POLICY LETTER: February 12, 2010 to Alabama attorney James Irby MS WordMS WORD
POLICY LETTER: February 12, 2010 to Alabama attorney James Irby PDFPDF
POLICY LETTER: February 12, 2010 to Alabama attorney James Irby MS Word
February 12, 2010James Irby, Esq.The Law Firm of James Irby, P.C.120 East Tennessee Street Florence, Alabama 35630Dear Mr. Irby:This letter is in response to your June 19, 2009 letter to Patricia Guard, former Acting Director of the Office of Special Education Programs. You requested guidance regarding parent participation in resolution meetings conducted under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) consistent with 34 CFR 300.510. You ask whether it is consistent with 34 CFR 300.510(a)(1) for the parent's attorney to instruct the parent to attend the resolution meeting, but not to agree to anything or to sign anything. In such scenarios, you ask whether the local educational agency (LEA) has a right to resolve the matter without protracted and expensive litigation and is denied their right to resolve the dispute by the attorney's instructions. You ask whether a hearing officer, may dismiss, with prejudice, a due process hearing complaint based on the parent's refusal to agree to the resolution that the LEA has proposed at the meeting and whether the public agency has a right to seek dismissal under this situation. We interpret your questions as seeking guidance in situations where the parent participates in the resolution meeting, but the attorney insists on proceeding to a due process hearing to resolve the matter.We believe that the purpose of the resolution meeting is for the parent to discuss the due process complaint and the facts that form the basis of the complaint so that the LEA has an opportunity to better understand, and possibly resolve, the dispute without either side expending additional time and resources in a due process hearing. While 34 CFR 300.510 requires that the parent participate in the resolution meeting, nothing in the IDEA or its implementing regulations requires that the parent agree to a specific resolution proposed by the LEA or agree to a resolution during the resolution meeting. The regulations also contemplate that the parties may wish to use mediation instead of, or after, the resolution meeting. 34 CFR 300.510(c).The IDEA and its implementing regulations do contain provisions that may reduce or shift attorney's fees where the parent or attorney unreasonablySincerely,/s/Alexa Posny, Ph.D. Acting DirectorOffice of Special Education ProgramsPage PAGE 2 James Irby, Esq.
TOPIC ADDRESSED: Impartial Due Process Hearing
SECTION OF IDEA: Part B—Assistance for Education of All Children with Disabilities; Section 615—Procedural Safeguards
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Last modified on January 9, 2019