» Title IX Appeals Process FAQs

The following is a list of frequently asked questions that may be helpful for anyone who is or may involved in a Title IX appeals process following a Title IX investigation at Chapman University. Please also see the specific FAQs regarding the Title IX investigation process for general audiences, complainants, respondents, and witnesses.

+ - Why would there be an appeals process after the conclusion of a Title IX investigation?

At the conclusion of a Title IX investigation, after both the complainant and respondent have had their respective, individual response hearings with the Title IX investigators and Title IX Coordinator, the investigators will simultaneously notify both parties of the outcome of the investigation. This outcome will include a deadline by which the parties can choose to submit an appeal request in the event that either party disagrees with the findings of responsibility and/or sanctions.

If a complainant and/or a respondent disagrees with the outcome of an investigation, they must request an appeal based on one or more relevant criteria. This request is sent to an appeals board, and the board considers the next steps as part of what is known as the appeals process.

However, if neither party requests an appeal by the deadline, the findings/sanctions outlined the investigation report will become the final determination on the matter. In this case, there would not be any appeals process.

+ - What does the appeals process look like?

Within 5 business days of receiving the investigation report and findings, the complainant and respondent each will have an opportunity to submit a written appeal request outlining why they believe one or more of the criteria for appeal exists in their case. Each of the parties also have an opportunity request an in-person meeting to discuss their appeal request with the appeals board.

If this happens and one party submits an appeal request, then the other party will be notified within 2 business days that an appeal was requested. The notified party will have an opportunity to review the original written request for appeal and/or the University record of the original appeal request meeting if they request to do so. This second party may also meet with the appeals board if they choose to do so. In the event that both parties elect to appeal simultaneously, they will each will have an opportunity, if requested, to review the other’s appeal request and/or appeal meeting record.

Once appeals requests are submitted, the appeals board will consider the information provided by the complainant and/or respondent. The board will then make a recommendation to the Dean of Students or designee based on the information provided by the parties at the time of appeal. The Dean of Students or designee considers the recommendation prepared by the appeals board and then makes the final determination on the matter.

Please see the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy for more information.

+ - What is the timeline for appeals?

As outlined in the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy, the timeline for any Title IX appeals process is 30 business days. If the Title IX Coordinator and/or appeals board determine that an extension of the 30-day appeals timeline is warranted or necessary, they will notify the complainant and respondent in writing via email. This written notification will also include information about the reason for the delay as well as the anticipated date of completion.

+ - What are the appeals criteria?

If you are writing an appeals request, you will need to be familiar with the four possible criteria for an appeal. The four possible criteria for an appeal in any student conduct or Title IX case are outlined in the Student Conduct Code. The appeals board will consider appeals requests narrowly, specific to the relevant criteria for appeal. If you are writing an appeal request and are unsure what the appeals criteria are or what they mean, you are encouraged to reach out to Student Conduct at conduct@chapman.edu.

+ - What are the possible outcomes if either I or the other party appeals the outcome of the Title IX investigation?

According to the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy, appeals can be concluded in one of the following ways:

  • If the appeals board determines that none of the appeals criteria have been met, they will deny the appeal request, thereby upholding the investigation report findings and sanctions (if applicable).
  • If the appeals board determines that new information not previously available needs to be considered, the case will be remanded to the Title IX Coordinator, investigator(s) and/or designee. Parties will be allowed to respond to new information and new findings as the report is issued.
  • If the appeals board determines that sanctions were unreasonably disproportionate to violation and respondent’s conduct history, they will recommend new sanctions to the Dean of Students or designee.
  • If the appeals board determines that there was a procedural error that had a significant impact the outcome, the appeals board will recommend to the Dean of Students or designee either that the matter be remanded to the Title IX Coordinator to remedy the error, or that the Dean of Students or designee take other corrective action to remedy the error.
  • If the appeals board determines that there was an unreasonable finding of fact or an unreasonable application of policy, the appeals board may make specific recommendations to the Dean of Students or designee to reverse specific findings of fact and/or determination of policy violation. If applicable, the appeals board may recommend new sanctions to the Dean of Students or designee as well.

+ - How will I receive the final determination of the appeals process?

Once the appeals board provides its recommendations to the Dean of Students or designee, the Dean of Students or designee will make the final determination on the matter. The Dean of Students or designee will then provide simultaneous written notification of the final determination to the complainant and respondent. This is usually communicated via Chapman email.