How long will it take the Office of State Review to provide a certified copy of the administrative record?
Although not set forth in law, as a matter of convenience to the courts and parties, the Office of State Review has generally endeavored with success to transmit certified copies of administrative records requested by litigants within 30 days of the Office of State Review's receipt of written requests that meet the guidelines. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused delays in these timelines. The administrative staff is responsible for a number of tasks including processing filings related to pending administrative appeals and assisting State Review Officers in meeting federally-mandated timelines for issuing appeal decisions. Consequently, the priorities of the Office of State Review administrative staff change on a daily basis. The Office of State Review identifies the 30-day period as general goal and cannot guarantee the ability to provide the record in a particular case any sooner than 30 days from the Office of State Review's receipt of a written request without disrupting other administrative case work and other, preceding certified record requests that are being processed for the benefit of other litigants and courts. A court order is not required in order for the Office of State Review to produce a certified record and parties are strongly discouraged from submitting a proposed order to a court imposing a deadline on the Office of State Review, especially without consulting with the Office of State Review.
If a party believes that the 30-day goal is unworkable due to exigent circumstances, nothing in the IDEA or State law precludes a court from receiving a copy of the administrative record from another source, including one of the parties. Each party should already have the means to accomplish this. Both parties should have received a copy of the impartial hearing officer's decision and the school district should have received the record of the impartial hearing from the impartial hearing officer, including transcripts and exhibits, along with a certification thereof, which State regulation requires be provided to the parents at no cost (see 8 NYCRR 200.5[j]; see also 8 NYCRR 200.5[j][vi]). Further, each party should have been served with all pleadings and copied on all correspondence and/or additional evidence pertaining to the appeal of the impartial hearing officer's decision before a State Review Officer (see 8 NYCRR 279.4[c], [g]; 279.5[e]; 279.6[c]). Each party or party's counsel should have received a copy of the issued State Review Officer's decision (see 8 NCYRR 279.12[b]).
Prompt written requests to the Office of State Review for administrative hearing records, as well as communication by parties about any impending action by the court which may require the administrative hearing record is appreciated and allows Office of State Review staff to prioritize tasks and accommodate the needs of all stakeholders as best as possible.