Frequently Asked Questions
1. I am seeking judicial review of a State Review Officer decision. How can I obtain a certified copy of the administrative hearing record before the State Review Officer for the Court's review?
Instructions for Requesting a Certified Copy of the Administrative Hearing Record to Submit to a Court
All requests must be in writing. Telephonic requests will not be accepted or processed.
The Office of State Review does not have the capacity to produce or file certified copies of administrative records in conformance with the electronic filing rules that school districts or parents must generally follow when seeking judicial review (e.g. via CM/ECF). In the experience of the Office of State Review, Courts have generally been accommodating when parties request that the certified administrative record provided by the Office of State Review via hard copy. Electronic portions of hearing records (e.g., electronic transcripts on CD-ROMs, exhibits in electronic form on CD-ROMs, etc.) are always copied "as is" and provided for a Court together with the hard copy of the administrative hearing record.
Written requests must include the following information:
a. SRO Appeal Number;
b. Caption of Litigation & Court Index/ Identification Number;
c. Name of the Presiding Judge;
d. Name and address of the Court to receive the certified copy of the administrative record, including the name of the individual to whom the certified administrative record should be sent; and,
e. Confirmation in writing from the requesting party that they have communicated with the Court and ascertained the Judge's preferred method for receiving the administrative record. One approach is to inquire whether the Court will accept will accept a hard copy of the certified administrative record directly from the Office of State Review. In some cases, a Court may prefer that the record be filed electronically in accordance with the Court's rules and will direct the school district's or parents' counsel to digitize the administrative record. The Office of State Review does not have the capability to electronically file the certified administrative record with federal district courts.
Upon receipt of a written request, the Office of State Review will process the request and send a copy of the certified administrative record directly to the Court. Any further questions, concerns, or requests about the certified administrative record (including acquiring copies of the record submitted to the Court) should be directed to the Court.
A copy of the certified administrative record will not be sent to counsel for a party unless such party obtains instructions from the Court that specifically requests the Office of State Review to place the copy of the certified administrative record in the care and custody of the party.
A party seeking permission from the Court to place the copy of certified administrative record under the care and custody of a party need not obtain a formal court order, but may submit with their written request to the Office of State Review, the name of the Court personnel or the assigned Judge from whom counsel for a party received instructions for filing the administrative record.
The practice of preparing and submitting a draft order to a Court in which the dates and procedures for record transmittal are unilaterally selected by a party's counsel without consulting the Office of State Review first is strongly discouraged.
2. If I don't like the services the school district is providing to my child, can the State Review Officer or the Office of State Review help me?
A State Review Officer can become involved only after there has been an impartial hearing and the hearing officer has made his or her decision that is appealed to the Office of State Reveiw.
3. What if a hearing has been held, but the hearing officer has been delayed in rendering a decision?
You should contact the Due Process Unit of the State Education Department's Office of Special Education (518) 473-0170, or initiate an appeal to the Commissioner of Education pursuant to Section 310 of the Education Law. Information about appeals to the Commissioner may be obtained from the Appeals Coordinator, Office of Counsel, State Education Department, Albany, NY 12234.
4. I need to talk to someone about my problem with the school district before deciding to request an impartial hearing. Whom should I contact?
Eastern Regional Office - (518) 486-6366
Hudson Valley Regional Office - (518) 473-1185
Central Regional Office - (315) 428-4556
Western Regional Office - (585) 344-2002
Long Island Regional Office - (631) 952-3352
New York City Regional Office - (718) 722-4544
Nondistrict Unit - (518) 473-1185
5. Is there any written description of the special education process and my rights as a parent?
A copy of the New York State Education Department Procedural Safeguards Notice can be found at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/formsnotices/psgn/psgn414.htm. This notice provides information on a parent’s legal rights under federal and State law to be informed about and involved in the special education process and to make sure that your child receives a free appropriate public education. In addition, a copy of the booklet entitled A Parent's Guide to Special Education for Children Ages 3-21should be available to you from your school district. The Procedural Safeguards Notice and the Parent’s Guide are also available from your school district upon your request.
6. How can I obtain access to the decisions of the State Review Officer?
All of the decisions may be accessed at this Website by following the links to the SRO Decisions.