Frequently Asked Questions

What are the differences between Carleton’s complaint process and the legal process?

There is a difference between Carleton’s complaint process and an external legal process. Carleton’s complaint process is an internal complaint process, which means that it was created for use within the Carleton community. Carleton students involved in a the complaint process, whether as a complainant or a respondent, will be provided support, assistance, and advice from Carleton College community members. The investigation will be an internal investigation, and the Community Board on Sexual Misconduct (CBSM), an internal college board, will decide whether a policy has been violated.

The legal process, whether criminal or civil, is an external process, which means that the process is outside the control and authority of the College. Different standards of evidence and rules of procedure apply in the external process than in the internal process.

Anyone who believes that they are a victim of a crime may take steps to file a criminal complaint with the local authorities. Victims of sexual assault who report an incident to the police need not retain a private attorney because the legal issues will be handled through the county attorney’s office. You may want to retain an attorney is you are accused of a crime, or are considering filing a civil action against the alleged perpetrator

A complainant decides whether to participate in Carleton's complaint process and/or an external legal process. A complainant can decide to participate in either, both, or neither. In most cases, the College can honor the complainant's choice to proceed or not. The College will support a complainant in either an internal or external process.

  • Keywords: 009, legal, police, county, attorney, internal, external, complaint

Other FAQs