Any party may file a request for appeal but it must be submitted in writing to the Title IX Appeals Committee via the Title IX Officer. No appeal panelists will have been involved in the process previously, including any dismissal appeal that may have been heard earlier in the process. The Appeals Committee shall normally be called by the Title IX Officer and consist of at least two members chosen from the Pool.

The written appeal must specifically address at least one of the following criteria to be considered for review:

  1. Insufficient information to support the decision.
  2. New evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal was made, that could affect the outcome of the matter;
  3. Procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter;
  4. The Title IX Coordinator, investigator(s), or Decision-maker(s) had a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or the individual complainant or respondent that affected the outcome of the matter; and
  5. Inappropriateness of the sanction for the violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

It is within the discretion of the Title IX Officer to determine if an appeal request appropriately falls within one of the above categories. 

The appeal must be submitted within five (5) calendar days of the issuance date of the Notice of Outcome. The written appeal must specify grounds that would justify consideration. General dissatisfaction with the outcome of the decision or an appeal for mercy is not an appropriate basis for an appeal. The non-appealing party, their Advisor and the Title IX Coordinator will be notified of the request for appeal and may file a response with the Appeals Committee within five (5) calendar days from the date of notification. All responses will be forwarded by the Title IX Officer to all parties for review and comment.

The non-appealing party may also choose to raise a new ground for appeal at this time. If so, that will be reviewed to determine if it meets the grounds in this Policy by the Title IX Officer and either denied or approved. If approved, it will be forwarded to the party who initially requested an appeal, the Title IX Coordinator and/or original Decision-maker(s), as necessary, who will submit their responses in five (5) business days, which will be circulated for review and comment by all parties. Neither party may submit any new requests for appeal after this time period.

The Title IX Officer will collect any additional information needed and all documentation regarding the approved grounds and the subsequent responses will be shared with the Appeal Panel, and the Title IX Officer will render a decision in no more than five (5) business days, barring exigent circumstances. All decisions apply the preponderance of the evidence standard.

A Notice of Appeal Outcome will be sent to all parties simultaneously including the decision on each approved ground and rationale for each decision. The Notice of Appeal Outcome will specify the finding on each ground for appeal, any specific instructions for remand or reconsideration, any sanctions that may result which the University is permitted to share according to state or federal law, and the rationale supporting the essential findings to the extent LLU is permitted to share under state or federal law.

Notification will be made in writing and may be delivered by one or more of the following methods: in person, mailed to the local or permanent address of the parties as indicated in official institutional records, or emailed to the parties’ LLU-issued email or otherwise approved account. Once mailed, emailed and/or received in-person, notice will be presumptively delivered.

            a. Sanctions Status During the Appeal

Any sanctions imposed as a result of the hearing are stayed during the appeal process. Supportive measures may be reinstated, subject to the same supportive measure procedures above.

If any of the sanctions are to be implemented immediately post-hearing, but pre-appeal, then emergency removal procedures (detailed above) for a hearing on the justification for doing so must be permitted within 48 hours of implementation.

LLU may still place holds on official transcripts, diplomas, graduations, and course registration pending the outcome of an appeal when the original sanctions included separation.

            b. Appeal Considerations

  • Decisions on appeal are to be deferential to the original decision, making changes to the finding only when there is clear error and to the sanction(s)/responsive action(s) only if there is a compelling justification to do so.
  • Appeals are not intended to provide for a full re-hearing (de novo) of the allegation(s). In most cases, appeals are confined to a review of the written documentation or record of the original hearing and pertinent documentation regarding the specific grounds for appeal.
  • An appeal is not an opportunity for Appeal Decision-makers to substitute their judgment for that of the original Decision-maker(s) merely because they disagree with the finding and/or sanction(s).
  • The Appeal Chair/Decision-maker(s) may consult with the Title IX Coordinator on questions of procedure or rationale, for clarification, if needed.
  • Appeals granted based on new evidence should normally be remanded to the original Investigator(s) and/or Decision-maker(s) for reconsideration. Other appeals may be remanded at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator or, in limited circumstances, decided on appeal.
  • Once an appeal is decided, the outcome is final: further appeals are not permitted, even if a decision or sanction is changed on remand (except in the case of a new hearing).
  • In rare cases where a procedural or substantive error cannot be cured by the original Decision-maker(s) (as in cases of bias), the appeal may order a new hearing with a new Decision-maker(s).
  • The results of a new hearing can be appealed, once, on any of the three available appeal grounds.
  • In cases in which the appeal results in reinstatement to the University or resumption of privileges, all reasonable attempts will be made to restore the Respondent to their prior status, recognizing that some opportunities lost may be irreparable in the short term.