Case: Department of Education OCR Title IX Investigation of Hanover College

05-13-2112 | No Court

Filed Date: Feb. 21, 2013

Closed Date: 2013

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On February 21, 2013, an undergraduate student at Hanover College filed a complaint with the US Department of Education, Chicago Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The complainant alleged that the College violated Title IX by failing to respond promptly and equitably to the sexual assault she experienced at the hands of a fellow student. Specifically, she alleged that when she reported her sexual assault to campus security officials, they responded by threatening to arrest her if she had any contac…

On February 21, 2013, an undergraduate student at Hanover College filed a complaint with the US Department of Education, Chicago Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The complainant alleged that the College violated Title IX by failing to respond promptly and equitably to the sexual assault she experienced at the hands of a fellow student. Specifically, she alleged that when she reported her sexual assault to campus security officials, they responded by threatening to arrest her if she had any contact with the alleged perpetrator. Additionally, she alleged that the school destroyed evidence that would have proved the perpetrator’s responsibility, and instead admitted irrelevant and prejudicial evidence against her. On March 31, 2013, the complainant made additional allegations of retaliation: specifically that the College refused to provide her with copies of the documents related to her case.

On May 22, 2013, OCR notified Hanover College officials that it was opening an investigation into the discrimination and retaliation complaints. Officials agreed to participate in Early Complaint Resolution where the parties would attempt to resolve the complaint through mediation.

On August 23, 2013, the parties reached an agreement to remedy the complainant’s allegations. Specifically, Hanover College agreed to:

  • Ban the accused student from entering any facility where the complainant resided or attended classes;
  • Allow the complainant’s attorney to request her investigative file and the College would determine whether to release the file in accordance with its standard policy;
  • Review the investigative file and make recommendations to the College President;
  • Allow the complainant to make a formal complaint of ongoing harassment and retaliation that the College would handle according to its standard procedures in addition to allowing the complainant to appeal the outcome to a neutral third party;
  • Allow the disciplinary board to determine which remedies, if any, were appropriate to give to the complainant, including conversion of certain grades to “pass/fail;”
  • Provide training to all faculty and staff involved in sexual harassment investigation and grievance procedures; and
  • Enforce the “no contact” order with the respondent for as long as the order was in effect.

In exchange for the College taking the above actions, the complainant agreed to consider her allegations totally resolved. OCR closed the complaint in response to the agreement. However, in the event that the complainant felt the College had breached its agreement, she maintained the right to file a new complaint with OCR. OCR would follow up on any complaint by investigating the original allegations, rather than just the breach. The investigation is now closed.

Summary Authors

Hope Brinn (1/3/2019)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

05-13-2112

[Initial complaint]

Feb. 22, 2013

Feb. 22, 2013

Complaint

05-13-2112

[Notice letter to complainant]

Feb. 25, 2013

Feb. 25, 2013

Notice Letter

05-13-2112

[Email exchanges between OCR and complainant]

March 7, 2013

March 7, 2013

Correspondence

05-13-2112

[Notification letter for Hanover College]

May 22, 2013

May 22, 2013

Notice Letter

05-13-2112

[Notification letter and data request for Hanover College]

May 22, 2013

May 22, 2013

Notice Letter

05-13-2112

[Notification letter for Hanover College]

June 10, 2013

June 10, 2013

Notice Letter

05-13-2112

Early Complaint Resolution Agreement

Aug. 23, 2013

Aug. 23, 2013

Settlement Agreement

05-13-2112

[Closure letter for Hanover College]

Sept. 6, 2013

Sept. 6, 2013

Other

05-13-2112

[Closure letter for Hanover College]

Sept. 6, 2013

Sept. 6, 2013

Other

05-16-2281

[Notification letter to Hanover College]

Aug. 5, 2016

Aug. 5, 2016

Notice Letter

Resources

Docket

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Indiana

Case Type(s):

Education

Special Collection(s):

Title IX, Sexual Violence Investigations/Resolutions

Key Dates

Filing Date: Feb. 21, 2013

Closing Date: 2013

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

A student at Hanover College who was sexually assaulted by a fellow student.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Hanover College (Hanover, Jefferson), Non-profit or advocacy

Defendant Type(s):

College/University

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq.

Special Case Type(s):

Out-of-court

Availably Documents:

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Private Settlement Agreement

Content of Injunction:

Implement complaint/dispute resolution process

Training

Issues

Discrimination-basis:

Sex discrimination

Affected Gender:

Female

Type of Facility:

Non-government for profit