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- Kentucky Passes Campus Due Process Protection Act
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Newsletter > June 2022 > "Kentucky Passes Campus Due Process Protection Act "
Kentucky Passes Campus Due Process Protection Act
Jacob W. Purcell, Fraternal Law Partners, jacob.purcell @manleyburke.com
Gracie Woodyard,1 Fraternal Law Partners, firstname.lastname@example.org
On April 8, 2022, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear signed the Kentucky Campus Due Process Protection Act2(the “Act”) into law. The Act provides Kentucky students and registered student organizations at public, post-secondary education institutions with additional due process protections when they are charged with non-academic conduct violations that are punishable by termination of residence in campus housing, suspension, or expulsion.
The schools required to comply with the Act are: University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, Eastern Kentucky University, Kentucky State University, Morehead State University, Murray State University, Northern Kentucky University, and Western Kentucky University. Those schools must become compliant with the Act by July 15, 2022.
Among other protections, the Act provides:
- A presumption of innocence
- The right to timely, written notice of allegations
- The right to have legal counsel present and actively participate in all disciplinary proceedings
- The right to cross-examine adverse parties and witnesses3
- The right to access an administrative file and evidence.
The Act also provides a cause of action that allows affected students/student organizations the right to sue schools in Kentucky state court for violations of the Act. If a school violates the Act, the student/student organization may be entitled to damages, including attorney’s fees and court costs.
The Act follows the passage of other student due process laws in Arizona, Florida, and Maryland, as well as similar, but more narrow protections passed in Arkansas, California, North Carolina, and North Dakota. There is also similar pending legislation in Georgia.
As with the current Title IX regulations, this Act expands upon the constitutional due process rights afforded to students by specifically granting them the right to be represented by legal counsel who may serve an active role in all proceedings. Further, the Act provides students the right to cross-examine witnesses or adverse parties, and it solidifies the right to have a fair opportunity to examine all relevant evidence prior to disciplinary proceedings. Importantly, this Act also explicitly states that these rights apply to registered student organizations at public colleges in Kentucky.
As a reminder, the attorneys at Fraternal Law Partners have extensive experience representing students and student organizations in university disciplinary proceedings. Regardless of whether the appliable state/school permits the active participation of private counsel during university hearings, please do not hesitate to reach out to our office for guidance and assistance for any chapters and/or individual members that may be facing conduct charges from a university.
2 Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 164.370 (LexisNexis 2022).
3 The manner in which the cross-examination of a complainant and/or alleged victim occurs may differ depending on whether the questioning is being conducted by the respondent or by the respondent’s attorney.