College Disciplinary Action

Four Tips to Keep in Mind When Appealing a College Disciplinary Action


If you have been hit with disciplinary sanctions because of a false misconduct allegation, you may feel like it’s the end of your academic career. Whether you are guilty or not, being hit with sanctions from your school can ruin your chances of getting your degree. Particularly when you got suspended or expelled as a result, you need to do everything you can to clear your name. If you want to appeal a disciplinary decision, you should consider hiring a Lento Law Firm academic appeals attorney. The attorney knows the ins and outs of disciplinary proceedings and can help you collect evidence to show your innocence. Here’s what you should do if you want to appeal the disciplinary decision:

Assess the Sanctions

Your lawyer will evaluate whether it is worth challenging the disciplinary sanctions. If a disciplinary committee finds you responsible for violating the honor code of your school, you could be subject to a range of disciplinary sanctions, from mandatory writing assignments and probation to eviction from university housing and expulsion from the school. Some sanctions may not be worth the effort and the possible expense of an appeal.  

Hire a Lawyer

If you decide to file an appeal, you should hire a lawyer. This is especially important if you are facing serious disciplinary action. Depending on your college or university, your lawyer may or may not be allowed to speak for you at the hearing. Sometimes, lawyers may not be permitted to attend the disciplinary hearing. But some schools only allow legal representation when a student faces criminal charges. Check with the policies of your school regarding representation at disciplinary hearings. 

Follow the Appeals Process and Deadlines of Your School

Colleges and universities vary in their appeals processes, so make sure you follow your school’s procedures. Usually, you must file an appeal to a disciplinary decision within a specific number of days. Make sure you file the appeal within the deadline, it will be accepted. 

Sue in Civil Court

You should do this if you can. Also, if your school is run by the state, you can appeal the disciplinary action in civil court based on the violation of your right to due process. But the disciplinary procedures of private colleges and universities aren’t subject to due process requirements. Thus, you might not be able to sue in court using the due process violation as a ground. Your attorney can also advise you of the legal steps you can take.

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