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Grounds, Procedure and Timeframes for Filing an Appeal

The decision of the Title IX Coordinator or the Judicial Coordinator may be appealed by petitioning the Provost & Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs (P&VPASA) to review the decision.  All sanctions imposed by the Judicial Coordinator will be in effect during the appeal unless imposition of sanctions is stayed by the Judicial Coordinator upon request and a finding made by him/her that a stay is reasonable and can be allowed without jeopardizing the safety of other persons or the integrity of the educational mission of the University. The decision whether to grant a stay is in the sole discretion of the Judicial Coordinator but is subject to expedited review by the P&VPASA, if requested.  In cases where the appeal results in reinstatement to the institution or of privileges, all reasonable attempts will be made to restore the Respondent-student to their prior status, recognizing that some opportunities lost may be irretrievable in the short term.

The decision of the Title IX Coordinator or the Judicial Coordinator may be appealed by written petition only (verbal notice or email notices are not adequate) and may be pursued by either a Complainant or an accused Respondent.  Both Respondents or Complainants may petition the P&VPASA for a review of the decision of the Title IX Coordinator or the Judicial Coordinator, or the sanctions imposed, which petition for review must be filed (physically received) within seven(7) business days (no later than close of business of the seventh business day) following the appealing party receiving the Title IX Coordinator's or the Judicial Coordinator’s written findings and final decision. The P&VPASA will share the appeal documents filed with the other party, who may file a response thereto in a similar manner within seven (7) business days of notice of the same.  The P&VPASA will initially determine if the appeal meets the limited grounds of appealability and is timely.  The original findings and sanctions imposed shall stand if the appeal is determined not to be timely or substantively eligible for review. If so found, the decision may be appealed to the President for a review of that finding alone.  In such event, if the President sustains the decision of the P&VPASA, the appeal will be dismissed with finality and the P&VPASA so advised. If the appeal is found by the P&VPASA to have standing (timely and stating a proper ground for review), upon request of the P&VPASA the investigative and judicial records shall be promptly forwarded by the Judicial Coordinator for review.  The Judicial Coordinator’s decision shall be accorded a presumption of correctness, and the party requesting review by the filing of an appeal must affirmatively demonstrate (as opposed to simply allege) procedural or substantive error. Grounds for appeal are as follows and are exclusive of any others:

  1. A procedural or substantive error occurred in either the investigative or adjudicatory process that significantly impacted the outcome of the hearing (e.g. substantial bias, material deviation from established procedures, the findings and decision are contrary to the great weight of the evidence, etc.)
  2. To consider new evidence it must be newly discovered evidence (unavailable during the original hearing or investigation) that could substantially impact the original findings, decision or sanction.  A summary of this new evidence and its probable impact must be included in the notice of appeal. Evidence that was known or reasonably should have been known and available at the time of the investigation or original hearing but is only now disclosed (newly disclosed evidence as opposed to newly discovered evidence) shall not be deemed to be sufficient.
  3. The sanctions imposed are substantially disproportionate to the severity of the violation found.

If the P&VPASA determines that new additional evidence should be considered, he/she shall return the complaint to the Title IX Coordinator to investigate or Judicial Coordinator to consider in light of the new evidence only. 

If the P&VPASA determines that a material procedural or substantive error occurred, he/she may return the matter to the Judicial Coordinator with instructions to reconvene a hearing to cure the error.  In rare cases, where the procedural or substantive error cannot be cured by the Judicial Coordinator, the P&VPASA shall order a new hearing on the complaint.  The results of a reconvened or new hearing can be appealed to the P&VPASA in the same manner as the original appeal. 

If the P&VPASA is of the opinion that the sanctions imposed are inadequate or disproportionate to the severity of the violation, he/she shall return the matter with an explanation of his/her reasons for doing so to the Judicial Coordinator, who may then increase, decrease or otherwise modify the sanctions.

The procedures governing the hearing of appeals include the following:

  • All parties shall be timely informed of the status of requests for appeal, the status of the appeal considerations and review, and the results of the appeal decision in all phases of the process. Unless a principal party to the process (Complainant, Respondent) advises otherwise, notices may be made by utilizing the email address of a party on file with the Registrar.
  • The submission of new evidence or finding of procedural error in the investigative process where the result of the investigation or Judicial Coordinator’s decision is reasonably caused to be called into question should be resolved in light most favorable to the party appealing and considered as an opportunity to return the appeal to the Title IX Coordinator or Judicial Coordinator for clarification or reconsideration where appropriate; however, appellate review is not an opportunity for the P&VPASA to substitute her/his judgment for that of the original hearing body merely because he/she may disagree with their finding and/or sanctions.  Appeal decisions are to be deferential to the original hearing body, making changes to the findings only where there is clear error and to the sanction only if there is a compelling justification to do so.
  • Appeals are conducted by review only and not by the P&VPASA conducting a rehearing of the evidence, and in most cases are confined to a review of the record of the original hearing and pertinent documentation regarding the grounds for appeal.
  • Sanctions imposed by the Judicial Coordinator are implemented immediately unless the Judicial Coordinator or P&VPASA stays implementation for good cause in extraordinary circumstances pending the outcome of the appeal.
  • The P&VPASA will render a written decision on the appeal to all parties within seven (7) business days from receipt of an appeal notice, or where a response is filed by the other principal to the disciplinary hearing (Complainant or Respondent, as applicable) then within seven (7) business days of the receipt of said response, time being of the essence. Timeframes and deadlines may be extended for compelling reason or to comply with requirements of due process. Notice of any extensions shall be promptly given to persons involved.

Should an appeal result in the matter being returned to the Title IX Coordinator or Judicial Coordinator by the P&VPASA for additional investigation or adjudication, further investigation by the Title IX Coordinator and/or consideration by the Judicial Coordinator shall be finalized and written notice given within seven (7) business days and the P&VPASA so informed. Appeal of any final decisions made following a return shall be filed in the same manner as the original appeal.

The decision of the P&VPASA is final in all regards, except a limited appeal may lie to the President whose review is limited solely to a determination that the parties involved were afforded substantial due process, which decision shall be final. Should the President determine that there was a lack of substantial due process, he/she shall so inform the P&VPASA and shall return the matter to the P&VPASA with instructions.

All investigatory and adjudicatory proceedings shall be concluded within sixty (60) days of the filing of a complaint, absent compelling reason for delay.

To prevent delay caused by the unavailability of any JSU official designated herein, the President may designate and temporarily appoint another University official to discharge the duties of the unavailable official.

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