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Can I file a lawsuit against school for violation of right to due process?

Sterling, VA |

I am 1 class away from graduation when a student reported me to the school that I had harrassed him. When they investigated me, the dean of the school threatened me that if i do not agree with the allegations then they will tell the studen to involve police. and that its added stress to me when i should be focusing on my studies. They also printed out a convicted sex offender page showed it to me and told me that that was going to be me. The notetaker also jumped in and said "I really blieved this happened the way it was described." I followed the grievance procedure of the school to present my case but only got a 4 minute phone call from the "grievance chairperson" and then they dileberated.

I got expelled. In the original dismissal letter, it said I had no right to any other proceedings. And denied me of the appeal process when I asked the dean. I read the student handbook and contacted the school ombudsman on what the next process is and said I had to follow the grievance procedure.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

I am attaching a link from a question answered yesterday by a California attorney Christine McCall. Her answer was in response to a student accused of plagiarism--but I believe the bulk of her answer applies to your situation as well in particular because you believe your due process rights have been violated. http://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/advice-needed-potential-legal-action-on-plagiarism-1169507.html?ref=answer_question_serp_title_1
If after reading Attorney McCall's excellent discussion of the issues facing students accused of violating school policies, you still feel like you have a due process claim, contact an education attorney in our area and have a discussion about your suit, and your possible need for a criminal defense attorney as well.

NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice before the state and federal courts in Virginia. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this matter.

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Posted

So, they deliberated.

And with what result? Are you expelled? Suspended? Credits and tuition forfeited?

You can't leave the important part of the facts out if you want useful advice.

My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.

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3 comments

Asker

Posted

I got dismissed

Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall

Posted

If the school did not allow you the process provided by the school's administrative appeal process (grievance procedure), then you MAY have a right to go into court for an order compelling the court to set aside the expulsion and give you the process that was denied (potentially leading to a new and different order or expulsion based on full application of the process). Whether you are entitled to such a judicial order depends on (1) whether you complied with all of the pre-requisites for invoking the procedure, most importantly the time limits; whether the process that was afforded to you is legally sufficient to constitute "substantial compliance" with that process. These are questions of fact and subject to threshold determination by the court. In all events, if you have been expelled, you are aware of the multiple and severe disabilities that accrue from that. You really need to consult with an attorney who can review the specifics of your school's admin process and determine whether you have any rights or recourse at this point. Good luck to you.

Asker

Posted

The thing is I don't know if there was actually a proceeding. Dean said the committee met and reccomendation was sent but I was not informed about it. And obviously I was not present during the proceeding to present my case. The only thing I got out of the grievance process is a 4 minute phone call from the "committee chairperson."

Posted

It makes a difference whether the school is public or private. Private schools aren't covered by the due process clause, but public schools are.

Answers are for informational purposes, not legal advice for your specific situation. www.appealsandhabeas.com

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