OCR is now posting its revised Case Processing Manual (CPM), which replaces the Case Resolution and Investigation Manual (CRIM). The CPM was revised with the goal of ensuring due process and of providing greater flexibility in resolution. In particular, you will note the following revisions in the new CPM:
- OCR will open the complaint for investigation if the complainant has alleged facts that, if true, would constitute a violation of one of the laws OCR enforces.
- Opening a complaint for investigation in no way implies that OCR has made a determination with regard to its merits. During the investigation, OCR is a neutral fact-finder, collecting and analyzing relevant evidence from the complainant, the recipient, and other sources, as appropriate.
- OCR will continue to ensure that its investigation is legally sufficient and is dispositive of the allegations.
The new CPM also provides more opportunity for resolution of complaints prior to the conclusion of OCR’s investigation by placing new emphasis on the Early Complaint Resolution (ECR) process. If both parties are willing to use this approach, and if OCR determines that ECR is appropriate, OCR will facilitate settlement discussions between the parties and assist them in understanding the legal standards and possible remedies.
In addition to ECR, the new CPM provides that a complaint may be resolved before the conclusion of an investigation if the recipient asks to do so. The CPM has eliminated the requirement that the recipient must admit liability in order to resolve the complaint.