations in Indiana, we can provide knowledgeable and compassionate legal guidance. Our deep understanding of Title IX and the policies and procedures used by Indiana educational institutions means that we can hit the ground running. And our experience as skilled criminal defense and Title IX defense attorneys in Indiana allows us to provide comprehensive advice to help you anticipate and avoid additional legal problems. Contact the Indianapolis Title IX defense lawyers of Keffer Hirschauer LLP today by calling (317) 857-0160 or completing our online contact form.
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