Skip to main content

Formal Complaint

Individuals seeking to make a Formal Complaint through the Title IX grievance process should contact the Director of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title IX compliance, Kristen Roe.

It is the policy of Montgomery College to establish and maintain an environment in which all members of the Montgomery College community can work or participate in College education programs and activities free from all forms of sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. In addition, some forms of sexual misconduct violate the criminal laws of the State of Maryland.  Sexual misconduct in any form will not be tolerated by Montgomery College.  The College will take immediate action to preserve and restore equal educational access when the College has actual knowledge of sexual misconduct. For information on Montgomery College’s Sexual Misconduct policy and grievance procedure, please see Montgomery College Policy 31001, Sexual Misconduct (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window) .

Upon Receipt of an Allegation of Sexual Misconduct, Montgomery College will:

  • Take immediate action to preserve and restore equal educational access when the College has actual knowledge of sexual misconduct;

  • The Title IX Coordinator will meet with the Complainant to sign the formal complaint and/or discuss informal or alternative routes to resolution.

  • The College will treat complainants and respondents equitably, meaning that for a complainant, the College will offer supportive measures, and for a respondent, the College will follow the adjudication process before imposing disciplinary sanctions. These steps ensure the restoration or preservation of equal educational access of the parties, protect safety, and deter sexual harassment without unreasonably burdening the other party;

  • Provide information to the Complainant and to the Respondent about their rights as well as available resources;

  • Presume that the Respondent is not responsible for the alleged conduct until a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the grievance process and not take any disciplinary or adverse action against a Respondent until a final determination of responsibility has been made;

  • Encourage and support a report to local law enforcement;

  • Cooperate with any criminal investigation/prosecution;

  • Conduct a prompt, thorough, reliable and impartial investigation of the complaint and accept that the burden for collecting evidence and proving a violation of policy is the responsibility of the College and not the individuals;

  • Follow all appropriate investigation procedures, including allowing parties to suggest witnesses and allowing parties to review and respond to evidence gathered during the course of the investigation;

  • Assist parties in obtaining and understanding their rights and resources pertaining to an Advisor, Support Person and Paid Counsel (for sexual assault only).

Dismissal of the Complaint

The College will dismiss a formal complaint made through the Sexual Misconduct Policy under the following circumstances:

  1. if the allegations in a formal complaint do not meet the definition of sexual harassment, or

  2. did not occur in the College’s education program or activity against a person in the United States, the College shall dismiss such allegations for purposes of this policy. However, the College may still address the allegations in any manner it deems appropriate under other applicable policies. 

The College may dismiss the formal complaint or any allegations therein, under the following circumstances:

  1. if at any time during the investigation or hearing, a complainant notifies the Title IX Coordinator in writing that the complainant would like to withdraw the formal complaint or any allegations therein;

  2. the respondent is no longer enrolled or employed by the recipient; or

  3. specific circumstances prevent the recipient from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination as to the formal complaint or allegations therein. 

Upon a dismissal, the College must promptly send written notice of the dismissal and reason(s) therefore simultaneously to the parties. For allegations that are dismissed, Complainant(s)’s will be sent formal notice of the decision by the Title IX Coordinator and afforded an appeal of the decision, through the appropriate designated Senior Vice President.

Title IX Coordinator signing the Formal Complaint
When the College has knowledge of sexual harassment, but no formal complaint has been filed because the Complainant is reluctant, the Title IX Coordinator may sign a formal complaint initiating the formal resolution process. Where the Title IX Coordinator signs a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator is not a complainant or a party during the resolution process.

Advisor, Support Person, and Counsel
The Complainant and Respondent may have an advisor and a support person of their choice present with them for all meetings and interviews within the formal resolution process, if they so choose. The parties may select whomever they wish to serve as their advisor, support person, as long as they are available. If the party’s do not have an advisor, the College will provide one, for the purpose of cross examination, during the live hearing procedure.