Special Education Court Cases and How to Prepare for Them

When you have Special Education Court Cases pending, Attorney Brian R. Sciacca can help you prepare. Reach out to us for guidance and to discuss your options.

What Are Special Education Court Cases?

Special education laws govern how to handle education for disabled learners and their families. For example, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), previously called the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, is a federal law that protects the rights of students with disabilities and their families. Different cases led to the development of special education laws to ensure that individuals with disabilities would receive a free appropriate public education instead of paying for expensive private special education services.

To a large extent, the act regulates how states and agencies can offer early intervention, special education, and related programs for children with disabilities. If the rights of anyone covered by these acts are infringed upon, they can take legal action to seek redress.

Special education aims to give students opportunities to grow academically and in other ways that help them become independent and foster their integration into society.

Students with impairments and special needs typically require individualized and systematic approaches to public education to ensure they get educational benefits owed to them by the school system.

What Procedure Must Be Followed Before a Special Education Case Goes to Court


Disputes between you and the school over special education rights can sometimes be impossible to resolve, so you need a new approach to settle the issue.

IDEA provides you with a formal and straightforward way to resolve disputes with the school district. The procedure is called a due process hearing. Without a quick resolution to the issue, the process may take a long time. To help you decide what is best for you, you must understand the Act and the special education due process complaint procedure.

Due Process Complaints

Upon filing a written complaint against the school, due process is initiated. After filing the complaint, you and the school hold a meeting called a resolution session to discuss the issue and attempt to come to an understanding. If you and the school district decide to try mediation, you can waive the meeting in writing.

In the event that a settlement agreement cannot be reached, a due process hearing is held. In a way, this hearing is like a trial in court. As a judge would, a hearing officer listens to evidence and witnesses, then makes a decision on the matter. The hearing officer’s decision can be challenged in court by either party.


Format for a due Process Complaint

The formal written complaint should be accompanied by a signed statement showing that IDEA violations of have occurred at the school. Due process complaints must include the following information:

  • Name of your child
  • Your child’s location
  • Where your child goes to school
  • A detailed description of the conflict between you and the school

The complaint should be filed with both the school and the State Department of Education. It is crucial that you write the complaint carefully. Any information that is not included in your complaint will not be considered during the resolution session or the due process hearing. If you need assistance filing the complaint, get in touch with a seasoned special education lawyer.

IDEA Due Process Complaint Deadlines


For each step of the legal process, IDEA sets a deadline:

  • Due process complaints must be filed within two years of discovering the school’s activity.

  • Within 15 days of receiving your due process complaint, the school must arrange a resolution session with you. There must be an attempt to establish a resolution agreement within 30 days.

  • Following the failure of a resolution agreement, the state department of education must hold a hearing and issue a decision in accordance with due process within 45 days.

  • After receiving a due process determination, you have 90 days to file your lawsuit in either state or federal court.

A lawyer can guide you through the process and ensure your children get the justice they deserve. You may be able to get the school to pay the attorney’s fees if you win your case. Contact Brian R. Sciacca, Attorney at Law, to learn more about the possibilities.

What the Disabilities Education Act Says About Disputes – Should Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods Be Followed First?


IDEA allows parents of special needs children to use mediation to settle disputes about their child’s education. Dispute resolution is frequently used in place of due process hearings and is considered to be a good alternative. Parties are allowed to be represented by an attorney during mediation in California or be accompanied by someone with special knowledge or training about children with disabilities.


How an Attorney Can Help the Client Deal With Special Education Cases

An attorney can be a huge help in getting your child the special education benefits they need. Here are some of the ways an attorney, Brian R. Sciacca, can help you.

  • Help you negotiate with school officials
  • Represent you in all meetings and proceedings, including filing grievances and attending due process hearings
  • Ensure that your child’s rights are protected throughout the IEP process
  • Attend 504 or IEP meetings
  • Ensure your child receives the extra assistance they need by reviewing their individual education plan (IEP) or Section 504 plan at school
  • Help you understand your rights as a parent and how to approach the school on your child’s behalf
  • Provide contact information for professionals, service providers, evaluators, and educational institutions, if necessary

Can Any Attorney Help With These Cases?


Any lawyer can handle special education cases. It may, however, be more beneficial to hire a lawyer who has experience with special education rights. This will give your child with disabilities the least restrictive environment possible.


Help Yourself Fight for Appropriate Special Education by Hiring a Lawyer


When your special education rights are violated, you can look for a professional lawyer who focuses on special education law. A special education lawyer grasps the complexity of special education law and how it affects the education system. The lawyer can act as your advocate if you disagree with the school over your child’s special education services.

Contact us today to get information about your children’s compensatory education rights and related services.