Special Education Due Process Hearings

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) to provide a due process hearing system to resolve disputes between parents of children with disabilities and school districts.

  • A due process hearing is requested by first filing a due process complaint, in writing, with MDE. 
  • A due process complaint may be filed when a parent and a school do not agree about the identification, evaluation, educational placement, or provision of a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to a child with a disability. 34 C.F.R. 300.507. An expedited due process hearing may be requested when there is disagreement with certain decisions regarding discipline matters. 34 C.F.R. 300.532.
  • A parent or district must request a hearing on their due process complaint within two years of the date the party knew or should have known about the matter that is the subject of the complaint, unless certain exceptions apply. 34 C.F.R. 300.511(e).
  • The party filing a due process complaint must provide the complaint to the other party and to MDE. 34 C.F.R. 300.508. MDE will forward the complaint to the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), where an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) may conduct the hearing.

Parents and districts are encouraged to use facilitated team meetings, mediation, conciliation, or another mutually agreed-upon alternative process to resolve disputes before proceeding to hearing.

  •  - 5/2/19
    A list of qualified administrative hearing officers used by MDE for due process hearings.
  • Free or Low-Cost Legal Resources or Other Relevant Services - 10/5/16
    A resource for parents seeking free or low-cost legal or other advocacy services.
  • Due Process Complaint and Request For Hearing Form - 10/5/16
    Model form for requesting a special education due process hearing.
  • Procedural Safeguards Notice: Part B - 8/12/14
    Provides an overview of parental rights for parents of children with disabilities ages 3 through 21 under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
  • Procedural Safeguards Notice: Part C - Infant and Toddler Early Intervention, Ages Birth-2 - 5/9/12
    Provides an overview of parental rights for parents of children with disabilities from birth through age 2.