Beginning July 1, 2016, the Office of Special Education (OSE) will accept requests for mediation, a due process hearing, emergent relief (petition only; attachments must be sent separately via regular mail) electronically through an OSE-maintained and monitored email address. The email address will be used exclusively for the submission of requests and will not be used to communicate with the parties or their representatives. Completed petitions must be saved as Adobe PDF documents and submitted as an attachment to an email sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adobe Acrobat Reader is document reader software that is available for free download at: https://get.adobe.com/reader/. Please note that requests for enforcement of a mediation agreement or enforcement of a final decision will NOT be accepted via electronic mail and must be mailed or faxed to the OSEP to be accepted and processed.
Existing dispute resolution policies will not change. Specifically, requests must be completed and signed by the adult student or by the minor student's parent(s) or legal guardian(s). Completed requests must be served upon the opposing party. Consistent with existing policy, OSE will not accept attachments or exhibits to petitions, and therefore those items should not be included in petitions submitted by email. Allowing electronic submission of petitions will streamline the dispute resolution process; provide ease of access to petitioners; and will improve program efficiency.
- Guidance Regarding Changes to the Due Process System in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (NJDOE/OSEP, July 2005)
- P.L. 2022, c.2: Extending the Period of Time a Parent, Guardian, or Local Educational Agency Has to Request a Special Education Due Process Hearing (April 2022)
- Summary of Mediation Due Process Requirements Revised
- Quick Reference Chart for Mediation
See below for "Updates with Respect to Due Process Procedures" (2008)
As of December 1, 2005
As of December 1, 2005 the petitioner may submit a written request to have a petition converted to a “Due Process” petition. This request may be submitted at any time after the initial petition is filed with the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). This procedure permits the stay put provision of the IDEA 2004 to remain in effect pending the outcome of the due process hearing.
The following procedure is implemented when a written request from a parent to convert a case from “Mediation Only” to one for “Due Process” is received by the Department:
- The case is assigned a new agency number;
- A letter acknowledging the new case number and due process requirements is sent to the parties;
- The 30-day resolution period begins and all responsibilities and rights of the petitioner and respondent are implemented (i.e., resolution session/mediation, sufficiency challenge may be filed, response/notice is provided); and
- OSEP transmits the case to the Office of Administrative Law by day 30.
A similar procedure will be followed when the district files for “Mediation Only” and then requests, in writing, that it be converted to a “Due Process” petition. However, when the district files for due process against a parent, the district is not required to conduct a resolution session. A representative from the OSEP will contact the parties to determine whether the parties will agree to mediation and if so, the representative will arrange for the mediation conference. If the parties do not agree to mediation the case will be immediately transmitted to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) for a hearing.
Questions and Answers
What happens when a parent files for due process?
When a due process hearing request is received the district is given 30 days to resolve the matter before going to a hearing. The district must conduct a resolution session with the parents and the relevant members(s) of the IEP team who have specific knowledge of the facts identified in the request. The resolution session must include a representative of the district who has authority to make decisions on behalf of the district. The district may not include its attorney unless the parent is accompanied by an attorney. The resolution session must be held within 15 days of receiving the parents’ request. For an expedited due process hearing, the resolution session must be held within seven days of receiving the request.
In place of the resolution session both you and the district may agree to hold a mediation meeting conducted by a mediator from the OSEP. If the district agrees to mediation, a representative of the district must contact OSEP to facilitate the scheduling of the mediation.
If you wish to waive the resolution session and proceed directly to a hearing, both you and the district must agree in writing and forward the waiver to the OSEP.
What happens when a district files a petition against a parent?
When the district files for due process against a parent resolution sessions are not held. Instead, a representative from the OSEP will contact the parties to determine whether the parties will agree to mediation and if so, the representative will arrange for the mediation conference. If the parties do not agree to mediation the case will be immediately transmitted to the Office of Administrative Law for a hearing.
Does a parent or district have to respond to a petition filed for due process?
When a parent requests a due process hearing or an expedited due process hearing the district must send a written response to the parent within 10 days of receiving the petition and, is some cases, may have to send the parents written notice with respect to the issues in the petition.
When the district requests a due process hearing the parent must send a response that specifically addresses the issues raised in the request for due process. The response must be sent to the district superintendent or board attorney within 10 days of receipt of the request for a due process hearing.
May the petition be challenged by the receiving party?
Yes. The receiving party (district or parent) may claim that the petition does not meet the requirements of law and therefore, the petition is not sufficient. The receiving party has 15 days to challenge the petition by notifying the OSEP, in writing, that the petition is not sufficient. The sufficiency challenge will be forwarded to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) within five days of receipt and the administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will determine whether the petition meets the requirements of law. If the petition is deemed insufficient the ALJ may dismiss it completely or allow the party to amend the petition. If the petition is deemed sufficient the timelines will continue. If the petitioner is allowed to amend the petition the timelines will continue from the time the ALJ deems the petition sufficient.
Updated January 2006
To be completed when an interim (temporary) decision is required pending a final decision of the underlying issues in a due process hearing dispute.
PLEASE NOTE: Emergent relief may only be sought when a temporary interim order is necessary pending completion of the underlying due process hearing in accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A:14-2.7(r). If a request for due process hearing has not already been requested, you must submit a request for due process hearing along with the request for emergent relief.
To meet the requirements for requesting emergent relief, complete the following three (3) forms:
- Request for Emergent Relief
- Request for Due Process or Request for Expedited Due Process (for Discipline Matters Only)
- The Certification in Lieu of Affidavit or Notarized Statement of Petitioner Seeking Emergent Relief
All required forms may be submitted to the OSE by email, via fax, or through mail.
PLEASE NOTE: You may attach additional pages in PDF form to the email. Adobe Acrobat Reader is a document reader software that is available for free download at: https://get.adobe.com/reader/.
Beginning December 17, 2018, the Office of Special Education (OSE) will electronically accept requests for special-education complaint investigations using an OSE-maintained and monitored email address. The newly created email address will be used exclusively for the submission of requests for special-education complaint investigations, and will not be used to communicate with the parties or their representatives.
Completed requests for complaint investigations must be saved as Adobe PDF documents and emailed to email@example.com. Requests for special-education complaint investigations must still be signed by the complainant, and meet all the other requirements set forth in N.J.A.C. 6A:14-9.2(b). Additionally, completed requests for a complaint investigation must be served upon the educational agency against which the complaint is directed. Documentation in support of the request for a complaint investigation, such as attachments and/or exhibits, will not be accepted electronically. Those items should be mailed or faxed.
Please note, complaint resolution forms can be found below.
Click here to access the Complaint Investigation Pamphlet.
- Updates on COVID-19 and Special Education Dispute Resolution 1 (IDEA, Part B)
- Updates on COVID-19 and Special Education Dispute Resolution 2 (IDEA, Part C)
- Proposed Due Process Hearing Guidelines – Public Comment Period Extended to May 1, 2020
- Enhancements to the Special Education Dispute Resolution System
- NJDOE and OAL Joint Letter to USOSEP outlining corrective actions regarding special education due process hearings
- NJ-B-RDA On-site Visit-DR-Cover Letter
- NJ-B-RDA On-site Visit-DR-Enclosure
- NJDOE Response to USOSEP Findings of Noncompliance August 2019
- Revised Procedures for Conducting Special Education Resolution Meetings
- Revised Procedures for Expedited Special Education Due Process Hearings
- Revised Procedures for Determining a Students Status During a Special Education Due Process Hearing
- Revised Procedures for Conducting Special Education Due Process Hearings
NOTE: Use of the model forms is not required; however, providing the requested information will assist in expediting your request. Forms associated to mediation and due process can be found at the bottom of this page.