IN THE PENNSYLVANIA OFFICE FOR DISPUTE RESOLUTION
Final Decision and Order
ODR File No. 2866-1112AS
Child’s Name: Z.R.2
Date of Birth: [redacted]
Hearing Dates: N/A
Parties to the Hearing: Parent
Chester County Intermediate Unit 455 Boot Road
Downingtown, PA 19335
Thomas Bowman, Esquire 1156 Easton Road Abington, PA 19001
Andrew E. Faust, Esquire
Sweet, Stevens, Katz and Williams, LLP 331 East Butler Avenue
New Britain, PA 19901
Record Closed: February 6, 2012
Date of Decision: February 6, 2012
Hearing Officer: Brian Jason Ford
The instant matter is a special education administrative due process hearing requested by the Parents against Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU) pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq.
Before me is CCIU’s Motion to Dismiss and Sufficiency Challenge. In its Motion to Dismiss, CCIU argues that it is an improper party in an IDEA hearing and that the Parents seek relief that the Hearing Officer does not have authority to grant. In its Sufficiency Challenge, CCIU argues that the Parents’ Complaint fails to meet the IDEA’s pleading requirements.
For reasons discussed below, this Hearing Officer determines that CCIU is an improper party to this hearing and dismisses this case without prejudice on that basis. Nothing in this decision is intended to prevent the Parents from requesting a due process hearing against a proper party.
It is somewhat unusual for a hearing officer to dismiss a hearing outright on a pre- hearing motion (as opposed to giving the complainant leave to cure any procedural defect by way of an amended complaint). Such dismissals are even more unusual when the complainants are pro se parents. In recognition of this, this Hearing Officer believes it is appropriate to provide a comprehensive history of this matter and a full explanation of this decision.
ODR and BSE
Understanding the procedural context of this matter requires some knowledge of the different responsibilities of the Office for Dispute Resolution (ODR) and the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education (BSE). ODR administers the special education due process system, as described at 20 U.S.C.
§ 1415(f).3 ODR has no jurisdictional authority to enforce due process decisions. Enforcement authority lies with BSE.4Z-R-Chester-County-Intermediate-Unit-ODRNo-2866-1112AS