There is no time limit (or statute of limitations) within which the complainant must file a formal complaint.
Ohlone provides for reasonably prompt time frames for each step of the process, subject to possible extensions.
- The informal resolution process will be completed within 14 calendar days of the later day on which the final one of the parties consents in writing to use informal resolution. Both parties must give voluntary, informed, written consent to attempt informal resolution.
- The investigation process will be completed within 240 calendar days of a formal complaint being filed with the Title IX Coordinator.
- The investigator will provide a preliminary report and the evidence subject to inspection and review in an electronic format or a hard copy to the parties and their advisors prior to completion of the investigative report, and
- the parties will have at least 10 days to submit a written response,
- the investigator will consider the party’s written response prior to completion of the investigative report.
- Ohlone must make all such evidence subject to the parties’ inspection and review available at any hearing to give each party equal opportunity to refer to such evidence during the hearing, including for purposes of cross-examination; so the investigator will create an investigative report that fairly summarizes relevant evidence and, at least 10 days prior to a hearing (if a hearing is required under this section or otherwise provided) or other time of determination regarding responsibility, send to each party and the party’s advisor, if any, the investigative report in an electronic format or a hard copy, for their review and written response. 34 CFR § 106.45(b)(5)(vi and vii).
- The grievance process (hearing and decision-maker’s written decision) will be completed within 60 calendar days of the investigator’s final report.
- The hearing will occur at least 10 calendar days after the parties receive the investigative report and evidence. 34 CFR § 106.45(b)(5)(vi and vii).
- The hearing will generally try to be completed within 40 calendar days after the parties receive the investigative report and evidence, which allows around 20 days for the decision-maker to write the decision.
- The decision will be provided to each party by email and mail.
- Each party is responsible for ensuring the decision-maker and Title IX Coordinator have each party’s current and correct email and mailing address.
- The appeal process must be initiated in writing by a written request to appeal within 7 calendar days of the date that the decision-maker emails the written decision to the parties. The appeal must be in writing, must state the appeal bases on which the appeal is filed, and must be received by email or hand delivery by the Title IX Coordinator, the other parties, and the hearing decision-maker by 5 p.m. on the 7th day after Ohlone or the hearing decision-maker emails the written decision to both parties.
- The appeal process and the written appeal decision will be completed within 60 calendar days of a party’s written request to appeal being received by email or by hand delivery by the Title IX Coordinator, the other parties, and the hearing decision-maker.
- Ohlone will notify all parties by email of the appeal.
- Within 7 calendar days of the appeal being received, Ohlone will notify all parties by email of the appeal decision-maker’s name and contact information for the parties to submit the party’s written brief or letter in support of the appeal or in opposition to the appeal.
- The appealing party will provide a written brief or letter in support of the appeal explaining the reasons for the appeal, using the bases for appeal, and the evidence in support of the appeal by specific references to the transcript if a transcript is made. The appealing party’s appeal brief is due to (must be received by) the Title IX Coordinator, the non-appealing party(ies), and the appeal decision-maker 10 calendar days (by 5 p.m. on the 10th calendar day) after the written appeal is filed.
- The responding party (who did not file the appeal) will provide a written brief or letter in opposition to the appeal explaining the reasons to deny the appeal and the evidence in support of denying the appeal by specific references to the transcript if a transcript is made. The responding party’s appeal response brief is due to (must be received by) the Title IX Coordinator, the appealing party(ies), and the appeal decision-maker 10 calendar days (by 5 p.m. on the 10th calendar day) after the appealing party’s written brief or letter is filed.
- The written brief or letter may be provided or filed by email by the deadline to the Title IX Coordinator, the appealing party(ies), and the appeal decision-maker. (The written brief or letter is also required to be mailed to each of these, but the mailed version does not have to be received by the deadline so long as the emailed brief or letter is received by the deadline).
- If more than one party files an appeal, these same timelines apply, with each appealing party being both an appealing party and a responding party, and the time deadlines starting for each appeal based on when the written request for appeal is filed by each appealing party. This means that each party may submit more than one written brief or letter; however, the parties need not repeat points in that party’s initial written brief or letter as the response brief or letter is a response to points made in another party’s brief or letter.
Ohlone’s Title IX Coordinator will consider requests for additional time that are received before the deadline has already passed and will provide extensions or allowances for short-term postponements or limited extensions of the time frames for good cause with written notice to the complainant and the respondent of the delay or extension and the reasons for the action. Good cause may include considerations such as the absence of a party, a party’s advisor, or a witness; concurrent law enforcement activity; or the need for language assistance or accommodation of disabilities. Usually those extensions of each step will extend the time for that step of the process by no more than 30 calendar days, unless good cause for a further extension of time is shown.
For state law proceedings, Ohlone follows this timeline above on this webpage, except the state investigation timeline is 90 days unless extended. Ohlone extends timelines for good cause only, which shall be promptly communicated to the parties. 5 CCR 59342. The communicated timeline information shall include, but shall not necessarily be limited to, each of the following:
- The period during which Ohlone shall conduct any investigation (90 days unless extended).
- The date by which the parties shall be notified of the outcome of any investigation (by the 90th day of the investigation, unless extended).
- In cases of student sexual misconduct that are not subject to Title IX, when an accused student is subject to severe disciplinary sanctions, and the credibility of witnesses was central to the investigative findings, Ohlone student discipline procedures must provide the following:
- An opportunity for the accused student to cross-examine witnesses indirectly at a live hearing, either in person or by videoconference; and
- A live hearing conducted by a neutral decision-maker other than the investigator. This is explained further in AP 3435.
- The deadlines and process for parties to appeal, if the institution’s grievance procedures include an appeals process.
Ohlone shall not unreasonably deny a student party’s request for an extension of a deadline related to a complaint during periods of examinations or school closures.
Ohlone will provide for periodic status updates on the investigation (consistent with the timelines) to the complainant and respondent.
Ohlone will provide for notice in writing to parties of any extension of a time period granted in the investigation and fact-finding process that would change the prospective timeframes for the major stages of the complaint process, and the reason for that extension. (Educ. Code § 66281.8(b)(4)(A)(x-xiii).)