[305J-17] Complaints; injunctive proceedings. (a) A student or former student of the University of Hawaii system, a private college or university, seminary, or religious training institution may file a complaint with the department concerning the institution at which the student is or was enrolled; provided that if a former student files a complaint, the complaint shall be filed within two years after the former student discontinued enrollment at the institution; provided that the two year restriction on complaints shall not apply to complaints related to obtaining transcripts.

(b) The department may investigate complaints based on possible violations of this chapter or rules adopted hereunder. The department may initiate and investigate complaints based on information the department receives concerning possible violations of this chapter or rules adopted hereunder.

(c) Nothing in this section shall give the department jurisdiction to consider complaints that infringe on the academic or religious freedom of, or question the curriculum content of, a private college or university, seminary, or religious training institution.

(d) Upon receipt of a complaint pursuant to [subsection] (a) or (b), the department shall determine whether the complaint was properly filed. The complaint shall warrant investigation only after the student or former student has exhausted all administrative remedies available at the University of Hawaii system, private college or university, seminary, or religious training institution; provided that if the complaint involves a violation of state or federal criminal law, this requirement shall not apply. If a complaint warrants investigation, the department shall forward the complaint to the University of Hawaii system, private college or university, seminary, or religious training institution. The University of Hawaii system, private college or university, seminary, or religious training institution shall have thirty days to respond in writing to the complaint. During the thirty-day period, the University of Hawaii system, private college or university, seminary, or religious training institution, with the department's assistance, may attempt to resolve the complaint with the student. If the department determines at any time that the complaint no longer warrants investigation, the department shall dismiss the complaint.

(e) If a complaint is not resolved within the thirty-day period, the department may:

(1) Dismiss the complaint based on the response of the University of Hawaii system, private college or university, seminary, or religious training institution;

(2) Investigate and, where appropriate, take disciplinary action in a manner consistent with chapter 91. [L 2013, c 180, pt of 2]

 

 

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