Hearing Procedures

HEARING PROCEDURES

  1. When an alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct occurs, the incident should be reported to the Campus Safety Office or the Community Values Office.

  2. A student, a University employee or guest may register a formal complaint regarding a Limestone University student by submitting to Campus Safety or Community the following information:

    • the name of the accused

    • a clear statement explaining the nature and circumstances of the complaint, and witnesses to the incident

    • the names, addresses and phone of the person(s) filing the complaint.

      • A complaint is a claim by a University community member, or guest, that a student has been involved in a violation of University policy and/or regulation. In some instances, the claimed violation of University policy or regulation may also be a violation of state or federal law. The University reserves the right to conduct a hearing or act on a claim of violation of University policies or regulations on campus and off campus even though civil authorities also have jurisdiction under relevant criminal or civil law. A person filing a complaint is called the victim. The person against whom a complaint is filed is called the accused.

  3. As soon as the Director of Community Values (or designee), has determined that a Student Code of Conduct violation has been committed, the Campus Security Office may be contacted to fully investigate the alleged violation. All paperwork involved in the investigation shall be turned  over to the Director of Community Values at the conclusion of their investigation.

  4. Once a complaint has been documented, the Director of Community Values will be responsible for any communication regarding the matter before the Judicial Board. This will include contacting potential witnesses, sending out notices regarding the hearing, or any changes regarding the hearing. At the completion of the hearing process, the Director of Community Values is responsible for sending out notices to the appropriate parties of the results of the hearing.

  5. The Director of Community Values shall notify the accused of the alleged incident, including copies of all information referred to the Director of Community Values from Campus Safety and any information they have collected and discovered. Cases in which suspension or expulsion from the University is a possible penalty will always be referred to the Judicial Board for a hearing. The Student Ombudsperson, Advisor, or Victim’s Advocate will be notified as well.

  6. When a Judicial Board Hearing is required, the Director of Community Values will notify the Hearing Coordinator. The Hearing Coordinator will schedule a hearing with the Judicial Board members. Under certain conditions, such as semester’s end, and holidays, the judicial hearing may be delayed until the start of the next semester.

  7. The Director of Community Values will speak with the victim regarding the hearing, or any changes regarding the hearing.

  8. Notice of Preliminary Review

  • The accused will be notified to contact the Community Values Office with regard to a preliminary review with the Director of Community Values at least three working days prior to the Judicial Board Hearing. The Director of Community Values with speak with the accused and a decision as to whether or not to formally charge the student with a violation will occur.
  • The accused will be asked to sign a document indicating that they has received notice. Should the accused refuse to sign this document, the Director of Community Values, Campus Safety officer, or designated staff member will note so on the form, and the student will be considered officially notified.
  • The accused may contact the Student Ombudsperson or other person of their choice from the University community as advisor prior to meeting with the Director of Community Values.
  • The victim and the accused, as well the advisors to all parties involved, will receive a document of all charges, witnesses, and the date, time and location of the Judicial Board Hearing. The charges stated in the notification will correspond to the sections and alleged violation(s) in the Student Code of Conduct.
  • During this preliminary review, the student will be advised of the charges against them, their rights in the Hearing Process, and the possible penalties that may be imposed. The following items will be discussed at the review:
    1. The accused has the right to face the accusers and to cross-examine any witness(es) testifying against them.
    2. The accused also has a right to call witness(es) to testify in their defense.
    3. All parties will be provided a list of the Judicial Board member’s names.
    4. All witnesses for both sides should be registered with the hearing body. All witnesses shall furnish written statements at least two days prior to the Judicial Board Hearing.
    5. The Hearing Coordinator and Judicial Board, as well as all necessary parties will receive all paperwork pertaining to the case at least three business days prior to the scheduled Judicial Board Hearing.
  1. Notice of Judicial Hearing

    • All hearings will be scheduled at the earliest convenience of all parties; victim and accused. All parties will be allowed to bring any member of the University community to advise them at the hearing.

    • Students are expected to speak for themselves. Legal representatives will be allowed in a Title IX case.

    • A student unable to attend a scheduled hearing must notify the Hearing Coordinator at least 24 hours in advance of the scheduled hearing. Failure to attend a scheduled hearing will  result in a finding of guilty and appropriate disciplinary action will be assessed by the Judicial Board. If the student has a valid excuse or a conflict with the scheduled hearing,  then the Hearing Coordinator will reschedule the hearing. The Hearing Coordinator will determine if the student’s excuse is valid. The student may appeal the decision of the Hearing Coordinator to the Associate Provost.

    • The Hearing Coordinator will introduce the members of the hearing board, the accused, and the victim.

    • Then the case is introduced and the charges are read into the record.

    • The accused will then have the opportunity to enter a “Responsible/Not Responsible” on the charges brought against them. However, the student also has the right to remain silent without any assumptions being made about responsibility. If the student remains silent, a  ‘Not Responsible’ plea will be entered into the record by the Hearing Coordinator.

    • The accused shall be permitted to present the testimony of witnesses and other evidence in their defense. Defense witness(es) shall be subjected to questioning by the Hearing Board members.

    • If the accused pleads ‘Responsible’, then the Judicial Hearing Board will ask for  mitigating or extenuating circumstances from both sides about the incident. The Judicial Hearing Board will then excuse the alleged violator and all other parties and meet to determine the punishment to be given.

    • If the accused pleads ‘Not Responsible’, the Judicial Hearing Board will then be given the opportunity to ask questions of the victim, any witnesses, and the accused. The accused has the right to remain silent.

    • The accused and victim has the right to remain in the room for the case presentation.

    • The student has the right to have dismissed from consideration evidence that resulted from confessions obtained by coercion or deceit and objects or documents  obtained as a result of an illegal search. An illegal search is one that does not follow the Limestone University Search and Seizure Procedure.

    • The witness(es), if any, shall be called into the hearing and may be questioned by the Hearing Board, by the accused and by the victim.

    • At the conclusion of the presentation of testimony and when other evidence has been presented, all parties except the Judicial Hearing Board will leave the room. The Judicial Hearing Board shall deliberate and render a verdict.

    • The Hearing Board first shall decide, in the light of evidence presented, whether the accused is guilty. A vote may be taken by secret ballot of guilty or not guilty. If the individual is found “Responsible”, appropriate disciplinary actions will be assigned.

    • If the Judicial Hearing Board determines the accused is “Responsible”, the Community Values Office will provide the Board with information regarding the sanction precedent for the offense in question. If the accused has a record of documented violations of University regulations, the Judicial Hearing Board will review the documentation prior to imposing a sanction for the offense. In fashioning an appropriate punishment, the Hearing Board may consider all relevant factors, including, but not limited to, the nature and severity of the misconduct and the prior disciplinary history of the student.

  2. WRITTEN REPORT: The decision of the Hearing Board shall be rendered at the conclusion of the judicial hearing. The accused student along with the Hearing Coordinator will sign a notice of the hearing body’s final decision acknowledging the results of a judicial hearing. The Director of Community Values or designee shall deliver a letter to the accused informing them of the overall finding, and detail disciplinary punishment that was imposed within two working days, if applicable.

  3. APPEAL: The accused student, the victim, the Director of Community Values or a Judicial Board member(s) official has the right to appeal a disciplinary action resulting in Suspension or Expulsion for any of the following reasons:

  • Irregularity in the proceedings is a specified procedural error or error in interpretation of University conduct procedures may have substantially affected the hearing such the accused was denied a fair hearing or the error prevented the hearing officer or board from making a fair decision.
  • Penalty inconsistent with the nature of the offense. The sanction appears to be significantly incongruent with the violation, given either the student’s prior record or the usual action for the offense
  • New or unconsidered evidence. New, significant or relevant information regarding the case becomes available that could not have been discovered at the time of the hearing.  Information is not considered new if the student did not attend the original hearing or voluntarily withheld information during the original hearing.
  • Disciplinary action resulting in Suspension or Expulsion from an Administrative Hearing or Judicial Board is postponed until the student has had the opportunity to exercise their right to appeal. However, in cases where a student is deemed a threat or danger to self, others, or property, the Provost or Associate Provost may, upon finding that a danger exists, impose a penalty that is effective immediately, with the right to appeal to take place after the imposition of the penalty.
  • The written appeal should include a statement for the grounds and the rationale for claiming that an appeal is warranted. Failure on the student’s part to attend a hearing will not be grounds for  an appeal. The appeal process involves an Appeals Committee, consisting of a faculty member, a staff member and a student. In Title IX cases, the student will be replaced by either a staff or faculty alternative. Written requests for this appeal by the accused, the victim, or Director of Community Values must be submitted to the Appeals Committee at appealscommittee@limestone.edu within three (3) working days after the student signs the notice of the Hearing Board ‘Written Report’ decision. The appeal shall include the reasons for the appeal. The Appeals Committee will review the written appeal, collect additional information, if appropriate, and render their decision within seven (7) working days of receipt of the appeal. The Appeals Committee will notify the hearing officer and the Community Values within three (3) working days of receipt of an appeal.
  • Failure to submit a written appeal within three (3) working days of a decision by any hearing body or failure to appear before a hearing body is considered to be a waiver of the right of appeal. Working days do not include weekends, holidays, or other times when the University is closed.

12.OFF-CAMPUS VIOLATIONS: Limestone University reserves the right to prosecute for off campus violations as seen in the Off-Campus Conduct Policy.

13. DISCIPLINARY FILES: All statements, paperwork, and files concerning a disciplinary hearing remain the property of Limestone University and are not subject to review by outside parties. All records of disciplinary action shall remain confidential. Disciplinary records shall be maintained in the Community Values Office as part of the student record until graduation, after which all student records are maintained by the Registrar’s Office. The student record shall be released as specified by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. Exceptions shall be made only under the conditions specified in the Family Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, and under a court order or subpoena.

 

Records of disciplinary sanctions are maintained as follows:

  1. All records of disciplinary action will remain in the student record maintained by the Community Values Office until the student graduates from the University.
  2. Records of disciplinary sanctions of disciplinary probation, suspension, or expulsion will remain in the student record maintained by the University permanently.

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Last modified
08/28/2020 - 14:57