Complaint Process

Process

Allegations received by telephone or TDD will be reduced to writing on a complaint form and provided to the complainant for confirmation or revision before processing. Once a complaint is filed, the Washoe County Title VI Coordinator will record the complaint in a database and determine (a) whether the complaint is complete; (b) if additional information is needed; (c) whether the County has jurisdiction; and (d) whether the complaint is timely.

The Title VI Coordinator will notify the complainant in writing within 10 working days either that the complaint is accepted or the complaint is not accepted. If the complaint is not accepted, the Coordinator will state why. If the complaint is not accepted because additional information is needed, the complainant will be notified what information is needed.

If the complaint is accepted, the County will investigate the merits of the complaint and will attempt to resolve it at the lowest level possible. The Title VI Coordinator will assign an investigator to investigate the complaint.

The investigator may interview any individuals named as witnesses and any other individuals who may have information. The investigator may review relevant documentation. If more information is needed, the complainant has thirty days from the date of the letter to send the requested information. If the investigator is not contacted by the complainant or does not receive the additional information within thirty days, the County may administratively close the case. A case may also be closed if the complainant no longer wishes to pursue his or her case.

After the investigator reviews the complaint, she/he will issue one of two letters to the complainant: a closure letter or a letter of finding. A closure letter summarizes the allegations and states that there was not a Title VI violation and that the case will be closed. A letter of finding summarizes the allegations and the interviews regarding the alleged incident, and explains whether any disciplinary action, additional training of the staff member or other action will occur.

Although the County strives to promptly resolve complaints, this process will differ depending on the complexity of the complaint, the individuals involved, and other factors. The investigation will be concluded within sixty days of receiving all requested information.

Complaints submitted directly to a department will be forwarded to the Title VI Coordinator for intake.

Dismissal of Complaints

The County may dismiss a complaint and issue a closure letter for any of the following reasons:

  • The complainant withdraws the complaint.
  • The complainant fails to respond to requests for additional information needed to process the complaint.
  • The complaint is untimely.
  • The complainant cannot be located.
  • The complaint is determined to be legally or factually insufficient.

Appealing the Coordinator's Written Decision

If the complainant is not satisfied with the written decision of the Coordinator, the complainant has 14 working days from the date of the decision to provide the Coordinator with written notice of intent to appeal.

The appeal shall be to the Director of the involved department. The Director shall issue a decision on the appeal within 30 working days of the notice of intent to appeal, which shall be the final decision of the County.