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Can I sue a junior college for violating my right to due process?

Tyler, TX |

I was expelled from college based on allegations that I violated the student code of conduct. I was never allowed to respond to the allegations. I was stopped for a traffic violation and my car was searched. I was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana. The school says that because I was arrested, I am guilty, so they did not follow their discipline policy, they just gave me a letter saying I was expelled..

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Attorney answers 2


Public schools are required to provide some due process before expelling a student, though the due process required is far below that required in a criminal proceeding. Generally, a school has provided sufficient due process if it has given the student notice of the allegations against them and provided a hearing at which the student is given an opportunity to speak on his behalf before impartial decision-makers.

This is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. This communication does not create an attorney-client relationship. Without knowing the specifics of your situation and prior to engaging in an attorney-client relationship I am unable to provide specific direction.


Was this a private college? In a private college, the rules are whatever the school decides. In a public educational institution, there is a legal requirement that you have an opportunity to deny and defend. In fact, there is a strong argument that the public standard for process is also applicable to private colleges based on federal contributions and allowances, but that can get very complex.

Talk to an administrative law attorney in your region about making a formal demand for pre-expoulsion administrative process.

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.