“Mediation Only” is a voluntary dispute resolution process where a neutral mediator assists you and the District in discussing and attempting to resolve your disagreement. The mediators are not employees of the District and do not have any personal interest in the disagreement. The mediators are selected on an impartial basis by the State and know the laws and regulations relating to the provision of special education and related services. The Mediation Only process includes a mediation conference attended by you, the assigned mediator, and a District representative who has decision-making authority. Lawyers or advocates, for the student/ parent or for the District, are not permitted to participate in Mediation Only.
How do I file for a "Mediation Only" conference?
The Office of Administrative Hearings (“OAH”) is the State agency who administers the Mediation Only process. To request Mediation Only, you must complete a “Mediation Only Request Form” and mail or fax it to both addresses below:
Office of Administrative Hearings
Attention: Special Education Division
2349 Gateway Oaks Drive, Suite 200
Sacramento, CA 95833
Phone: (916) 263-0880
Fax: (916) 376-6319
Due Process Department
Division of Special Education
Los Angeles Unified School District
333 South Beaudry Avenue, 17th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017
FAX: (213) 241-8917
You can obtain a copy of the Mediation Only Request Form online at www.dgs.ca.gov/oah . If you require assistance or have questions, or do not have access to the internet, you may request assistance from a school administrator.
What happens after filing?
After receiving your request for Mediation Only, OAH will schedule a mediation conference. At a mediation conference, the mediator will help you and the District understand each other’s point of view. The mediator may also offer options for you and the District to consider. What is said at a mediation conference is confidential and cannot be used in any due process hearing or civil proceeding. If you and the District reach an agreement, the terms will be documented in writing and the agreement will be signed by both you and the District representative. Once the settlement agreement is signed, it is enforceable under State and Federal law.
Requesting Mediation Only does not preclude you from subsequently requesting a due process hearing. If the Mediation Only process does not resolve the disagreement, either you or the District may initiate due process proceedings.