Due Process Complaints and Hearings
Even when parents and school districts alike have a student’s best interests in mind, disagreements over the implementation of special education assistance may emerge that cannot be resolved informally or through mediation. In these cases, parents have the right to send a written request to the school district for an impartial hearing. These hearings are somewhat similar to court proceedings, or an arbitration, in that you have the right to a special education lawyer, to present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and other rights. An Impartial Hearing Officer will preside over the hearing and issue a binding decision.
KSLN has extensive experience representing and supporting parents in disputes with school districts. We understand that these disagreements involving the education and well-being of your child can be very emotional and frustrating. Therefore, we strive not only to be strong advocates, but also compassionate and supportive advisors.
Requesting an Impartial Hearing
If you have a child with a disability and have come to a disagreement with the IEP Team or your school district about your child’s educational program, you most likely will need assistance by someone experienced in special education law. A trained mediator may help the parties involved reach a compromise without bitter arguments or legal action. Our special education lawyers can participate in mediation sessions as well as informal meetings to make sure your views and concerns are taken seriously and to help you reach an appropriate resolution.
If mediation does not resolve the issue, or if you choose not to participate in mediation, you as a parent have the right to request an impartial hearing. With the help of our legal team at KSLN, you may prepare a written impartial hearing request. This request should include:
Your child’s name and address
The name of your child’s school
A description of the facts concerning your dispute
A description of a possible resolution
When requesting an impartial hearing, you should collect and prepare any documents relating to your child’s educational program. Our special education attorneys will help you determine which documents are necessary and how to compile them to best suit your case. We also have the legal knowledge and skills to analyze the issues and develop an effective strategy.
Impartial Hearing Process
An Impartial Hearing Officer (IHO) will examine the evidence and listen to both sides in the dispute. Each side presents witnesses and other evidence and has the opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses presented by the other party. Based only on the recorded evidence and testimony presented at the hearing, the IHO will make a legally binding determination. During the hearing, you may represent yourself or be represented by one of our attorneys, much like a hearing in court. The IHO’s decision may be appealed by either party.
To learn more about KSLN, and how we can help you, please contact us today for a free initial consultation.