SB 259
Implements a process for due process proceedings for Title IX complaints at institutions of higher education
LR Number:
Last Action:
5/17/2019 - Informal Calendar S Bills for Perfection--SB 259-Romine, with SS & SA 3 (pending)
Journal Page:
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
August 28, 2019

Current Bill Summary

SS/SB 259 - This act implements a procedure for due process proceedings for complaints made under Title IX of the Federal Education Amendments, which protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs.

TITLE IX HEARINGS (Section 173.1898)

Under this act, any individual in the state of Missouri has the right to defend their character and the right to due process protections guaranteed under the Constitution of Missouri, the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights in any proceeding related to Title IX.

The provisions of this act shall not apply to institutions of higher education that are religious in nature, including institutions owned, controlled, or affiliated with a religious organization or religious accreditor, and that otherwise qualifies for an exemption under Title IX.

APPEALS HEARINGS (Section 173.1905)

Any student at an institution of higher education may request a hearing before the Administrative Hearing Commission with respect to an appeal of any Title IX case involving allegations of sexual harassment if the student was aggrieved by a final decision of the institution. Such request shall be filed with the Administrative Hearing Commission within 60 days of the aggrieved party's receipt of the institution of higher education's final decision. Within 10 days of receiving notice of the request, the Commission shall assign a commissioner to hear the case, request the institution of higher education file the entire grievance record, and may enter an order staying the disciplinary action until the Commission issues its final decision or order.

After review of all evidence presented, the commissioner shall issue findings, conclusions, and a decision in the matter and forward the written decision to the complainant, the respondent, the Title IX Coordinator, and to the president of the institution of higher education. The Commission shall issue a final decision or order within 60 days from the conclusion of the hearing.

A student may request an expedited hearing by the Commission to challenge a disciplinary action that involves suspension or expulsion. If a student requests an expedited hearing to challenge such disciplinary action, the Commission shall assign a commissioner to hold a hearing and render a decision within 60 days of the receipt of the request for an expedited hearing.

All hearings conducted under the act shall be closed hearings. The Administrative Hearing Commission is required to maintain confidentiality of records of an appeal. Such records shall be closed records.

Unless agreed upon by both complainant and respondent, all hearings provided for in the act shall be held at the institution of higher education.

MAINTENANCE OF RECORDS (Section 173.1907 and 173.1920)

Under this act, the Commission shall compile relevant statistics on the cases it hears under this act. The Commission shall also promulgate rules to implement this provision, including the requirements for the types of statistics to be compiled.

Any institution that conducts any type of Title IX training shall maintain and publish on its website any materials used in the training. Such institution shall also maintain and publish on its website information and procedures related to such complaints.


For all formal Title IX complaints, an institution of higher education shall provide students fair, equitable, and individualized interim measures that avoid depriving any student of his or her education pending the investigation and resolution of the formal complaint. If emergency measures that will deprive any student of his or her education are deemed necessary, the institution is required to provide the affected student with the opportunity for an expedited hearing.

Any institution of higher education that handles formal Title IX complaints shall apply a uniform definition of "sexual harassment", as defined in the act, and shall adopt grievance procedures that provide for a prompt and equitable resolution, and include the opportunity for both the complainant and the respondent to obtain a copy of the complaint within 10 days, that includes sufficient details set forth in the act; a complete copy of the investigation at its conclusion; and the names of any witnesses disclosed by either party.

Grievance procedures shall specify that both parties shall receive any information to be used at the hearing. Such procedures shall also specify the right of any student to request a due process hearing before the Administrative Hearing Commission. The range of possible sanctions and remedies that the institution of higher education may implement following any determination of responsibility shall also be specified. Possible sanctions may include, but not be limited to, loss of certain campus privileges, removal from campus housing, probation, suspension, or expulsion.

The institution of higher education shall inform both parties of the option to use an informal resolution process, and shall use an informal resolution process if both the parties agree to such a process. Resolution processes may include mediation, education, counseling, or restorative justice.

The grievance procedure shall exclude evidence of the complainant's sexual behavior or predisposition, unless such evidence is offered to prove that someone other than the respondent committed the alleged conduct, or if the evidence is presented to prove consent.

An institution of higher education that handles Title IX complaints shall adopt hearing procedures for the complaint that meets the criteria set forth in the act.

DUE PROCESS (Section 173.1915, 173.1925, and 173.1927)

Any student of an institution of higher education who fails to receive due process shall have a civil cause of action against the institution of higher education that intentionally failed to comply with the act. The student shall be entitled to recover from the institution such relief as may be appropriate.

Failure to comply with the provisions of the act shall be considered a breach of contract between the student and the institution, and be considered by the Attorney General as an unlawful act.

The Attorney General shall collect information and statistics from institutions of higher education on their procedures and policies for formal Title IX complaints. Information the institution is required to include is set forth in the act.

If any entity of the Federal Government brings suit against an institution of higher education for complying with the act, the Attorney General shall have the authority to bring suit on behalf of the institution against any entity in order to defend the requirements of the act.

PUBLIC RECORDS (Section 173.1930)

Any record related to a formal Title IX complaint or investigation at an institution, or at the Commission, which contains personally identifiable information about a party to the formal complaint is not required to be open to the public. The information may be open in the discretion of the public entity.

NONCOMPLIANCE (Section 173.1935)

Any institution of higher education that is not in compliance with the act shall be ineligible to receive state funds.

This act is substantially similar to HB 573 (2019).