TCNJ Disciplinary Hearings

There are procedural guidelines for disciplinary hearings filed against students at TCNJ. In many cases, the related proceedings are pending at the same time as criminal charges filed against the student. If you are the subject of a conduct violation that has resulted in disciplinary action by TCNJ, the attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is available immediately to discuss your options in a free consultation. A lawyer can be reached at 609–683–8102 anytime 24/7 to assist you. Call a former prosecutor on our criminal defense team now.

Procedural Standards
  1. Reports. See also Appendix D for a flow chart of the student conduct process.
    1. Filing a report. Any member of the College community may file a report against a Student for possible violations of the Student Conduct Code. A report must be prepared in writing and submitted to the Director of Student Conduct. A person may submit a report online by using the following link: File a Report. Any report should be submitted as soon as possible after the incident takes place, preferably within 30 calendar days. However, the Director of Student Conduct has discretion to accept a report and/or issue charges regardless of when the report is submitted if the conduct or Respondent are deemed to pose a possible threat to the College community or to individual members of the College community. For Title IX related reports including but not limited to possible incidents of physical sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, stalking, some instances of physical abuse if involving an intimate partner, the following IV. Procedural Standards will apply: TIX Policy.
    2. Investigation. The Director of Student Conduct and/or an experienced external investigator will conduct a prompt, thorough, fair and impartial investigation to determine if the information in the report merits charges against a Student or Students, a formal admonishment, no charges, or if the incident can be addressed through an alternate dispute resolution process, such as mediation or restorative practices. An Advisor of the Student’s choice may be present during the investigation meeting but may not represent the Student or actively participate in the meeting. The conference administrator may also have an Advisor present at his or her discretion. For investigations that are not Title IX related but may result in 03. Personal Abuse charges, there will typically be two trained investigators present. The lead investigator will coordinate meetings with the Reporter and Respondent. Both the Reporter and the Respondent will be interviewed and asked to share information they have regarding the incident, as well as all relevant documentation (i.e. text messages, emails, photos, etc.), and identify witnesses who may provide direct information regarding the allegation. The investigators will gather all information and create a statement summary. The Reporter and Respondent will be called in for a meeting where they each will be given the opportunity to review the summary and respond with additional comments. For Title IX related investigations, the following IV. Procedural Standards will apply:TIX Policy. However, if aTitle IX investigation results in charges for D. Violations of Expectations for Student Conduct that are unrelated to Title IX, the Title IX Coordinator may transfer the case back to the Office of Student Conduct for adjudication.
  2. Charge(s). Any charges will be presented to the Respondent in writing through the Student’s College email address, as the official means of Communication at the College, and a conference with a Hearing Administrator shall be scheduled within a timely period.
  3. Conference. The Respondent will be scheduled to meet with an assigned administrator for a conference to discuss the grounds for any charges, process, and sanctioning practices. The Respondent will select whether they will participate in a formal or informal conduct hearing; unless the case includes charges of any violations not related to Title IX, but under the Personal Abuse section of this code. In such cases, the administrator will determine what type of hearing is appropriate after the investigation is completed after considering the expressed preferences of both the Respondent and Reporter and the totality of the circumstances. If the administrator finds that an informal hearing is appropriate, then a different administrator may be assigned or the conference administrator may conduct the hearing with the permission of both the Respondent and Reporter. An Advisor of the Respondent’s choice may be present during the conference. The conference administrator may also have an Advisor present through the conference meeting or informal hearing at his or her discretion. If after notice a Respondent does not attend a scheduled conference, the administrator may postpone the conference or review the information available and make a decision on responsibility including assigning any sanctions to the Respondent if deemed appropriate.
  4. Informal hearing. If the Respondent or administrator selects an informal hearing the administrator conducting the conference may immediately conduct the informal hearing or schedule the informal hearing to take place within a practical period. However, in the case of a personal abuse charge, if the administrator selects an informal hearing to address any charges, the administrator conducting the conference will assign a different Hearing Administrator to conduct the informal hearing within a practical period. The Respondent’s Advisor may remain present for the informal hearing, but may not represent the Respondent or address the Hearing Administrator. The Advisor’s role is limited to providing support to the Respondent by observing or by advising the Respondent in a manner that does not disrupt the conduct proceeding. Formal rules of process, procedure, and/or technical rules of evidence, such as are applied in criminal or civil court, are not used in student conduct proceedings. The Hearing Administrator may temporarily adjourn the informal hearing if the administrator determines that further review or clarification is necessary including, but not limited to, interviewing the Reporter and/or other witnesses.
    1. In cases involving more than one Respondent, the administrator or board may permit the hearing concerning each party to be conducted either separately or jointly.
    2. The informal hearing provides an opportunity for the Respondent to be heard and to provide information such as written witness statements. The Respondent may accept or deny responsibility for any charges.
    3. The Hearing Administrator will determine whether the Respondent is responsible for any charges. The Hearing Administrator’s determination shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the Respondent violated the Student Conduct Code. If the Respondent is found not responsible for any charges, the process is concluded. If the Respondent is found responsible for any charges, the Hearing Administrator will then assign any appropriate sanctions.
    4. Appeal. The Respondent may appeal the decision and/or any sanctions issued by the Hearing Administrator in writing to the Director of Student Conduct. (Please see Section F. Appeals for more information).
  5. Formal hearing. If a formal hearing is selected the Respondent has the opportunity to select an administrative hearing, a Community Standards Board (CSB) hearing, or an All College Standards Board hearing. However, in the case of a personal abuse charge, the Hearing Administrator will select either an administrative hearing, a Community Standards Board hearing, or an All College Standards Board hearing. An All College Standards Board (ACSB) hearing can only be selected if a Respondent’s case may result in suspension or expulsion in the event that person is found responsible for any charges. Formal rules of process, procedure, and/or technical rules of evidence, such as are applied in criminal or civil court, are not used in student conduct proceedings.
    1. Administrative hearing. An administrative hearing is conducted by a trained faculty or staff member of the College who is selected by the Director of Student Conduct and who has not previously served as a Hearing Administrator in the Respondent’s conduct process whenever possible. The administrator will hear information presented by the Reporter, the Respondent and any participating witnesses and render a decision and sanctions if appropriate. A Student may appeal the decision of the administrator to the Director of Student Conduct.
    2. Community Standards Board. The Community Standards Board is a Student board chaired by a Student representative and advised by the Assistant Director of Student Conduct. The Community Standards Board is comprised of four voting members; the Student chair votes only in the case of a tie. The Advisor to the board does not vote nor participate in deliberations, but may answer questions regarding procedural standards, Policy, or sanctioning practices. A Student may appeal the board’s decision to the Director of Student Conduct. The Community Standards Board will not hear cases that may result in suspension or expulsion should the Respondent be found responsible for any charges.
    3. All College Standards Board. The All College Standards Board is comprised of five members and is chaired by the Director of Student Conduct or designee of the Vice President for Student Affairs. The membership of the All College Standards Board includes two Student representatives, one faculty member, one student affairs staff member, and an additional representative that can be either faculty or staff member. The Director of Student Conduct neither votes nor participates in deliberations, but may answer questions regarding procedural standards, Policy, or sanctioning practices. The All College Standards Board will hear cases that may result in suspension or expulsion should the Respondent be found responsible for any charges. A Student may appeal the board’s decision to the Vice President for Student Affairs.
    4. Formal hearing guidelines. Formal hearings shall be conducted according to the following guidelines.
      1. Private hearing. A hearing is conducted in private. The person bringing the complaint on behalf of the College, the Reporter (in 03. Personal Abuse cases) and Respondent, and Advisor(s) are allowed to attend the entire portion of the board or administrative hearing at which information is received (this excludes deliberations). Admission of any other person to the hearing shall be at the discretion of the board or administrator hearing the case.
      2. Joint hearing. In cases involving more than one Respondent, the administrator or board Chair may permit the hearing concerning each party to be conducted either separately or jointly.
      3. Advisors. The hearing board or administrator, person bringing the complaint on behalf of the College, and/or the Reporter (in 03. Personal Abuse cases) and Respondent may be assisted by an Advisor of their choice, at their expense. Students must notify the Director of Student Conduct of whom they have designated as their Advisor five business days prior to the scheduled hearing. A representative from the College’s Office of the General Counsel may also be present at the hearing. All individuals are responsible for presenting their own information, and therefore Advisors are not permitted to speak or to participate directly in any hearings. A Student should select as an Advisor a person whose schedule allows attendance at the scheduled date and time for the hearing as delays will not normally be allowed due to the scheduling conflicts of an Advisor.
      4. Questions. The hearing board or administrator, the person bringing the complaint on behalf of the College, and the Reporter (in 03. Personal Abuse cases) and Respondent may arrange for witnesses to present pertinent information. The Reporter and the Respondent may suggest questions to be answered by one another and/or one another’s witnesses, but the questions must be directed to the chairperson of the board or the administrator rather than to the other party or witness directly. The chairperson of the board or the administrator will determine whether questions or potential information are appropriate at his or her discretion.
      5. Additional information. Relevant records, exhibits and written statements (including Student impact statements and/or character statements during the sanction phase) may be accepted as information for consideration by a board or administrator at the discretion of the chairperson or administrator.
      6. Decline to provide information. The Respondent has the right to decline to provide any written or oral statements, answer questions posed in a hearing, or provide any information on his or her behalf. However, the hearing board or administrator may draw an adverse inference from the Student’s absence of information or refusal to answer questions.
      7. Procedural questions. All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the chairperson of the board or administrator.
      8. Majority vote and quorum. A board will determine by majority vote whether the Respondent has violated the Policy as charged. For any board hearing, a quorum of three voting members is necessary. Quorum is not required for an administrative hearing as the decision is made by the administrator alone.
      9. Basis for decision. The board or administrator’s determination shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the Respondent violated the Student Conduct Code. Formal rules of process, procedure, and/or technical rules of evidence, such as are applied in criminal or civil court, are not used in student conduct proceedings.
      10. Hearing recorded. There will be a single record, such as a digital audio recording of all formal hearings. Deliberations will not be recorded. The record will be the property of the College.
      11. Decision in absentia. If a Respondent, with notice, does not appear for a formal hearing, the Hearing Administrator or board may postpone the hearing or hear the information in support of the charges in the Respondent’s absence and will make a decision on the available information.
      12. Special accommodation. The board or administrator may accommodate persons with concerns for the personal safety, well-being, and/or fears of confrontation during the hearing by providing separate facilities or physical dividers, and/or by permitting participation by telephone, videophone/conferencing, videotape, audio tape, written statement, or other viable means as determined by the Director of Student Conduct to be appropriate.
      13. Differing abilities accommodation. The board or administrator will provide any reasonable accommodation for hearing participants who have a disability and are registered with, or notify the Office of Disability Services and the Office of Student Conduct in a timely manner.
  6. Appeal Procedures.
    1. Respondent appeal. A Respondent is afforded one single opportunity to appeal decisions and/or any sanctions issued by a Hearing Administrator or board within five business days of the date of the written decision. The decision of the administrator reviewing the submitted appeal is the final and conclusive decision of The College of New Jersey and is appealable only to the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division in accordance with the New Jersey Rules of Court.
    2. Reporter appeal. A Student who filed a report resulting in a Student being charged with a non-Title IX related violation under Personal Abuse (see Section D.3. under Violations of Expectations for Student Conduct) is afforded one single opportunity to appeal decisions and/or any sanctions issued by a Hearing Administrator or board within five business days of the date of written notification of the decision and/or relevant sanctions. The decision of the administrator reviewing the submitted appeal is the final and conclusive decision of The College of New Jersey and is appealable only to the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division in accordance with the New Jersey Rules of Court.
    3. Required format. All appeals must be in writing, and include any supporting documentation that the Student wishes to be considered. Deference is given to the original Hearing Administrator or board’s findings of fact and decision of responsibility and/or any sanctions, therefore the burden of proof is on the Student filing an appeal to sufficiently demonstrate cause to alter procedures, the original decision or any sanctions. An appeal will generally be limited to a review of the verbatim record of the hearing and supporting documents for one or more of the purposes below, provided however the administrator may request additional information or clarification from the College and/or external investigators, conference administrator, the College administrator preparing the hearing, the Hearing Administrator or board, the Reporter (in 03. Personal Abuse cases) or Respondent, and/or witnesses for purposes of this review.
      1. Process review. To determine whether the hearing was conducted in accordance with published procedures and without bias on the part of the Hearing Administrator or any board member. Deviations from designated procedures will not be a basis for sustaining an appeal unless significant prejudice results.
      2. Information review. To determine whether there was information presented in the hearing that, if believed by the board or administrator, was sufficient to establish that a violation of the Student Conduct Code occurred.
      3. Sanction review. To determine whether any sanctions imposed were appropriate for the violation of the Student Conduct Code which the Respondent was found to have committed.
      4. New information. To consider new information, submitted by the appealing Student within the prescribed five business day period, sufficient to alter a decision or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing, because such information was not known to the Student appealing at the time of the original hearing.
    4. Appeal decision. An administrator reviewing an appeal may make one of the following decisions.
      1. Affirm. The administrator may decide to affirm the decision of the original Hearing Administrator or board.
      2. Alter sanction.The administrator may alter the sanctions issued by the original Hearing Administrator or board. Alteration in the sanction may include reducing or increasing the sanction or requirements.
      3. New hearing. The administrator may determine that a new hearing by a different Hearing Administrator or board is warranted to correct procedural irregularity or to consider new information. A Student may appeal a decision of the new Hearing Administrator or board.
      4. Remand. The administrator may direct the original Hearing Administrator or board to review their original decision subject to any instructions from the administrator; and may affirm that decision or render a new decision consistent with those instructions. A Student may appeal a decision made by the original Hearing Administrator or board if there are any changes after the review.
Ewing Criminal Attorneys for TCNJ Disciplinary Proceedings

TCNJ has an excellent reputation and no student wants to give up the opportunity to continue his/her education versus being suspended or, worse yet, expelled. This is a primary reason why you must consider hiring a lawyer who is skilled in this area of law. The situation is even more urgent if you are also facing a criminal charge in Ewing NJ or an indictable crime at the Mercer County Superior Court. The attorneys on the defense team of The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall include several who possess over twenty years experience, in addition to multiple who are former prosecutors. An attorney is always available for free consultation by contacting our Lawrenceville Office at 609–683–8102. Lawyers are ready now to address your concerns.