34 CFR 110.39 - Exhaustion of administrative remedies.
(a) A complainant may file a civil action following the exhaustion of administrative remedies under the Act. Administrative remedies are exhausted if -
(1) One hundred eighty days have elapsed since the complainant filed the complaint with ED, and ED has made no finding with regard to the complaint; or
(2) ED issues any finding in favor of the recipient.
(b) If ED fails to make a finding within 180 days or issues a finding in favor of the recipient, ED promptly -
(1) Advises the complainant of this fact;
(2) Advises the complainant of his or her right to bring a civil action for injunctive relief; and
(3) Informs the complainant -
(ii) That a complainant prevailing in a civil action has the right to be awarded the costs of the action, including reasonable attorney's fees, but that these costs must be demanded in the complaint filed with the court;
(iii) That before commencing the action, the complainant shall give 30 days notice by registered mail to the Secretary, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Attorney General of the United States, and the recipient;
(iv) That the notice shall state the alleged violation of the Act, the relief requested, the court in which the action will be brought, and whether or not attorney's fees are demanded in the event the complainant prevails; and