Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates
Please check this page often for changes to operations in the Office of State Review in light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency.
The Office of State Review has made changes to the authorized procedures for serving and filing a Notice of Intention to Seek Review, a Notice of Intention to Cross Appeal, and a Request for Review. The Office of State Review will continue to post available guidance regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect upon the process of appealing an impartial hearing officer's decision here.
Extensions of time. The Office of State Review continues to respond to extension requests for serving responsive pleadings and other applications made by mail or facsimile to the office. Under ordinary operating circumstances for an extension of time, State Review Officers tend to allow extensions of time of no more than two weeks; and while State Review Officers granted longer extensions of time during the complete shutdown during the early phases of the pandemic, as of July 13, 2020 the State Review Officers returned to the customary practice of entertaining extensions of time in two week intervals.
Deadlines. The ordinary deadlines that petitioner must adhere to when challenging an impartial hearing officer's decision are described in the appeal guide on this web site. While those timelines were suspended or "tolled" as of March 20, 2020 under an Executive Order of the Governor, the terms of the Executive Order are no longer in effect. Accordingly the Chief State Review Officer has issued a Thirteenth Revised General Order, and for IHO decisions dated December 15, 2020 or thereafter, no suspension or tolling provisions will be applicable. It is not necessary to personally serve papers on the opposing party and alternate methods of service have been authorized. These modifications continue as set forth in the Revised General Order dated March 22, 2020 and subseqent orders. The Sixteenth Revised General Order indicates that no further General Orders will be issued thereafter.
GENERAL ORDER dated March 20,2020 (superseded)
REVISED GENERAL ORDER dated March 22, 2020 (superseded)
SECOND REVISED GENERAL ORDER dated April 21, 2020 (superseded)
THIRD REVISED GENERAL ORDER dated May 19, 2020 (superseded)
FOURTH REVISED GENERAL ORDER dated June 11, 2020 (superseded)
FIFTH REVISED GENERAL ORDER dated June 29, 2020 (superseded)
SIXTH REVISED GENERAL ORDER dated July 31, 2020(superseded)
EIGHTH REVISED GENERAL ORDER dated August 21, 2020 (superseded)
TENTH REVISED GENERAL ORDER dated October 26, 2020 (superseded)
FOURTEENTH REVISED GENERAL ORDER dated March 5, 2021 (superseded)
Notary services. The general requirement to have certain papers notarized are described in the verification and affidavit of service portions of the appeal guide, and the general notarization requirement remains in effect. According to the Department of State, the relaxation of the rules that authorized remote notarization during the pandemic is no longer active effective June 24, 2021 and, therefore, notary publics can no longer perform notary services remotely using the guidance issued by the Department of State in March 2020.
Telephone calls. The Office of State Review is operating with limited in-person resources. In response to the public health emergency for the COVID-19 virus, all non-essential State employees for New York State’s agencies and public authorities, including the State Education Department, will not be reporting to work for two weeks, beginning March 17, 2020. Accordingly, during this time, when calling the Office of State Review, staff may be unavailable at times to answer the telephone. The Office of State Review is continuing to perform the key functions of the office and is accepting requests for review and all filings by mail. The Office also continues to issue appeal decisions. In light of the expected delays in our ability to respond to telephone calls and messages, we appreciate your patience. Leaving a telephone message with your name, telephone number, fax number (if any), and the nature of your concern is the best way to obtain a response from the Office of State Review.
Judicial Review and Requests for Certified Records. Due to ongoing delays related to COVID-19, new requests for certified copies of hearing records for submission to a court will be delayed beyond our normal business practice and additional lead time should be allowed for in making a request for a certified copy of a hearing record for any matter that is currently proceeding in a court. The Office of State Review does not require a court order for a certified record and only requires requests from a party to be in writing that contains the requisite information. To be clear parties should not submit a proposed order to a court imposing specific deadline on OSR without consulting with the Office of State Review. The staffing resources may not be available to comply with the request if a party fails to consult with OSR.
Electronic Filing. Although the Office of State Review does not formally accept filings by solely by facsimile or e-mail, the Office has established a temporary mechanism to allow electronic filings through encrypted means during and in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The instructions for electronic filings in the Question and Answer document must be followed carefully. A revised electronic filing Question and Answer document explains how, after July 10, 2020, OSR will continue to accept electronic filings, but that if parties are unable to successfully use the identified efiling options, they must use the traditional hardcopy filing procedures under Part 279. Based on numerious inquiries regarding filing with the Office through electronic means, the Office of State Review is investigating whether a permanet system can be put in place.
If you need assisistance with another area such as P-12 schools, colleges and universities, licensed professionals, adult education programs, please be sure to see the New York State Education Department's COVID-19 web page.