1. Service of the Answer
After you have prepared the Answer and Affidavit of Verification and any optional Memorandum of Law, make two copies. One copy of the Answer must be served (i.e. delivered) upon the school district either by personal delivery, U.S. mail, or overnight delivery service (i.e. UPS or FedEx) to the school district or the school district's attorney(s) who signed the Request for Review. If you do not serve the Answer with Cross-Appeal on the school district's attorney, service must be made upon the school district clerk, any trustee or member of the Board of Education, to the superintendent of schools, or to a person in the superintendent's office who has been designated by the Board to accept service. Service of the Answer must occur within the timeline unless a State Review Officer has granted your request for an extension of the timeline.
2. Affidavit of Service
a. An Affidavit of Service is a written form that states how the papers were served. The Affidavit of Service must be signed by the person who served the school district with the documents in front of a notary public. You should make a copy of the Affidavit of Service for your records.
b. You may hand-deliver an Answer, but hand-delivery is not required (see below for mailing instructions). If the Answer is hand-delivered to the school district, the person who delivered the Answer must sign an Affidavit of Personal Service (Form E / Form E). The Affidavit of Personal Service must include:
- What papers were delivered
- Who delivered the papers
- Where the papers were delivered
- The date and time the papers were delivered, and
- A description of the person to whom the papers were given
3. Filing with the Office of State Review
The following items must be filed within 2 calendar days of the date that the Answer was served on the school district:
- the Answer
- the Affidavit of Verification
- a Memorandum of Law (optional), and
- the Affidavit of Service
As of March 2023, you are strongly encouraged to electronically file the documents listed above using the secure, encrypted e-File System instead of mailing them to the Office of State Review. The e-File System features on-screen and e-mail messages to the address you provide and confirms successful transmission of your filings to the Office of State Review. The Office of State Review e-File System is powered by a software product called HighQ, and the automated messages are generated from a highq.com email address. In order to receive e-mail confirmation messages from the e-File System, please be sure any spam or junk filters you have do not prevent you from receiving e-mail messages from highq.com.
If you do not use the e-Filing System, you may mail them to the State Review Officer at the following address:
Office of State Review New York State Education Department 80 Wolf Road, Suite 203 Albany, NY 12205
4. Improper Service/Filing of an Answer
If you fail to properly serve your Answer upon the school district within the timeline or your extended timeline, the school district may be prevented from responding to your Answer and the State Review Officer may be required to reject your Answer. However, the State Review Officer will still conduct an impartial review of the IHO's decision.
If you neglect to file your Answer with the Office of State Review, the State Review Officer will not know that you have prepared one and will have no way to address the specific points that you made in your Answer at all. The State Review Officer will be required to issue a final decision within the decision timeline, and will still conduct an impartial review of the IHO's decision after reviewing the entire hearing record.