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Indiana Wesleyan University Support Knowledge Base

Legal Requests for Documents and Information

Policy

Approved by:               The President’s Cabinet

History:                        Implemented – October 21, 2008

Revised -

Related Policies:          Policies and Procedures for Responding to Government Investigations

References:

Responsible Official:    University Counsel

 

 

I.          Legal Requests for Documents and Information.

 

In the course of a normal business day, Indiana Wesleyan University may receive several different types of legal requests for documents and/or information. 

 

Requests for documents or information can be as formal as court pleadings or simple signed releases. 

 

These requests may arrive in the mail or be delivered in person (service of process). 

 

Examples of these types of documents include:

  • Transcript Requests (from person other than student)
  • Bankruptcy Notices
  • Employment Verifications
  • Wage Garnishments (Including Child Support Income Withholding Orders)
  • Letters from Attorneys
  • Signed Authorizations/Releases
  • Interrogatories
  • Complaint/Summons
  • Court Orders
  • Subpoenas/Subpoenas Duces Tecum
  • Non-Party Requests for Production of Documents

 

While the above list is representative, it is not comprehensive.  It is important to be aware that there may be other types of requests for documents or information to which IWU has a legal duty to respond. 

 

In the event of litigation involving the university, a complaining party (Plaintiff) is required to formally serve the written lawsuit filed with the court (the Complaint).  In those cases, the documents are required to be served upon the Statutory Agent (also called Registered Agent).

 

II.         The Statutory Agent.

 

The Statutory Agent is a person appointed by the university for the purpose of receiving service of process and legal notices on the university’s behalf.  The Agent can be an employee of the university or a company contracted by the university to act as the Statutory Agent.  In each state where IWU has locations, we are required to have a Statutory Agent.  The agent’s name and address are “registered” with the respective Secretary of State and the information is available to the public. 

 

The Statutory Agents, by state, are currently:

 

Indiana:             Dr. Henry Smith, President

                        4201 South Washington Street

                        Marion, IN  46953

                        Telephone: (765) 677-2100

                        Fax:  (765) 677-2099

 

Kentucky:         Carson Castleman

                        1500 Alliant Avenue

                        Louisville, KY 40222

                        Telephone: (513) 881-3605

                        Fax:  (502) 261-5009

 

Ohio:                Edgar Elliston

                        4100 Rockside Road

                        Independence, OH 44131

                        Telephone: (216) 525-6160

                        Fax: (216) 525-6169

 

Once legal requests are received by either the Statutory Agent or a department at the university, the request or documents must be immediately routed to the University General Counsel’s office (fax no. 765.677.6576).  In many cases, there is a limited time allowed for a response.  This is especially true for service of complaints or subpoenas and requests for production. 

 

By directing all legal requests to the university’s legal affairs office, legal Counsel can review for subject matter, jurisdiction, and make an appropriate determination for response.  While this requires coordination on the behalf of many different departments and personnel, it is an essential process to protect the university’s legal rights, ensure compliance with state and federal rules and regulations, and prevent inappropriate disclosures.

 

In many cases, attorneys or other requesting parties may telephone the university to request the contact name to direct legal requests. To facilitate the process and reduce the number of mailings or submissions to various departments, personnel should inform inquiring callers to send all requests directly to the University’s General Counsel’s office at the following address:

 

Karl Gauby

University Counsel

Indiana Wesleyan University

4201 S. Washington Street

Maxwell Building, Suite 212-A

Marion, IN 46953

 

III.        Routing Procedures:

 

1.       Recipient shall immediately fax the complete legal request to the Coordinator for Legal Affairs at

          (765) 677-6576.

 

2.       Originals should then be sent to Legal Affairs via Campus or Regular Mail.

 

Legal Affairs:

  •     Review the documents to determine appropriate response
  •     Calendar deadline for response back from department
  •     Calendar deadline for response back to requesting party/authority
  •     Identify items being requested
  •     Determine response deadline
  •     Route to appropriate departments (Financial Aid, Financial Affairs, Records, etc.) with cover    

          email requesting read receipt

 

University Departments:

  •  Authorized Department Representative (Business Records Custodian) will collate the requested   

             documents

  • Department Representative will complete the Affidavit of Business Records Custodian and submit with documents (See attached Affidavit of Custodian of Business Records).
  • Deliver the requested records to Legal Affairs no later than the deadline specified in the cover email       
  • The request and responsive documents will be retained by the authorized department for the period specified in Section IV. below.

 

 

3.     Upon receipt from each respective department, the documents specified in the original legal request,   

        Legal Affairs will forward all requested documents to the requesting party/authority.

 

IV.        Request Retention Periods:

 

There are three categories of legal requests.  Those in which IWU is:

  • a named defendant;
  • a garnishee defendant; or
  • a non-party.

 

NOTE:  Requests for personally identifiable education records as defined by FERPA (hereafter, “FERPA requests”) may fall into any one of these three categories (although most often, they will be “c”). 

 

1.         Retention Periods FERPA Requests 

 

For legal requests involving FERPA records and information, the request and the responsive documentation shall be retained by the authorized department for the period specified below:

 

  • IWU is a named defendant - six (6) years after the conclusion of the case, including all appeals;
  • IWU is just a garnishee defendant – six (6) months after the end of the garnishment;
  • IWU is a non-party - one year after compliance.

 

NOTE:  Retention period for FERPA requests – shall be the greater of the applicable retention period specified in the University’s Document Retention and Destruction Policy for the documents produced in compliance with the  legal request.  The request and responsive documents shall be kept with the students records. [Pursuant to 34 CFR 99.32(a)(2)]

 

2.         Authorized Departments responsible for retaining requests

 

  • Request in suits wherein IWU is a named (non-garnishee) defendant – Legal Affairs
  • Requests in suits wherein IWU is merely a garnishee defendant – HR
  • Non-party requests - responding departments
  • FERPA requests (regardless of which of the above-three categories it falls into) A duplicate copy of all FERPA requests along with the responsive documents will be kept by Record’s Office or AGS Student Services.

 

Except as noted above, Legal Affairs will not keep a duplicate and will transfer the original of the request to the Record’s Office, AGS Office of Student Services, Human Resources or authorized department and shred any other copy they have. 

 

This policy does not address arrest warrants, search warrants or subpoenas for individuals requiring testimony or compliance in law enforcement investigations.  Such subpoenas/warrants may be served on the individual.  Those circumstances are covered by IWU’s “Policies and Procedures for Responding to Government Investigations”.

 

Scope

This policy applies to all employees of the University.

History

17-Mar-2015 - Date conversion to KB

 

Policy information

Employee Policy 300.02.14

Owner

Executive Director for Human Resources

Approved by

Vice President for Business Affairs/ CFO

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