If you've received a no contact order from your institution as part of a Title IX disciplinary investigation, you are likely feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about what to do. Knowing the right steps to take can help you navigate a no contact order.
What Is a Title IX No Contact Order?
Also known as An NCO or a no contact directive, a no contact order is an administrative tool universities and educational institutions use to protect students who have reported or may be victims of sexual misconduct. It requires that the respondent or complainant refrain from contacting the other in any way, including by phone, email, text message, online, in person, etc.
It's important to note that either the complainant or the respondent in a Title IX case can be the one to receive a no contact order.
Steps to Take After Receiving a No Contact Order
If you've been issued a no contact order, there are several steps you should take to ensure that you are in compliance and minimize any risks of further disciplinary action.
- Familiarize yourself with the terms of the order to be sure that you understand your rights and responsibilities under it. If necessary, seek clarification from an administrator or Title IX coordinator to ensure you fully grasp the order.
- Take measures to ensure that you are avoiding contact with any individuals who may be protected by the no contact order. This can include avoiding physical or verbal contact and staying away from certain areas on campus.
- Finally, it is important to seek support and guidance from professionals familiar with Title IX investigations and no contact orders. A lawyer can provide invaluable advice on navigating this process and ensure your rights are protected throughout the proceedings.
By taking these steps, you can ensure that you are in compliance with the no contact order and minimize any potential risks of further disciplinary action.
How Can I Comply with a No Contact Order?
It is important to ensure that you comply with the terms of your no contact order.
Here are some tips for navigating a no contact order:
- Follow all instructions from your institution explicitly. If you are uncertain about the rules, get clarification from an administrator or Title IX coordinator.
- Make yourself aware of the areas on campus that you are not allowed to enter, and avoid going into these areas while the order is in effect.
- Respect boundaries and do not try to contact or interact with any individuals who have been protected by the no contact order.
- If you are subject to restrictions on certain activities or areas of campus, find alternative ways to participate in those activities or access necessary resources.
Is a No Contact Order the Same as a Restraining Order?
A no contact order and a restraining order may seem similar, but they serve different legal purposes and have distinct consequences. A university or educational institution typically issues a no contact order as part of a Title IX disciplinary investigation. It is an administrative tool designed to create a safer environment for the complainant and the respondent. It restricts communication and contact between the involved parties but does not involve the judicial system. A no contact order is specific to the educational institution issuing it and does not carry legal penalties outside of potential disciplinary actions from the institution.
On the other hand, a restraining order is a legal injunction issued by a court, typically in cases of domestic violence, stalking, harassment, or assault. A restraining order carries legal weight and can result in criminal charges if violated. It is broader in scope, potentially prohibiting an individual from approaching or contacting the protected person at any location, not just on a college campus. Violating a restraining order can result in severe consequences, including jail time.
In the context of a Title IX investigation, it's crucial to keep in mind that a no contact order is not a judgment or a determination of guilt. It is a preventative measure taken to ensure the safety and well-being of all parties involved in the investigation. If you are the subject of a no contact order, it's advisable to consult with a legal professional or a Title IX expert to understand your rights, responsibilities, and the potential implications for your future at the educational institution.
What Happens If I Violate an NCO?
Violating a no contact order can have serious repercussions. The exact consequences can vary depending on the specific policies of your educational institution, but they generally lead to further disciplinary actions. These actions range from warnings and educational interventions to more severe sanctions such as suspension or expulsion. It’s important to note that these repercussions may impact your current academic status and future educational and career prospects.
Why You Should Hire a Title IX and NCO Lawyer
If you are dealing with a Title IX investigation and a no contact order, hiring a lawyer who is well-versed in these matters can be a crucial step in protecting your rights and interests. A lawyer can help explain the nuances of the process, guide you through the necessary steps, and advocate for you in any proceedings. They can also help you understand the specific terms of the no contact order and ensure that you are in compliance, thus preventing any potential missteps that could lead to further disciplinary actions.
An experienced Title IX defense lawyer can be instrumental in crafting a strategic response to the no contact order and Title IX investigation. This is particularly important given the gravity of the situation and the potential long-term implications on your academic and professional future. They can ensure that your voice is heard and your rights are protected at every stage of the process, from the initial investigation to the final resolution.
At Parisi, Coan & Saccocio, PLLC, we have extensive experience navigating Title IX investigations and crafting effective strategies for students subject to no contact orders. Our lawyers have extensive expertise in these matters and can provide you with the support and guidance you need at this critical juncture.
Contact us online or call us at (737) 200-2332 to learn more about how we can help.