Special Education Due Process Hearings (511 IAC 7-45-3 - 7-45-7)

Posted: Wed, 08/31/2011 - 4:19pm Updated: Fri, 12/12/2014 - 11:19am

A due process hearing is an administrative law proceeding held before an impartial independent hearing officer (IHO). The parent(s) and the school have the opportunity to present witnesses and other evidence. At the conclusion of the hearing, the IHO considers all of the information and issues a written decision.

Who can request a due process hearing?

  • Student's parent(s), see definition of "Parent" 511 IAC 7-32-70,
  • Student of legal age, see definition of "Student of legal age" 511 IAC 7-32-91,
  • The Public Agency, see definition of "Public Agency" 511 IAC 7-32-77.
  • The Indiana Department of Education

What disagreements can due process hearing resolve?

  • The student's identification or eligibility as a student with a disability;
  • The appropriateness of the educational evaluation, level of services, or placement;
  • Anything else related to the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE); or
  • Reimbursement for services obtained by the parent(s).

If the parent disagrees with the school's determination that the student's behavior was not a manifestation of the student's disability, or the school's decision concerning the student's disciplinary change of placement, or

If the school maintains that it is dangerous for the student to return to the student's current educational placement, an expedited hearing may be requested.

What must be included in all requests for due process hearing?

  • The request must be in writing, either a letter or Request for Due Process Hearing (form may be completed electronically, but must be printed and have a handwritten signature);
  • Include the parent's name, address and telephone number;
  • Include the student's name and address, if different from parents;
  • Include the name of the school corporation and school the student attends;
  • Specify the reasons for the hearing request, including:
    • a description of the nature of the problem, and
    • any facts related to the problem; and
  • Include a proposed resolution of the problem.

The request must be sent simultaneously to:

  • Superintendent of Public Instruction
    Indiana Department of Education
    Office of Legal Affairs
    115 W Washington St., South Tower Ste 600
    Indianapolis, IN 46204
  • Superintendent of the School Corporation or Charter School that the student attends.

The request may be mailed or hand delivered to Indiana Department of Education (Office of Legal Affairs) and School Corporation or Charter School. If faxed, the original request must be mailed the same day to the department and the school corporation or charter school.

Is there a deadline for requesting a due process hearing?

In general, a due process hearing must be requested within two (2) years of the date that the parent(s) or school knew or should have known about the issue or action that caused the disagreement. However, there are two (2) exceptions to this timeline. See Article 7 511 IAC 7-45-3 © for more information on the exceptions.

Timelines for due process hearing:

 
  • What happens after a parent(s) or public agency files a request for a due process hearing:
  • An Independent Hearing Officer (IHO) is appointed;
    • The Superintendent of Public Instruction appoints the Independent Hearing Officer and sends a written notice to the IHO and to the parent(s) and the public agency;
  • The school must provide the parent(s) with information about free or low-cost legal or other relevant services that might be available;
  • Hearing timelines begin upon the opposing party's receipt of the due process hearing request.
  • For information regarding Resolution Session, please check out FAQs below.
  • After the hearing, the IHO puts his/her decision in writing and gives a copy to the parent(s) and the public agency.

Special Education Hearing Decisions 

Hearings are administrative law proceedings before an impartial independent hearing officer regarding Article 7 issues.

Board of Special Education Appeals decisions 1997-2009