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 Bass Biology Building. Credit: Andrew Brodhead /

What Happens in the Judicial Process

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Here you can learn about the typical steps in the judicial process.

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Typical Steps in the Judicial Process

Concern Reported

The process begins when someone files a concern with the Office of Community Standards (OCS).

Responding Student Notified

OCS contacts the student involved to share information about the concern and request that the student schedule appointments with OCS staff. 

Meeting with Judicial Advisor (JA)

Responding student meets with the JA to learn about the process and her/his rights. 

Meeting with Judicial Officer (JO)

Responding student meets with Judicial Officer to respond to the concern and discuss the next steps in the investigation, including potential witnesses.

Charge Decision

Unless the concern is withdrawn by the reporting party or referred by the JO for a different resolution, the JO determines if there is sufficient evidence for charges to be filed. If there is sufficient evidence, a hearing date is scheduled.

Judicial Panel Hearing

Panel of six members may i) dismiss the case for insufficient evidence, ii) find that no violation occurred or iii) find that a violation did occur. If the Panel finds that a violation did occur, they may also impose appropriate sanctions.

Sanction Review

Reviewed by the Dean of Student Life for general conformance with precedent and the Student Conduct Penalty Code.

Student Notified

Responding student is notified of the outcome of the sanction review.

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Uncontested vs. Contested Cases

Judicial Panel hearings follow a different format for cases in which the responding student accepts responsibility (uncontested cases) and for cases in which the student disputes the charges (contested cases).

Many uncontested cases are eligible for the Early Resolution Option (ERO), in which the responding student waives the right to a hearing. 

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Key Figures in the Judicial Process

In addition to the responding student, there are a several key participants in the process.

Judicial Advisor

OCS staff member who serves as a neutral party in the process; advises on judicial procedures to all involved parties.

Judicial Officer

OCS staff member who thoroughly reviews all evidence to determine whether charges should be filed; presents evidence at Judicial Panel hearings.

Judicial Panelists

Trained students, faculty and staff who serve on Judicial Panel hearings and determine whether a violation occurred and, if so, determine sanctions.

Judicial Counselors

Trained volunteers who provide confidential assistance to participants at any point in the process usually faculty, staff or students who are current or former members of the Judicial Panel Pool.


Individuals with information relevant to the facts and issues of the case.