After you have prepared the Notice of Request for Review, Request for Review, and Affidavit of Verification, you should make two copies of the originals. You should keep one copy for your records. The other copy of the Notice of Request for Review, Request for Review, and Affidavit of Verification must be hand-delivered to the school district. This hand-delivery is a form of "service." This service must be made upon the school district clerk, any trustee or member of the Board of Education, the superintendent of schools, or a person in the superintendent's office who has been designated by the Board to accept service.
After a parent has served (by hand-delivery) the Notice of Request for Review, the Request for Review and the Affidavit of Verification on the school district as described above, you must also submit an Affidavit of Personal Service that is signed by the person who served the papers. If a school district is the petitioner serving the Request for Review on the parent, a similar rule applies and the school district is required to personally serve the parent when initiating an appeal.
An Affidavit of Service is a written form that describes how, when and to whom the appeal papers were served. The Affidavit of Service must specifically describe:
- What papers were delivered
- Who delivered the papers
- Where the papers were delivered
- The date and time the papers were delivered
- How the papers were delivered
- If given to someone, a description of the person and
- If papers were mailed based upon an agreement to waive personal service,* how and to whom they were mailed.
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.
*The State regulations do not preclude a school district and a parent from agreeing to "waive" the personal service method. Waiver of personal service is not permitted unless the party being served agrees to accept papers in an alternate delivery method. If both sides agree, it is advisable for the parties to have such an agreement in writing. An affidavit describing how the Notice of Intention to Seek Review, Notice of Request for Review, and the Request for Review were served using the alternate method must still be filed with the Office of State Review, even if the personal method of service has been waived by both parties.
2. Filing with the Office of State Review
Within 2 calendar days of serving the Request for Review upon the opposing party, you must file the following items with the Office of State Review to complete the process of initiating the appeal:
- The original Notice of Intention to Seek Review and Case Information Statement
- An Affidavit of Service showing the delivery of the Notice of Intention to Seek Review Review and Case Information Statement
- The Notice of Request for Review
- Request for Review
- Affidavit of Verification of the Request for Review
- A Memorandum of Law if any (this is optional), and
- An Affidavit of Service for the Notice of Request for Review, Request for Review, Affidavit of Verification of the Request for Review, and any optional Memorandum of Law that you have served.
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
3. Improper Service/Filing of a Request for Review
If you do not serve your Request for Review upon the school district within 40 calendar days of the date of the impartial hearing officer's decision, your appeal may be dismissed. To avoid this outcome you must clearly state good reason(s) within your Request for Review explaining why you were unable serve it within the 40-day time limit (i.e. lengthy or unplanned hospitalization, catastrophic weather conditions/power loss).
Please note that the State Review Officer may, but is not required to excuse a party's failure to timely serve a Request for Review if good cause is shown within the Request for Review. Good cause generally includes situations that arise that are beyond your control, and generally does not include business/personal travel, lack of legal representation, or work/regular family obligations. Lengthy delays in receiving the IHO's decision may or may not be good cause depending on the circumstances and you should make your best efforts to comply with the 40-day time limit for serving the Request for Review even if your receipt of the IHO's decision was delayed.