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Special Education Due Process Document Drafting

There are several types of documents an attorney may file on behalf of their client during the course of a special education due process case, such as:

  • Due process complaint notice

  • Response to due process complaint notice

  • Motions and responses to motions

  • Settlement agreement

  • Subpoenas

  • Prehearing conference statement

  • Closing argument

  • Notice of withdrawal

Due process complaint notice

A due process hearing is the formal procedure used to decide disagreements between a parent and a school district. Both parents and school districts have the right to file for due process. 

To begin a due process case, a party, either the parent or the school district, will file a complaint with the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). 

The complaint must include information such as


  • Student's name

  • Student's school and school district

  • Parent's name and address

  • Parent's contact information 

  • Problem

  • Proposed resolution of the problem

Response to complaint

If a parent's attorney files a complaint, the school district must file a written response within 10 days. The school district's response is the school district's view of the important facts and issues.

If the school district files the complaint, the parent's attorney should file a written response within 10 days of receiving the complaint. 


During the course of representing you and your child with special needs, your attorney may file one or more motions. And your attorney may respond to a motion.

Common motions filed in special education due process cases include:

  • Motion for continuance

  • Motion for stay put

  • Motion to dismiss

  • Motion to amend the due process hearing request

  • Motion to consolidate cases

  • Motion to challenge the judge assigned to the hearing

Settlement agreement

If the parent and the school district reach settlement regarding the problem, a settlement agreement will be drafted. The settlement agreement will include, among other information, the agreed upon resolution to the issues included in the complaint. 


A subpoena is a written order to compel a witness to testify or that a person will produce documentary for the hearing.  Your attorney may need to issue one or more subpoenas for the hearing.

Prehearing conference statement

A preheating conference statement tells the judge and the school district information about the hearing. The preheating conference statement may include:

  • An estimate of the number of days for the hearing

  • A description of the remaining issues

  • A list of witnesses and what they will testify about

  • A list of the documentary evidence

  • Whether an interpreter will be necessary

Closing argument

Parents and school districts often agree to submit written closing arguments. A closing argument is a summary of the evidence presented at hearing as applied to the issues in the case and relevant law. It should tell the judge why he or she should agree with the parent and what the judge should do about each issue. 

Notice of withdrawal

If your case settles, it may be necessary for your attorney to file a notice of withdrawal of the case. 

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