(b) Requirements. The procedures must meet the following requirements:
The procedures must ensure that the mediation process—
Is voluntary on the part of the parties;
Is not used to deny or delay a parent’s right to a due process hearing, or to deny any other rights afforded under part C of the Act; and
Is conducted by a qualified and impartial mediator who is trained in effective mediation techniques.
The State must maintain a list of individuals who are qualified mediators and knowledgeable in laws and regulations relating to the provision of early intervention services.
The lead agency must select mediators on a random, rotational, or other impartial basis.
The State must bear the cost of the mediation process, including the costs of meetings described in paragraph (d) of this section.
Each session in the mediation process must be scheduled in a timely manner and must be held in a location that is convenient to the parties to the dispute.
If the parties resolve a dispute through the mediation process, the parties must execute a legally binding agreement that sets forth that resolution and that—
States that all discussions that occurred during the mediation process will remain confidential and may not be used as evidence in any subsequent due process hearing or civil proceeding; and
Is signed by both the parent and a representative of the lead agency who has the authority to bind such agency.
A written, signed mediation agreement under this paragraph is enforceable in any State court of competent jurisdiction or in a district court of the United States.
Discussions that occur during the mediation process must be confidential and may not be used as evidence in any subsequent due process hearing or civil proceeding of any Federal court or State court of a State receiving assistance under this part.
Last modified on May 2, 2017