PROCEDURAL SAFEGUARDS NOTICE
V. HEARINGS ON DUE PROCESS COMPLAINTS
Whenever a due process complaint is filed, you or the LEA involved in the dispute must have an opportunity for an impartial due process hearing, as described in the Due Process Complaint and Resolution Process sections. In Pennsylvania, the due process system is administered by the Office for Dispute Resolution (ODR). (listed under Resources)
Impartial hearing officer
Must not be an employee of the State Educational Agency or the LEA that is involved in the education or care of the child. However, a person is not an employee of the agency solely because he/she is paid by the agency to serve as a hearing officer;
Must not have a personal or professional interest that conflicts with the hearing officer’s objectivity in the hearing;
Must be knowledgeable and understand the provisions of the IDEA, and Federal and State regulations pertaining to the IDEA, and legal interpretations of the IDEA by Federal and State courts;
Must have the knowledge and ability to conduct hearings, and to make and write decisions, consistent with appropriate, standard legal practice.
Each SEA must keep a list of those persons who serve as hearing officers that includes a statement of the qualifications of each hearing officer.
Subject matter of due process hearing
The party (you or the LEA) that requests the due process hearing may not raise issues at the due process hearing that were not addressed in the due process complaint, unless the other party agrees.
Timeline for requesting a hearing
Exceptions to the timeline
The above timeline does not apply to you if you could not file a due process complaint because:
The LEA specifically misrepresented that it had resolved the problem or issue that you are raising in your complaint;
The LEA withheld information from you that it was required to provide to you under Part B of the IDEA.
Any party to a due process hearing (including a hearing relating to disciplinary procedures) or an appeal, as described under the sub-heading Appeal of decisions; impartial review has the right to:
Be accompanied and advised by a lawyer and/or persons with special knowledge or training regarding the problems of children with disabilities;
Present evidence and confront, cross-examine, and require the attendance of witnesses;
Prohibit the introduction of any evidence at the hearing that has not been disclosed to the other party at least five business days before the hearing;
Obtain a written, or, at your option, electronic, word-for-word record of the hearing;
Obtain written, or, at your option, electronic findings of fact and decisions.
14July 2008 Revisions