1

I have hired a lawyer because my exboyfriend said I'm stalking him after I filed a sexual assault case against him.

My sexual assault case was closed, but the Title IX coordinator is asking me about the stalking case. I spoke to my lawyer who said I do not have to answer anything over email and that I can answer relevant questions in person with an attorney present.

I told this to the Title IX coordinator three times on separate occasions (noting that this Title IX coordinator is overtly and visibly biased in favor of my ex) and I gave dates and times I am available.

However she emailed me again saying that it is her obligation as Title IX coordinator to check with me regarding significant issues that come to her attention in advance of our meeting. I don't see this as a good excuse because what if I didn't communicate via email like some people, what if I didn't have a phone? How would she communicate with me?

Is there a legal expectation (as she says there is) for her to ask me questions about the accusations made by my ex via email, if I said I will speak to her in person with an attorney present?

I know I could send the messages to junk (which I do) but I still have to check my junk mail because she might be emailing me about dates/times to meet. This is dealing with an NYC public college.

  • 2
    Why would you take the advice of random strangers on the internet when you have a lawyer? – Dale M Jul 27 '17 at 20:44
  • I'm not taking any advice, I just want to know the legalities of the situation from multiple sources. My lawyer hasn't gotten back to me yet – user8358234 Jul 27 '17 at 20:47
  • 1
    So are you asking whether she can compel you to testify by email without an attorney, or are you asking why she didn't take the hint? – user6726 Jul 27 '17 at 20:50
  • The latter (I know she can't compel me to testify via email without an attorney). I asked her to cease asking me questions regarding the investigation via email and she didn't. She said she is obligated to ask me questions as soon as certain issues are brought to her attention, I think she's lying but I want to know whether she is or not. It doesn't make sense to me that she HAS to email me asking me questions about the investigation, what if I didn't have an email, phone number, or address? How then would she fulfill this 'obligation'? – user8358234 Jul 27 '17 at 20:55
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because the question of why she didn't take the hint isn't a legal question. – user6726 Jul 27 '17 at 21:02
2

Setting aside everything but the title, the Title IX coordinator does not have a federal obligation to email questions to anyone. They may, however, have an institutional obligation to act in a particular way, which might include always email questions, or never emailing questions (the latter is most likely). Assuming someone filed an institutional grievance against you, you have some right to answer these charges – it will be spelled out in the institution's rules. The federal regulations are between the institution and the government, and the institution then creates rules to keep themselves in compliance.

The usual worst-case scenario is that someone files a grievance, which is reviewed by the institution. As the accused, you will be informed of the charges against you, and will have the opportunity to defend yourself at least by the "committee decision" phase. Prior to that point, the institution can gather any data deemed relevant, and may well require that all questioning be conducted in a face-to-face meeting. Universities generally have minimal specification of procedural requirements, until they run into a problem and impose rules. To determine a person's authority to require something of you, you can ask them to tell you the university rules that give them that authority. Your attorney can then compare their demand with their authority and advise you whether you must comply, or perhaps strategically should comply, or should refuse.

The federal regulation which drives this is 34 CFR 105 subpart A. The logic of this is that the institution cannot discriminate on the basis of sex, if they do, they can be punished, but they can also "erase" the discrimination if they "overcome the effects" of the discrimination. §106.8 requires the institution to have a coordinator who assures compliance and does what is necessary including investigating. There must also be a grievance procedure:

(b) A recipient shall adopt and publish grievance procedures providing for prompt and equitable resolution of student and employee complaints alleging any action which would be prohibited by this part.

There is absolutely no further federal specification as to what this coordinator can do, instead the government leaves it up the the institution to come up with procedures. The only requirement is that there be no judgment of discrimination.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.