What Exactly is a Due Process and a Mediation with Respect to Children with Special Needs?

Parents of children with special needs in the public schools are often told that they have a right to due process. They don’t often know what that actually means. Due process is actually a legal action that you would be filing with the State Department of Education, and it gets referred to a judge and an actual trial if it goes that far. To begin the process, you would file for your state application, they would transfer it over, and one of the first questions they ask is do you want to have a mediation.

Mediation means the state will provide a professional mediator who will meet with the parties and try to resolve the case without actually going through a trial. Mediation is voluntary. You don’t have to go and neither does the district have to go. You can’t force the mediation. If both parties agree, they will send a professional to try to help you resolve the case. If the case is not resolved, it goes back to due process and you will end up with a judge.

The law firm of Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller, P.C., is composed of experienced education attorneys throughout the states of New Jersey and Delaware. Please contact the office for a free initial consultation and get any questions answered regarding your specific case.