Due Process Hearing
A due process hearing (also known as an impartial hearing) is a formal process to resolve disagreements between a parent of a student with a disability and a school district. A parent or a school district may submit a written, due process complaint notice requesting an impartial hearing on any matter relating to a proposal or a refusal to initiate or change the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of a student with a disability or a student suspected of having a disability, or the provision of a free appropriate public education to such student under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The parties present their cases and refute evidence before an impartial hearing officer (IHO) who issues a written decision. The IHO’s decision is legally binding and enforceable in any State court of competent jurisdiction (a State court that has authority to hear this type of case) or in a federal district court of the United States. Final, written impartial hearing decisions must be made available to the public, as well as the Commissioner's Advisory Panel for Special Education Services, in accordance with the IDEA.
The Questions and Answers on Impartial Due Process Hearings for Students with Disabilities document helps clarify the impartial hearing process. This document aims to assist all parties to better understand their responsibilities relating to impartial hearings so that disputes over special education are resolved in a legally compliant and timely manner.
Due Process Complaint Notice to Request an Impartial Hearing (Model Form)
This model form may be used to submit a due process complaint notice (also known as a request for an impartial hearing) to resolve a disagreement about the identification, evaluation, or placement of a student with a disability or a student suspected of having a disability, or the provision of a free appropriate public education to such student under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
A highly effective way to resolve such issues is through special education mediation. You can request mediation from your school district at any time, including prior to filing a due process complaint notice. Mediation is voluntary and provided at no cost to the parents and school district.
- Requests for an impartial hearing must be made in writing
- Use of this model form is not required. However, State and federal regulations require the following information to be included when submitting a due process complaint notice requesting an impartial hearing:
- Student's name;
- Student's address; or if the student is homeless, any pertinent contact information (if available);
- Name of the school the student attends;
- Nature of complaint, including specific facts; and
- Proposed resolution of the problem.
- Make two copies of the completed form and submit as follows:
- If this form is submitted by the parent, send the original to the school district.
- If this form is submitted by the school district, send the original to the parent.
- Send one copy to the New York State Education Department, Office of Special Education, Room 309 EB, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York, 12234, Attention: Due Process Unit.
- Retain a copy for your records.
Upon the first filing of a due process complaint notice, your school district must provide you with the New York State Education Department's Procedural Safeguards Notice. This notice provides information concerning your legal rights under federal and State laws involving the special education process and to help ensure that your child receives a free appropriate public education.
Questions concerning your specific case, including a due process complaint notice that has been filed, should be directed to your school district.
Completing the form:
- Right click on the form and click "Save link as..."
- Save to a location on your computer.
- Open the saved form and complete it.
- Save a final version of the form to your computer after it is completed.
- Print the form and submit as indicated above.
If you have difficulty completing the due process complaint notice form using your web browser, you may download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to enable all of the form’s fillable fields to properly function. The form may also be printed out and completed manually.
Questions regarding the use of this form or the procedures involved in an impartial hearing proceeding may be directed to the Special Education Due Process Unit at (518) 473-0170 or firstname.lastname@example.org.