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Campus Due Process Sexual Assault Sexual Harassment Title IX

Florida Enacts New Campus Due Process Law

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Florida Enacts New Campus Due Process Law


June 30, 2021

Recently Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed HB 233, which mandates a number of due process protections, among other things. The law amends Section 1006.60 of the Florida Statutes, which pertains to Codes of conduct and disciplinary measures. The law provides for the following:

    1. Timely and detailed notice
    2. Access to all inculpatory and exculpatory information
    3. List of witnesses
    4. Presumption of innocence
    5. Impartial hearing officer
    6. Right to remain silent
    7. Right of the accused to present evidence and witnesses
    8. Active assistance of an adviser, who has the right to present evidence and question witnesses
    9. Right to appeal
    10. Accurate and complete record of the proceedings

The actual language of the bill, including line numbers, is shown below.

(3) The codes of conduct shall be published on the Florida
196 College System institution’s or state university’s website,
197 protect the rights of all students, and, at minimum, provide the
198 following due process protections to students and student
199 organizations:
200 (a) The right to timely written notice. The code must
201 require that the institution or university provide a student or
202 student organization with timely written notice of the student’s
203 or student organization’s alleged violation of the code of
204 conduct. The notice must include sufficient detail and be
205 provided with sufficient time to prepare for any disciplinary
206 proceeding.
207 1. The written notice must include the allegations to be
208 investigated, the citation to the specific provision of the code
209 of conduct at issue, the process to be used in determining
210 whether a violation has occurred and associated rights, and the
211 date, time, and location of the disciplinary proceeding.
212 2. The written notice is considered timely if it is
213 provided at least 7 business days before the disciplinary
214 proceeding and may be provided by delivery to the student’s
215 institutional e-mail address, and if the student is under 18
216 years of age, to the student’s parent or to the student
217 organization’s e-mail address.
218 3. At least 5 business days before the disciplinary
219 proceeding, the institution or university must provide the
220 student or student organization with:
221 a. A listing of all known witnesses that have provided, or
222 will provide, information against the student or student
223 organization.
224 b. All known information relating to the allegation,
225 including inculpatory and exculpatory information.
226 (b) The right to a presumption that no violation occurred.
227 The institution has the burden to prove, by a preponderance of
228 the evidence, that a violation has taken place. Preponderance of
229 the evidence means that the information presented supports the
230 finding that it is more likely than not that the violation of
231 the code of conduct was committed by the student or student
232 organization.
233 (c) The right to an impartial hearing officer.
234 (d) The right against self-incrimination and the right to
235 remain silent. Such silence may not be used against the student
236 or student organization.
237 (e) The right to present relevant information and question
238 witnesses.
239 (f) The right to an advisor or advocate who may not serve
240 in any other role, including as an investigator, decider of
241 fact, hearing officer, member of a committee or panel convened
242 to hear or decide the charge, or any appeal.
243 (g) The right to have an advisor, advocate, or legal
244 representative, at the student’s or student organization’s own
245 expense, present at any proceeding, whether formal or informal.
246 Such person may directly participate in all aspects of the
247 proceeding, including the presentation of relevant information
248 and questioning of witnesses.
249 (h) The right to appeal the final decision of the hearing
250 officer, or any committee or panel, directly to the vice
251 president of student affairs, or any other senior administrator
252 designated by the code of conduct, who must hear the appeal and
253 render a final decision. The vice president of student affairs
254 or person designated by the code of conduct to hear the appeal
255 may not have directly participated in any other proceeding
256 related to the charged violation.
257 (i) The right to an accurate and complete record of every
258 disciplinary proceeding relating to the charged violation of the
259 code, including record of any appeal, to be made, preserved, and
260 available for copying upon request by the charged student or
261 student organization.
262 (j) A provision setting a time limit for charging a
263 student or student organization with a violation of the code of
264 conduct, and a description of those circumstances in which that
265 time limit may be extended or waived.