Federal and state law provide for impartial due process hearings at which parents can either challenge a DOE decision relating to the adequacy of the special education services offered to their child or seek tuition reimbursement for the costs of a private education that provides their child with necessary services.
OATH is the City’s central administrative law court where all City agencies, boards and commissions file their administrative law or civil cases for hearings or trials. OATH was the first, and remains one of the only, centralized municipal administrative law courts in the nation, making it independent from the agencies that file cases with it. Its primary mission is to adjudicate the City’s administrative law matters fairly and timely. Assigning special education hearings to OATH which will have 40 or more full-time, State Certified, Special Education Hearing Officers hearing these cases will provide for a more orderly, efficient, and accessible process for decisions on these important issues.
On December 1, 2021, the State’s Education Department (SED) and City’s Department of Education (DOE) and the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOA) transferring these cases from the City’s DOE Impartial Hearing Office to the City’s independent administrative law court, OATH.
The MOA establishes a timeline for fully transferring these cases to OATH from the City’s Department of Education (DOE), which has traditionally operated the NYC Impartial Hearing Office using contracted Hearing Officers who are certified by the State Education Department (SED). OATH will be receiving new case filings and already assigned cases will remain with their respective, appointed Hearing Officers.
These hearings are conducted by Special Education Hearing Officers employed by OATH. They are authorized to conduct impartial due process hearings at which parents, pursuant to federal and state law, can challenge decisions made by the New York City Department of Education related to special education and seek relief in connection with the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of their children, or the provision of a free and appropriate public education to their children. The mission of OATH’s Special Education Hearings Division is to provide fair and neutral administrative proceedings, which protect the due process rights of all litigants.
OATH's Special Education Hearing Officers are managerial employees of OATH and are appointed to four-year terms by OATH's Commissioner and Chief Administrative Law Judge. The four-year appointment of the OATH Special Education Hearing Officers ensures independence and impartiality in the decision-making process. Further, each OATH Special Education Hearing Officer is an experienced attorney who has satisfactorily completed State-mandated training and has been certified to conduct impartial due process hearings. Each OATH Special Education Hearing Officer has sole authority to issue orders and make decisions on the cases before them, and must comply with the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the New York State Education Law, and the regulations of the state Commissioner of Education. An OATH Special Education Hearing Officer's decision is binding upon both parties unless appealed to the New York State Education Department's Office of State Review or the courts.
Special Education Hearings Division
Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings
66 John Street, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10038
Phone: (212) 436-0821
Notice of Appearance:
Please be sure to download and save the form before filling it out so that all signature boxes and functions on the form appears. Once you have filled in the form you should email it to your Impartial Hearing Officer. Be sure to copy the other party on your email.
Please be sure to download and save the form before filling it out so that all signature boxes and functions on the form appears. Once you have filled in the form you should email or mail the subpoena to the Impartial Hearing Officer (IHO) assigned to your case and to the representative or attorney on the other side of the case. The IHO will review the subpoena, find out if there are any objections from the other side, and decide whether to approve, deny, or change your subpoena. If the IHO approves your subpoena, the IHO will send you back a signed copy.
Cases Already Filed: Visit the DOE’s Impartial Hearings Office
OATH SEHD Public Information Session
Thursday, June 9, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.
This event has already occurred. To request a recording of the event, please send OATH an email using the email address found on this link here.