Menu Close

(6.48) What rights do I have in due process?

(6.48) What rights do I have in due process?

You have many rights in due process, including the right to:

(1)  Be informed of available free or low-cost legal services. [Cal Ed. Code Sec. 56502(h).]

(2)  Attend a mediation conference, which is an informal meeting held between you, the district and a state mediator, in an attempt to negotiate a resolution to the dispute, if you and the district both agree to mediate.  [20 U.S.C. Sec. 1415 (e); 34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.506; Cal. Ed. Code Secs.56501(b)(1)(2) & 56503.]

(3)  Have the hearing held at a time and place reasonably convenient to you. [34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.515(d); Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56505(b).] An extension of the hearing timeline can be obtained from the ALJ upon a “showing of good cause.” [Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56505(f)(3).] However, not being ready for the hearing or not being able to produce an important witness at the time the hearing is scheduled may not be “good cause” for a postponement. You also have the right to have your child attend the hearing and to have the hearing open or closed to the public, if desired. [34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.512(c); Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56501(c).]

(4)  Have the hearing conducted by an impartial ALJ. [20 U.S.C. Sec. 1415(f)(3); 34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.511; Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56505(c).]

(5)  Be represented by an attorney. [20 U.S.C. Sec. 1415 (h)(1); 34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.512(a)(1).] If either side uses an attorney, that side must notify the other in writing ten days before the hearing. [Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56507(a).]

(6)  Present evidence and written and oral arguments; confront, cross-examine and require the attendance of witnesses; and, obtain a written or electronic record of the hearing. [20 U.S.C. Sec. 1415 (h)(2) & (3); 34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.512(a)(2) & (4); Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56505(e)(2) & (4).]

(7)  Prohibit the introduction at the hearing of any evidence which has not been disclosed at least five business days before the hearing. [20 U.S.C. Sec. 1415(f)(2)(B); 34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.512(a)(3); Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56505(e)(7).]

(8)  Obtain a written, reasoned decision containing findings of fact. The completed decision must be mailed to all parties within 45 days after the conclusion of the 30-day resolution meeting period. [34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.515(a); Cal. Ed. Code Secs. 56501.5, 56502(f) & 56505(f)(3).]

If you are successful at the due process hearing or in court (the prevailing party), and you were represented by an attorney, the attorneys’ fees and the costs of pursuing the case may have to be paid by the district. [20 U.S.C. Sec.1415(i)(3)(B); 34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.517.]

The due process hearing decision is the final administrative determination, and is binding on both sides. [34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.514; Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56505(h).] Either side may appeal the hearing decision in state or federal court if it disagrees. The appeal must be filed within 90 days of the date of receipt of the decision. [20 U.S.C. Sec. 1415(i)(2); 34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.516(b); Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56505(k).]