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Dispute Resolution Process


RULE 12 CCR 2509-10

 

7.990  DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCESS

 

A.  A Community Centered Board shall have dispute policies and procedures, in accordance with 34 C.F.R. Sections 303.430 - 303.434 and 303.435 - 303.438, which are incorporated by reference as defined in Section 7.900, A, 5, to ensure that parents and service providers are informed of the process for resolution of disputes. These policies and procedures shall include:

1.  A process for local level informal resolution of complaints; and,

2.  Formal dispute resolution processes as defined within Section 7.913, C, and Sections 7.991-7.994.

B.  A parent of a child who is referred for services shall have the right to access mediation, state complaint procedures and/or a due process hearing at no cost for the resolution of an individual dispute regarding identification, eligibility determination, early intervention service setting, or the provision of appropriate early intervention services for the child and the child's family.

C.  Families shall have access to mediation and due process procedures for the resolution of a dispute. The Department shall ensure:

1.  The availability of a mediator and hearing officer; and,

2.  A mediator and hearing officer is impartial and knowledgeable of the federal and state laws pertinent to early intervention services; and,

3.  There is no cost to the parties involved in the mediation or due process hearing.

D.  If the dispute involves an application for initial early intervention services, the child shall receive those services that are not in dispute.

E.  During the pendency of any proceeding involving a complaint under this section of these rules, unless the public agency and parent of a child otherwise agree, the child shall continue to receive the appropriate early intervention services currently being provided.

7.991  MEDIATION

A.  A statewide mediation system shall be available to ensure that:

1.  Any individual may voluntarily access a non-adversarial process for the resolution of disputes at no cost to the parties involved in the mediation; and,

2.  It shall not be used to deny or delay a parent the right to a due process hearing, or to deny any other rights, in accordance with 20 U.S.C. 1439, which is incorporated by reference as defined in Section 7.900, A, 4; and,

3.  It shall be scheduled and held in a location that is convenient to the parties involved in the mediation.

B.  A request for mediation by a parent or an early intervention services provider shall be submitted to the Department using either the state form or another signed written request.

C.  A mediation agreement reached by the parties to the dispute in the mediation process shall be set forth in a legally binding written mediation agreement that sets forth that resolution and that:

1.  States that all discussions that occurred during the mediation process shall remain confidential and shall not be used as evidence in any subsequent due process hearing or civil proceeding; and,

2.  Is signed by a parent and a representative of the agency who has the authority to bind such agency.

D.  A written, signed mediation agreement shall be enforceable in any state court of competent jurisdiction or in a district court of the United States.

7.992  STATE COMPLAINT PROCEDURES

A.  A Community Centered Board shall ensure that state procedures for filing a complaint are widely disseminated to parents and other interested individuals within its designated service area, including parent training centers, protection and advocacy agencies and other appropriate entities.

B.  In resolving a complaint in which there is a finding of a failure to provide appropriate early intervention services to an eligible child, the following shall be addressed:

1.  The remediation of the denial of an Early Intervention Service, including, as appropriate, the awarding of monetary reimbursement or other corrective action appropriate to the needs of the child and the child's family; and,

2.  The provision of appropriate future early intervention services for all eligible infants and toddlers and their families.

C.  An organization or individual may file a written signed complaint using the state form or in another written format that includes the following information:

1.  A statement of the alleged violation of rules or statutes; and,

2.  The facts on which the complaint is based; and,

3.  The signature and contact information for the complainant and, if alleging violations with respect to a specific child, the name and address of the residence of the child; and,

4.  The name of the provider serving the child; and,

5.  A description of the nature of the problem regarding the child, including facts relating to the problem; and,

6.  A proposed resolution of the problem to the extent known.

D.  An alleged violation shall have occurred not more than one (1) year before the date that the complaint is received by the Department.

E.  The party filing the complaint shall forward a copy of the complaint to the public agency or provider serving the child at the same time the party files the complaint with the Department.

F.  A complaint shall be reviewed within sixty (60) calendar days after a complaint is filed under this process in order to:

1.  Carry out an independent on-site investigation, if the Department determines that such an investigation is necessary; and,

2.  Provide the complainant with the opportunity to submit additional information, either orally or in writing, about the allegation(s) included in the complaint; and,

3.  Provide the public agency or provider with an opportunity to respond to the complaint, including a proposal to resolve the complaint; and,

4.  Provide an opportunity for the parent who has filed a complaint and for the agency or provider to voluntarily engage in mediation; and,

5.  Review all relevant information and make an independent determination as to whether the agency is violating a requirement under Sections 7.900-7.994; and,

6.  Issue a written decision to the complainant within sixty (60) calendar days that addresses each allegation within the compliant and contains the following:

a.  Findings of fact and conclusions; and,

b.  Reasons for the final decision made by the Department.

G.  An extension of the sixty (60) calendar day time limit may be granted if determined necessary by the Department.

H.  The following activities may be imposed by the Department on a Community Centered Board or a Certified Early Intervention Service Broker:

1.  Technical assistance activities; and,

2.  Negotiations; and,

3.  Corrective actions to achieve compliance.

I.  If a written complaint is received that is also the subject of a due process hearing, or contains multiple issues, of which one or more are part of that hearing, the following shall apply:

1.  Any part of the complaint that is being addressed in the due process hearing procedures as defined in Section 7.933 may be set aside until the conclusion of the hearing; or,

2.  Any issue of the complaint that is not a part of the due process hearing procedures may be resolved within sixty (60) calendar days using the complaint procedures described in Section 7.992; or,

3.  The complaint alleging that a public agency or private service provider failed to implement a due process decision may be resolved.

7.993  DUE PROCESS PROCEDURES

A.  A due process hearing officer shall be appointed to implement the due process procedures described in this Section or the rules, and shall:

1.  Have knowledge about the provision of early intervention services in accordance with Sections 7.900-7.994; and,

2.  Listen to the presentation of relevant viewpoints about a complaint, examine all information relevant to the issues and seek to reach a timely resolution of the due process complaint; and,

3.  Provide a record of the proceedings, including a written decision.

B.  In the context of Section 7.993, "impartial", under this section of the rules, means that a person appointed to implement a complaint resolution process:

1.  Is not an employee of any agency or other entity involved in the provision of early intervention services or care of the child; and,

2.  Does not have a personal or professional interest that would conflict with his or her objectivity in implementing the process; and,

3.  Is not an employee of an agency solely because the person is paid by the agency to implement the due process proceeding.

C.  Any parent of a child referred for services under Sections 7.900-7.994 may submit a written request for a due process proceeding to the Department using the State form or another signed written request, and has the right to:

1.  Be accompanied and advised by counsel and by individuals with special knowledge or training with respect to early intervention services, at the parent's expense; and,

2.  Present evidence and confront, cross-examine, and compel the attendance of witnesses that are either employed by or under contract with the Certified Early Intervention Service Broker; and,

3.  Prohibit the introduction of any evidence at the proceeding that has not been disclosed to a parent at least five (5) calendar days before the proceeding; and,

4.  Obtain a written or electronic verbatim transcription of the proceeding; and,

5.  Receive written findings of fact and decisions at no cost to the parent.

D.  Any proceeding for implementing the due process hearing shall be carried out at a time and place that is reasonably convenient to the parent.

E.  No later than thirty (30) calendar days after receipt of a parent's written complaint, the proceeding shall be completed and a written decision mailed to each of the parties.

7.994  CIVIL ACTION

Any party aggrieved by a finding and decision regarding a due process complaint has the right to bring a civil action in state or federal court.

 

Other Dispute Resolution Process Documents

"Formal Dispute Resolution Request Form"

"A Step-by-Step Process for Explaining Procedural Safeguards to Families"

"Family Rights: Notice of Family Rights and Procedural Safeguards in the Early Intervention Colorado System"

"General Supervision and Monitoring Procedures" (Appendix C)



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