The public often hears about due process violations in schools and universities after an accused student files a Title IX claim in federal court. It is important to remember, though, that there may be an internal appeals process as well as an opportunity to appeal to Washington state court when a student faces disciplinary action as the result of a Title IX investigation. As an example, a state appeals court recently vacated a state superior court’s judgment upholding a student’s expulsion based on a sexual misconduct allegation.
The case arose after a female student reported an alleged sexual assault to the police department. No criminal charges were brought. Five months after the incident, the female student filed a report with the university police department.
The Dean of Students Office notified the respondent its investigation found “it was more likely than not [the respondent] engaged in non-consensual sexual activity” with a woman he knew was incapacitated. The respondent was found responsible for violating the sections of the Code of Conduct relating to furnishing alcohol to an underage person (§ F(15)) and sexual misconduct (§ F(23)). The Dean of Students Office ordered the respondent expelled. The respondent asked for a hearing.