How long is the hearing process?
The amount of time the hearing process takes varies from case to case. We do, however, try to complete all of the pre-hearing and hearing processes within 60 days of a party contesting the preliminary determination.
What is the purpose of a fact-finding hearing?
The purpose is for the Hearing Officer to review the information submitted by the parties and determine whether the information indicates that a policy was violated.
The Hearing Officer may consider items such as the report and any attachments, the testimony of witnesses requested by the parties, and any additional evidence included at the hearing (testimony, documents, etc) when making their determination.
Why would someone request a fact-finding hearing?
If a party disagrees with the preliminary determination reached by the investigator, they might request a hearing.
When a sanction of suspension or dismissal is proposed, the Respondent is presumed to want to go to a hearing.
If someone only wants to dispute sanctions in a case, that would be addressed through an appeal, not a hearing.
What happens during a fact-finding hearing?
Generally, a hearing has the following flow:
- Each party is questioned by the Hearing Officer.
- The parties can pose questions to each other, which are asked through the Hearing Officer.
- Witnesses are called and asked questions by and through the Hearing Officer.
- Each party is provided with the opportunity to give a brief closing statement at the end of the hearing.
- Parties should generally block at least one business day for a hearing.
What are my options for participation in a hearing?
Even if another party requests a hearing, you do not have to participate in any of the procedures that follow.
Please know that the Hearing Officer can only reach a conclusion based on the information available should you choose not to participate.
You can also choose to selectively participate in a hearing. However, the Hearing Officer may consider this when evaluating credibility.
What options exist if I do not want to be in the room with or see the other party?
You have the option to request a physical separation between you and the other party or participate via video call.
Do I have to attend the hearing alone?
No - you are welcome to have an advisor and/or support person present with you.
Who am I allowed to bring as an advisor or support person?
Any person who is not a witness can be used as a student's advisor or support person during pre-hearing and hearing procedures. Generally, an advisor is an individual who offers the student some type of advice or guidance through the process, whereas a support person is present to offer emotional support.
Do I need a lawyer, and what role can they play?
A lawyer is not required to participate in the pre-hearing and hearing procedures. A student can, however, utilize a lawyer as their advisor throughout the process. For more information about the role of an advisor, please reference Appendix E.
What happens if I'm feeling overwhelmed or stressed during the hearing?
The Hearing Officer understands that the hearing day can be a draining and emotional process. Any party is welcome to request a break be taken at any time during the hearing. The Hearing Officer typically discusses how to request a break at the start of the hearing day.
Who is in the room for a hearing?
Hearings are closed spaces not open to the general public. Therefore only the Hearing Officer, Hearing Coordinator, Advisors, Support People, Parties, and any witnesses (when called) are present during the hearing.
How long does a hearing take?
We typically set aside one business day (9am-5pm) for the hearing day. Some hearings will wrap up before 5pm, others may need additional time.
Can I change my mind about wanting a hearing?
It depends on where you are at in the process:
- If you requested a hearing and decide you no longer want one, you can notify your Hearing Coordinator. If the other party has not requested a hearing, the hearing could be cancelled.
- You cannot request a fact finding hearing once the deadline has passed.
Disclaimer: The text found on this page is not a formal part of the PACAOS Appendix E: Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Student Investigation and Adjudication Framework, Interim Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Student Investigation and Adjudication Framework for DOE Covered Conduct (PACAOS Appendix F), or the UC Berkeley Code of Student Conduct. The information found here should be considered one of many resources available to students when navigating these policies and procedures.