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College and University Housing Policy Violations

  • Case Results
  • Testimonials
  • List of Schools

Case Results

Here are some representative results we’ve achieved for our clients.

Female complainant’s rights, health, and safety protected throughout lengthy proceedings

Our client was sexually assaulted by a male student acquaintance. We became involved to support our client in getting proper medical treatment, preserving and collecting evidence and witness testimony, and securing therapeutic support. We helped her understand and navigate the many complex options available to her, including a criminal complaint, an informal complaint process, a formal complaint process, or doing nothing. We guided her through the informal process and then the formal process, including interviews with various school and law enforcement officials, and worked closely with the school to put in place appropriate accommodations ensuring that all interviews and hearings did not retraumatize her. The male student was found responsible and was expelled.

Large private university

Witness to sexual violence protected from intimidation

We represented a female witness to a dating violence case on campus who was being pressured to speak with the police and the school investigators about a violent matter she had witnessed on her dorm floor. We immediately communicated on her behalf to the local police, school administrators, and the Title IX investigators to protect her right to choose to not testify and ensure her safety on campus. She was very relieved not to be pressured by the school, the title IX office or the police to attend the hearing and testify about fellow students.

Small private college

Investigation of sexual assault complaint concludes with no charges filed

Our client contacted us immediately upon receiving notice by his school that a claim of sexual assault was made against him by a female student. We assisted him in preparing his detailed answer to the complaint, and then prepared him and accompanied him to his interview with the campus safety police officers. We worked with the school Title IX administrators and helped our client find evidence to show inconsistencies with the complaint. The complainant withdrew her complaint when presented with these inconsistencies and then recanted. The investigation ended and our client was not charged with anything.

Midsized private college

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Client Testimonials

"I am writing to let any college student who gets accused of something serious by their school know that they need a lawyer like Felice Duffy to defend them.  I was accused of something terrible by a student that I would never do and didn’t do.  Even though I knew exactly what actually happened, I was very scared that my university might not find me innocent. It was terrifying to think that I might lose my full basketball scholarship or could have been suspended or expelled and that me and my family’s name could have gotten a horrible reputation. I can’t even put into words how I excited I was when I got the letter from the school that cleared me completely of the charges against me and I have Felice to thank for that 100%. Since I’m not in Connecticut, Felice and her investigator used video conferencing to interview me and my witnesses, talk with my parents, and get me fully prepared for every meeting I had with my school.  They got all my texts and email that proved my innocence and organized them perfectly for the Dean and the discipline committee. Felice was always very direct and respectful even though the subject matter was very personal, and she was always ahead of the school in terms of getting me and them important information at every step.  It was like having the best scouting report ever." Felice obviously knows her stuff but she also deeply cares.  You can tell that she loves the work she’s doing to help college kids in really difficult situations.

College Sophomre, Colorado

“The claims leveled against me were terrible, but the wonderful news is that I was fully cleared of all the allegations because of the outstanding work Christine Brown and the team at Duffy Law did on my behalf. The first thing that really impressed me was that from the very first call Christine quickly understood what was going on and was able to read between the lines to understand the complicated dynamics of the situation. Despite my entire career being spent in academia, I didn't know much about Title IX procedures. Her expertise and knowledge of the process was immediately apparent and critically helpful in guiding me and giving me as much peace of mind as possible.. Christine knew how to spot the important subtext throughout the process and made sure I understood the strategic options I had at every stage going forward. I felt very confident in the decisions we made together. I felt vindicated by the decision and that this situation will have no further effects on my career. I am very grateful to Christine and Duffy Law for guiding me through this stressful process and recommend them without reservation to any faculty member facing a similarly challenging situation. ”

Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine at a midwest university

“I hired Felice Duffy in the middle of a Title IX sexual assault proceeding. While I had initially retained another attorney on a recommendation, it turns out they did not have much insight to the inner workings of university policy, which I learned is NOT required to follow the basic laws of due process. Felice was absolutely incredible, and as an athlete, she understood my thought process and feelings the entire way. This is what stood out the most to me. At the beginning of my school’s adjudication process, I was an absolute mess. Not only is Felice extremely knowledgeable in law and how school adjudication processes work, but she also really does care about her clients and their well-being. It was initially extremely tough for me to speak about what I was facing. Felice was able to assist me not only in compiling the proper evidence and responding to the school, but also put me in the right state of mind to defend myself and move on with my life after it was all completed. Prior to hiring Duffy Law, I was concerned that I would be relegated to working with a legal assistant or secretary being that my case was in a college setting as opposed to a state court. However, Felice always found a way to make time and was there every step of the way. I feel like an important part of hiring an attorney is being able to trust them to fight for you no matter what the scenario may be and you can rest assured you will be getting that with Duffy Law. I would recommend Felice Duffy of Duffy Law 10 times out of 10 to anyone that may be put in a tough situation like I was”

Female College Freshman, Massachusetts

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Schools Where We've Handled Cases

Here are some of the schools where we’ve represented students, faculty, coaches, and staff:

  • Amherst College
  • Arkansas State University
  • Bard College
  • Belmont Abbey College
  • Bowling Green State University
  • Brandeis University
  • Brown University
  • Charter Oak State College
  • Colgate University
  • College of the Holy Cross
  • Columbia University
  • Connecticut College
  • Creighton Law School
  • Dartmouth College
  • Emmanuel College
  • Fairfield University
  • Flagler College
  • Florida State University
  • Fordham University
  • Furman University
  • George Fox University
  • Guilford College
  • Howard University
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Indiana University
  • Lesley University
  • Louisiana State University
  • Marist College
  • Marquette University
  • Miami University
  • Michigan State University
  • Mississippi University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Plymouth State University
  • Quinnipiac University
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Rice University
  • Sacred Heart University
  • South Carolina State University
  • St. John's University
  • St. Lawrence University
  • Syracuse University
  • Swarthmore College
  • Tallahassee Comm. College
  • Texas A/M, College Station
  • Touro University
  • Trinity College
  • Tufts University
  • University of California, Riverside
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Kansas
  • University of Lynchburg
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Mass. Med. School
  • University of Miami
  • University of Missouri
  • University of Nebraska
  • University of Northern Colorado
  • University of Texas
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
  • University of Wisconsin, Whitewater
  • Utah University School of Medicine
  • Vassar College
  • Virginia Wesleyan University
  • Washington University, St. Louis
  • Wesleyan University
  • Westfield State University
  • Western Washington University
  • Wheaton College
  • William Smith College
  • Yale University
  • Youngstown State University

One of the best parts of going to college is moving into the dorms or student apartments. You meet new people, learn to live on your own, and have a little fun. Unfortunately, residence life also leads many college students to face allegations of college code of conduct violations and potentially serious consequences.

Common Housing Policies

Many colleges and universities build their residence policies and rules around respecting one another and maintaining a safe environment for everyone in the housing facility. However, some rules can be unexpected—and unknown—for most students. Campus dormitory rules can be intricate and college students are often more interested in building a life for themselves than reading and remembering every detail of a residential rulebook. Students may violate a rule without even realizing it and suddenly, they are facing extreme consequences, which can include losing scholarships, suspensions, or other disciplinary actions that can affect their education and future in general.

The following are only some examples of the many rules that can apply to student housing and that can lead to serious college code violation accusations.

Fire Safety Violations

In any type of large housing development, fire safety is definitely a concern and policies should be in place. Fire safety policies often involve many types of prohibited items, many of which can be surprising and may include:

  • Extension cords
  • Furniture not provided by the school
  • Electric heaters
  • Firearms or fireworks
  • Air mattresses
  • Halogen lights
  • Evergreens – artificial or natural
  • Hot plates
  • Candles

While not having electric heaters or fireworks may seem obvious, many students may not realize that they are violating fire safety rules by blowing up an air mattress for a visiting friend, adding a table they brought from home to the dorm room, or having a small Christmas tree as a festive decoration. In some instances, a student may light a single candle in their room and when they blow it out, the smoke alarm may be set off. Suddenly, that student is facing disciplinary proceedings before the college board and may lose their funding, be suspended, or worse. All because of a single candle. While colleges should always take the safety of their students seriously, they sometimes can blow certain violations out of proportion and a student can face lasting consequences. It’s important to speak with an experienced attorney if you’ve been accused of violating any residence policy at your school.

Alcohol in Student Housing

Colleges and universities have the difficult task of trying to enforce underage drinking rules. In an attempt to do so, some campus housing policies can be unrealistic and can lead to wrongful accusations of underage alcohol possession. For example, some schools state that no student under 21 can be in the presence of alcohol or even alcoholic beverage containers.

Imagine that you stop by a friend’s dorm room and he is drinking a beer. If you are having a conversation and a security guard knocks on the door, you may be accused of underage alcohol possession even though you never held the beer or drank the beer. Because you said “hi” to a neighbor, you may then face serious penalties for violating your school’s underage drinking policies.

In addition, many colleges and universities are now banning drinking games from being played in student rooms or apartments—specifically, residence policies prohibit any activity that promotes the rapid consumption of alcohol. However, students may be accused of playing drinking games when they, in fact, are not. Someone may walk by a room where students are playing a rousing game while drinking—even though the two are unrelated. Assumptions may be made and suddenly, all students in that room may face college conduct violations. These are only some examples of how alcohol-related housing policies can be ambiguous and wrongful allegations can arise.

Controlled Substances

Colleges and universities expect students to adhere to state and federal laws, so it is no surprise that illegal drugs are banned from student housing complexes. Like any type of drug possession case, however, college code drug policies can lead to wrongful accusations and penalties that can affect the rest of your life.

Drug possession accusations can be based on actual possession or constructive possession. Actual possession means that drugs were found on your person, in your backpack, or otherwise under your control. However, constructive possession means that you had the ability to control the drugs if you wanted, which can include drugs simply being in your dorm room. If your roommate has marijuana and security discovers it, you may also be accused of possessing marijuana even if you actually had no idea that it was in the room.

Drug possession allegations may not only lead to severe disciplinary action by a school,but also to state criminal charges. A drug possession conviction on your record can have many consequences, including disqualification for federal student loans, difficulty finding a job or getting into grad school, and more. If you’ve been accused of drug possession on campus, it’s critical to be represented by a highly experienced defense attorney who can handle both your college disciplinary proceedings and any charges in criminal court.

At Duffy Law, we know that the 4th Amendment applies to students who live in dormitories and we aggressively defend against drug charges for clients of all ages. We are also extremely familiar with the college disciplinary process and can protect your rights against any housing policy or other college code violations.

Find Out How Our College Code Defense Lawyers Can Help You

The above are only a few examples of college code violations that can arise from student housing policies. The highly knowledgeable Conduct Code attorneys at Duffy Law are committed to defending the rights of students facing college code accusations and helping to limit the consequences they face. Lighting a candle or playing a game while drinking a beer in a campus room should not affect the rest of your life. These matters can be more serious than you think so it is important to discuss any allegations with a dedicated college code defense law firm as soon as possible. Call Duffy Law, LLC at 203.946.2000 today.

How Can We Help?

How Can We Help?