Parent Guide to Responding to A School District's Appeal of the Decision of an Impartial Hearing Officer
SECTION IV. Other Matters related to an Appeal
- Hearing Record Filing Responsibility
- Additional Evidence
- Challenging the Impartiality of the State Review Officer
- Decision of the State Review Officer
- Judicial Review
In each appeal, it is the Board of Education's responsibility, whether it is the petitioner or the respondent, to file a copy of the record before the impartial hearing officer with the Office of State Review, including: a copy of the due process complaint notice; a copy of the response to the due process complaint notice; a copy of the impartial hearing officer's decision; a copy of any written interim orders, rulings, or decisions rendered by the impartial hearing officer; both a bound and electronic copy of the written hearing transcript including word indices; a copy of any prehearing conference summaries or transcripts; a copy of the original exhibits accepted into evidence at the hearing; an index to the exhibits; and a copy of any written post-hearing briefs or memoranda of law submitted to the impartial hearing officer. Additionally, the Board of Education shall submit a Certification with the record that the record submitted is the complete hearing record.The Board of Education is required to file the hearing record with the Office of State Review within 10 days after service of a Notice of Intention to Seek Review by the parent if the Board is the respondent, or together with its request for review if it is the petitioner. If the Board of Education fails to comply with this timeline, the State Review Officer may, at his or her discretion, make appropriate determinations about such failure.
The State Review Officer may seek additional oral testimony or documentary evidence from the parties if the State Review Officer determines that such additional evidence is necessary. The regulations do not prevent a party from asking a State Review Officer to consider additional evidence that was not placed in the hearing record that was before the IHO. If you wish the State Review Officer to consider additional documentary evidence you must submit it with your Request for Review, Answer, or Answer with Cross-Appeal. You should explain why it is important for the State Review Officer to consider this evidence. The school district will be permitted to respond to your request and explain why the additional evidence should be considered by the State Review Officer or rejected.
Any party to an appeal may challenge the impartiality of the State Review Officer. A State Review Officer may not have any personal, economic, or professional interest in the hearing to be reviewed. The State Review Officer may not have been employed at any time by a party to the appeal, and may not, in any way, have been substantially involved in the development of any State or local policy or procedure that was challenged at the hearing.
A State Review Officer must issue a written decision on your appeal within 30 calendar days of receipt of a Request for Review, unless specific extensions have been granted. Copies of the State Review Officer's decision will be mailed either to you or your attorney, if you are represented by an attorney, and to the attorney for the Board of Education. The State Review Officer may also remand (send back) a matter to an impartial hearing officer to take additional evidence into the hearing record or make additional findings in a written decision.
If you are dissatisfied with the State Review Officer's final determination, you may obtain judicial review of the determination in either New York State Supreme Court or Federal District Court. A lawsuit to review the State Review Officer's decision must be started within 4 months after the decision is rendered. Instructions for requesting a certified copy of the administrative record before the State Review Officer may be found here.