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Have your rights been violated?

If you can answer "Yes" to the following questions, you may be eligible to file a petition with the Judiciary. 

1. Do you believe there was a violation of the Duke Student Government Constitution or the Bylaws?

2. Do you believe the violation has already occurred? (We cannot hear issues of anticipated violations)

3. Do you believe the violation relates to you specifically? (We cannot hear issues filed on behalf of another individual)

Filing a Petition

So you’ve decided to move forward and file a formal petition with the Judiciary. Great! Below is a helpful step by step guide for what you can expect during the process. Your first step is to complete a complaint form. The complaint form will include the name(s) of the petitioner(s), the respondent(s), the known facts, the legal basis for your claim and your requested relief.

Here (click) you can find an example of a complaint form to help you understand what information you should include.

Once your petition has been filed, it will be reviewed by the Judiciary who will then decide whether or not to hear the case. The respondents will be given the opportunity to respond to the petition. We review petitions on a rolling basis  and endeavor to respond to all petitions in a timely matter.

Hearing Procedures 
The Judiciary may grant you a hearing to render a decision on the relief you requested. The Judiciary will notify all parties involved of the assigned date, time and venue for the hearing. 

The petitioner(s) will appear before the seven justices along with the respondent(s) and any relevant witnesses. Each side is typically given thirty minutes of oral argument time, during which they may present their case and any witnesses they may have. During this time, the opposing counsel may not interrupt, ask questions, or object. Each side is then typically given five minutes to respond to the opposing counsel’s argument.

During oral argument, the justices may interrupt to ask questions regarding the case. Counsel should attempt to respond to the questions as best they can and then continue with their argument. Only the justices, the petitioner(s), the respondent(s), and their representatives may speak during the hearing. Any press or viewers may not interrupt, ask questions, or speak once the hearing is in progress.

Written Arguments 
The Judiciary may seek to resolve a case through analysis of written argument by the parties involved. In addition to the filed petition and the respondent brief, this may include (but is not limited to): written testimony from witnesses, evidence (such as emails), and more. 

Flow of a Case
The Judiciary will first decide whether or not to take the case. A petition can be accepted, declined, or dispensed with cause. If accepted, the case process will move forward until the Judiciary reaches a decision. More details can be found in the General Judiciary Code of Procedure. 



  • Filing official cases and seeking non-binding advisory opinions regarding constitutional violations and incidents under the purview of Duke Student Government


  • Questions regarding options on how or when to proceed with a case or to provide help navigating the judicial branch. If you choose to proceed with a case, OPA can provide representation and advice throughout the process

For reporting misconduct regarding student or student organizations

(919) 684-8222
Cases of harassment and discrimination

For advice in avoiding plagiarism and other violations of the student honor code

Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS)
(919) 660-1000
For counseling and mental health resources available at all times

Women's Center
Phone:  919-684-3897 | Email:

Emergencies: 911 Non-Emergencies: (919) 684-2444
For all criminal and illegal activity


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