Monday, January 24, 2011

Ithaca Lawyer Discusses Ithaca College, and Cornell University: Criminal Charges and Administrative Hearings


Being JA'd in addition to your pending criminal charges

Sometimes as part of my representation of IC (Ithaca College) and Cornell students they will request my attending their administrative hearings. Violations on campus and usually many of the dorms/apartments are part and parcel of campus property will often result in a separate college board hearing/review to determine what consequences/punishments/reprimands/suspensions/expulsion the student may face for their criminal charges.

REMEMBER: Even many off campus infractions can and will result in your being JA'd by the police or a concerned party.


The Cornell University Judicial Administration department is more apt to want to deal with local lawyers in their process. I have found them inviting and seeking input as to what is going on at the "criminal" end of things with their students.



The Ithaca College Judicial Administration is not like Cornell as to local lawyers.


Under the IC policy ANY attorney involvement in these is forbidden. This is a "one on one" meeting.
See highlighted code under (5.) below:


7.1.2.4 Administrative Hearing Process [IV]

As amended by the Ithaca College Board of Trustees April 14, 2000, October 13, 2006, and May 17, 2009.
When a nonacademic incident occurs involving an Ithaca College student's alleged violation of any rule or regulation outlined in the "Statement of Responsibilities," policies provided in section 7.1.2.3 or in the residential life rules and regulations, the matter will be handled according to the following procedures unless the incident occurs at the end of an academic year and involves a graduating senior. For an incident involving a graduating senior, the College shall be permitted to modify the steps in the hearing procedure to allow for resolution of the matter prior to commencement:
1.
The incident is documented.
2.
The documentation is then forwarded to the director of judicial affairs or other appropriate administrative hearing officer, who will determine if the student will be charged for the alleged violation(s) of the student conduct code.
3.
When a student is charged, the student will be notified in writing by the director of judicial affairs or other appropriate administrative hearing officer. This written notice will include the section(s) of the residential life rules and regulations and/or the student conduct code allegedly violated; a brief description of the incident; the date, time, and location of occurrence, if available; and an appointed time to meet with the designated hearing officer. The letter will include instructions for rescheduling the meeting should the student have a conflict with the scheduled time. The letter will include a statement indicating that if the student fails to appear for the meeting, that student waives the student's right to this administrative hearing process and a decision regarding responsibility and sanction will be assessed based on the available evidence. This judicial charge notice must be received by the student at least 72 hoursbefore an administrative hearing is convened to consider the matter.
4.
Students who fail to appear at the appointed time or fail to reschedule prior to the time of the original appointment waive their right to a hearing and may be assessed an appropriate sanction by the judicial hearing officer if responsibility is determined based on the evidence available.
5.
The administrative hearing is a one on one meeting between the student and the judicial hearing officer. The presence of an attorney and/or written materials submitted by an attorney in representation of his/her student client is prohibited. In the administrative hearing with the judicial hearing officer, the administrative procedures and charges will be explained, documentation and evidence will be reviewed, and the student will be provided the opportunity to have all pertinent questions answered. At the hearing the student and the judicial hearing officer will discuss the relevant information from the incident as well as any other information that the student or the judicial hearing officer deems appropriate.
6.
This hearing will result in one of the following possible outcomes:
  1. The hearing officer may dismiss the charge(s).
  2. The student may accept responsibility for the violation or may be found responsible by the hearing officer based on a preponderance of the evidence. A sanction (see section 7.1.2.8) will be verbally indicated by the hearing officer within 24 hours of the hearing, with written notification to follow within ten (10) College business days.
  3. In the event that a judicial hearing officer determines that additional information or further investigation is required in order to reach a decision, the outcome of the hearing will be delayed pending this investigation. The judicial hearing officer will follow up with the student to arrange any additional needed meeting(s) and/or to apprise the student of the investigations in progress. The process will conclude with a final decision regarding the hearing.
7.
The student who has been charged under the student conduct code may at the conclusion of the administrative hearing process choose to accept the decision/sanction or choose to have the case heard before the conduct review board. (See section 7.1.2.5.) If a case involves a graduating senior, the decision of the judicial hearing officer is final unless the decision/sanction involves withholding of a transcript or diploma, suspension, or expulsion. A decision/sanction involving withholding of a transcript or diploma, suspension, or expulsion may be appealed to the vice president for student affairs and campus life or designee.
8.
In cases of Sexual Misconduct or Domestic Violence the following additional procedures will be incorporated in the administrative hearing process:
a. The primary witness and accused student will have the right to select an adviser from a specially trained pool of students, faculty and staff trained in the areas of domestic violence and sexual misconduct. The special adviser will help guide the primary witness/accused student through the judicial process.,
b. The administrative hearing will be conducted by both a male and female hearing officer.
c. The primary witness will be given the opportunity to meet with the hearing officers to provide information about the case prior to the hearing. If a primary witness elects NOT to attend this meeting, the alternative options are handwritten, audio taped, or video- taped statements submitted 24 hours in advance of the hearing.

The student may also choose to have a conduct review board hear the student's case if the student has been charged under the residential life rules and regulations and the hearing officer has imposed a sanction of residence hall reassignment, residence hall restriction, and/or termination of the student's housing contract. No other sanctions imposed by a hearing officer regarding the residential life rules and regulations carry with them the option of a conduct review board hearing.
A written request for a conduct review board hearing must be received by the director of judicial affairs within 72 hours of the written notification of the sanction(s) from the administrative hearing.
In the event that a student is eligible to have the student's case heard before a conduct review board and chooses to do so, the decision rendered in the administrative hearing becomes null and void, and the student continues without sanction until the conduct review board hearing process is completed.


Takeaway:

So I think it best to talk to an attorney before your administrative proceeding. This is for a number of reasons: to discuss the impact of the criminal proceeding, and how it's outcome may be followed by resolving academic issues later on. 

Sometimes it also helps to let the College know you are accepting responsibility for your conduct, and being proactive about getting help. These things can go a long way to assist your long term college goals.

 Always consult with an attorney about any criminal or non-criminal charges you have pending to discuss your options and/or defenses.

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