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(N) Mediation and Due Process Hearings under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA)

(N) Mediation and Due Process Hearings under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA)

The following paragraphs are taken from the information pages which precede OAH’s Request for Mediation and Due Process Hearing form.

IDEA provides for mediation and due process hearings to resolve disputes relating to the education of children with disabilities to ensure that each child receives a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) tailored to his/her unique needs.

The process is initiated by serving a completed Request for Due Process Hearing and Mediation (generally called a Complaint) on the persons or entities you name as parties to the proceeding.

You should be aware that the IDEA has very specific requirements regarding the information to be included on the request. If the information requested is incorrect, incomplete or not provided, your request for a due process hearing may be delayed until the request meets legal requirements.

Your request must be sent to all of the parties you have identified and a copy provided to the Office of Administrative Hearings.

If you need assistance in completing this form or have questions about the Due Process Hearing and Mediation process, assistance is available by contacting the Office of Administrative Hearings at the numbers identified below.

Office of Administrative Hearings
Special Education Division
2349 Gateway Oaks Drive, Suite 200
Sacramento, CA 95833
Tel. (916) 263-0880
Fax (916) 376-6319

The Request for Due Process Hearing and Mediation (Complaint) shall include:

“The name of the child, the address of the residence of the child (or available contact information in the case of a homeless child), and the name of the school the child is attending…” (20 U.S.C. Sec.1415(b)(7)(A)(ii)(I));

 “A description of the nature of the problem of the child relating to such proposed initiation or change, including facts relating to such problem. (20 U.S.C Sec. 1415 (b)(7)(A)(ii)(III)); and

“A proposed resolution of the problem to the extent known and available to the party at the time.” (20 U.S.C Sec. 1415 (b)(7)(A)(ii)(IV).)

Either party now has the right to challenge the sufficiency of any Complaint. (20 U S C. Sec. 1415 (c)(2)(A).)

The party filing the Complaint is not entitled to a due process hearing if the Complaint does not comply with 20 U.S.C. Sec. 1415(b)(7)(A). (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1415 (b)(7)(B).)

The determination of whether a Complaint is sufficient and in compliance with the requirements of 20 U S.C. Sec. 1415(b)(7)(A)  shall be made by an administrative law judge solely on the content of the Complaint. (20 U.S.C Sec. 1415(c)(2)(D).)

A party may amend its Complaint only if: (I) the other party consents in writing and a Resolution Session is held; or (II) if permitted by the Administrative Law Judge. (20 U.S C. Sec. 1415(c)(2)(E)(i).)

All timelines, including those for a Resolution Session, start over upon the filing of an amended Complaint. (20 U S C. Sec. 1415(c)(2)(E)(ii).)