§8-60-60 - Mediation.

§8-60-60 Mediation. (a) General. The department shall offer mediation to allow parties to disputes involving any matter, including matters arising prior to the filing of a due process complaint, to resolve disputes through a mediation process.

(b) Requirements. The department shall ensure the mediation process:

(1) Is voluntary on the part of the parties;

(2) Is not used to deny or delay a parent's right to a hearing on the parent's due process complaint, or to deny any other rights afforded under Part B of the Act; and

(3) Is conducted by a qualified and impartial mediator who is trained in effective mediation techniques, and

(4) The State shall bear the cost of the mediation process, including the costs of meetings

(5) Each session in the mediation process shall be scheduled in a timely manner and shall be held in a location that is convenient to the parties to the dispute.

(6) If the parties resolve a dispute through the mediation process, the parties shall execute a legally binding agreement that sets forth that resolution and that:

(A) States that all discussions that occurred during the mediation process will remain confidential and may not be used as evidence in any subsequent due process hearing or civil proceeding; and

(B) Is signed by both the parent and a representative of the department who has the authority to bind the department.

(7) A written, signed mediation agreement under this paragraph is enforceable in any State court of competent jurisdiction or in a district court of the United States.

(8) Discussions that occur during the mediation process shall be confidential and may not be used as evidence in any subsequent due process hearing or civil proceeding of any Federal court or State court of a State receiving assistance.

(c) Impartiality of mediator. (1) An individual who serves as a mediator under this chapter:

(A) May not be an employee of the department that is involved in the education or care of the student; and

(B) Shall not have a personal or professional interest that conflicts with the person's objectivity.

(2) A person who otherwise qualifies as a mediator is not an employee of the department solely because he or she is paid by the department to serve as a mediator.

[Eff 11/23/09] (Auth: 20 U.S.C. 1415(e), HRS §302A-1112) (Imp: 34 C.F.R. §300.506)

 

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