Holds (Response 8/13/2020)

Filed Under: holds
Question:

Are recipients allowed to place holds (transcript, registration, graduation) on a Respondent’s account while the formal complaint process is pending or would that be considered an impermissible sanction prior to the final determination of responsibility? These are interim actions that can be reversed.

Answer:

The new Title IX Rule prohibits a recipient from imposing “any disciplinary sanctions or other actions that are not supportive measures as defined in § 106.30, against a respondent” without following the § 106.45 grievance process. § 106.44(a); § 106.45(b)(1)(i). Even a temporary “hold” on a transcript, registration, or graduation will generally be considered to be disciplinary, punitive, and/or unreasonably burdensome, and appropriate supportive measures cannot be disciplinary, punitive, or unreasonably burdensome. See also Preamble to the Rule at, e.g., p. 570: “Removal from sports teams (and similar exclusions from school-related activities) also require a fact-specific analysis, but whether the burden is ‘unreasonable’ does not depend on whether the respondent still has access to academic programs; whether a supportive measure meets the § 106.30 definition also includes analyzing whether a respondent’s access to the array of educational opportunities and benefits offered by the recipient is unreasonably burdened. Changing a class schedule, for example, may more often be deemed an acceptable, reasonable burden than restricting a respondent from participating on a sports team, holding a student government position, participating in an extracurricular activity, and so forth.”

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