(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, prior to the opportunity for an impartial due process hearing under this chapter, the local educational agency shall convene a resolution meeting with the parents and the relevant member or members of the individualized education program team who have specific knowledge of the facts identified in the due process hearing request, in accordance with Section 1415(f)(1)(B) of Title 20 of the United States Code and Section 300.510 of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The parent and the local educational agency shall determine the relevant members of the individualized education program team to attend the meeting.
(1) The meeting shall be convened within 15 days of receiving notice of the due process hearing request of the parent.
(2) The meeting shall include a representative of the local educational agency who has decisionmaking authority on behalf of the agency.
(3) The meeting shall not include an attorney of the local educational agency, unless the parent is accompanied by an attorney.
(4) The purpose of the meeting is for the parent of the child to discuss the due process hearing issue, and the facts that form the basis of the due process hearing request, so that the local educational agency has the opportunity to resolve the dispute that is the basis for the due process hearing request.
(b) The resolution meeting described in subdivision (a) need not be held if the parents and the local educational agency agree in writing to waive the meeting, or agree to use the mediation process as provided for in this chapter.
(c) If the local educational agency has not resolved the due process hearing issue to the satisfaction of the parents within 30 days of the receipt of the due process hearing request notice, the due process hearing may occur. Except as provided in subdivision (d), the timeline for issuing a final decision under paragraph (3) of subdivision (f) of Section 56505 begins at the expiration of this 30-day period.
(d) The 45-day timeline for the due process hearing cited in paragraph (3) of subdivision (f) of Section 56505 starts the day after one of the following events, provided the local educational agency also affords notice of these events to the agency or contractor providing due process hearings pursuant to Section 56504.5:
(1) Both parties agree in writing to waive the resolution meeting.
(2) After either the mediation or resolution meeting starts but before the end of the 30-day resolution period, the parties agree in writing that no agreement is possible.
(3) If both parties agree in writing to continue a mediation that started before the end of the 30-day resolution period to a date after the 30-day resolution period, but later, the parent or local educational agency withdraws from the mediation process.
(e) Except where the parties have jointly agreed to waive the resolution process or to use mediation, notwithstanding subdivision (c), the failure of the parent filing a due process hearing request to participate in the resolution meeting will delay the timelines for the resolution process and due process hearing until the meeting is held.
(1) If the local educational agency is unable to obtain the participation of the parent in the resolution meeting after reasonable efforts have been made and documented using the procedures in Section 300.322(d) of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations, such as detailed records of telephone calls made or attempted and the results of those calls, copies of correspondence sent to the parent and any responses received, and detailed records of visits made to the home or place of employment of the parent, the local educational agency may, at the conclusion of the 30-day period, request that a hearing officer dismiss the due process hearing request of the parent.
(2) If the local educational agency fails to hold the resolution meeting specified in subdivision (a) within 15 days of receiving notice of a due process hearing request of a parent or fails to participate in the resolution meeting, the parent may seek the intervention of a hearing officer to begin the due process hearing timeline.
(f) In the case that a resolution is reached to resolve the due process hearing issue at a meeting described in subdivision (a), the parties shall execute a legally binding agreement that is both of the following:
(1) Signed by both the parent and a representative of the local educational agency who has the authority to bind the agency.
(2) Enforceable in a state court of competent jurisdiction or in a federal district court of the United States.
(g) If the parties execute an agreement pursuant to subdivision (d), a party may void the agreement within three business days of the execution of the agreement.
(Amended by Stats. 2007, Ch. 454, Sec. 30.)