303.443 Impartial due process hearing.
(a) General. Whenever a due process complaint is received consistent with §303.440, the parents or the EIS provider involved in the dispute must have an opportunity for an impartial due process hearing, consistent with the procedures in §§303.440 through 303.442.
(b) Agency responsible for conducting the due process hearing. The hearing described in paragraph (a) of this section must be conducted by the lead agency directly responsible for the early intervention services of the infant or toddler, as determined under State statute, State regulation, or a written policy of the lead agency.
(c) Impartial hearing officer.
(1) At a minimum, a hearing officer—
(i) Must not be—
(A) An employee of the lead agency or the EIS provider that is involved in the early intervention services or care of the infant or toddler; or
(B) A person having a personal or professional interest that conflicts with the person’s objectivity in the hearing;
(ii) Must possess knowledge of, and the ability to understand, the provisions of the Act, Federal and State regulations pertaining to the Act, and legal interpretations of the Act by Federal and State courts;
(iii) Must possess the knowledge and ability to conduct hearings in accordance with appropriate, standard legal practice; and
(iv) Must possess the knowledge and ability to render and write decisions in accordance with appropriate, standard legal practice.
(2) A person who otherwise qualifies to conduct a hearing under paragraph (c)(1) of this section is not an employee of the agency solely because he or she is paid by the agency to serve as a hearing officer.
(3) Each lead agency must keep a list of the persons who serve as hearing officers. The list must include a statement of the qualifications of each of those persons.
(d) Subject matter of due process hearings. The party requesting the due process hearing may not raise issues at the due process hearing that were not raised in the due process complaint filed under §303.441(b), unless the other party agrees otherwise.
(e) Timeline for requesting a hearing. A parent, lead agency, or EIS provider must request an impartial hearing on their due process complaint within two years of the date the parent, lead agency, or EIS provider knew or should have known about the alleged action that forms the basis of the due process complaint, or if the State has an explicit time limitation for requesting such a due process hearing under this part, in the time allowed by that State law.
(f) Exceptions to the timeline. The timeline described in paragraph (e) of this section does not apply to a parent if the parent was prevented from filing a due process complaint due to—
(1) Specific misrepresentations by the lead agency or EIS provider that it had resolved the problem forming the basis of the due process complaint; or
(2) The lead agency’s or EIS provider’s failure to provide the parent information that was required under this part to be provided to the parent.
(Approved by Office of Management and Budget under control number 1820-NEW)