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Procedural Safeguards. Ex Parte Communications   

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(a) Notwithstanding Government Code sections 11425.10(a)(8), 11430.20, and 11430.30 of the APA, while special education due process hearing proceedings are pending, there shall be no communication, direct or indirect, regarding any issue in the proceeding, to a hearing officer from an employee or representative of a party or from an interested person unless the communication is made on the record at the hearing.

(b) A proceeding is pending from the date of receipt by the California agency or nonprofit organization or entity that is responsible for conducting due process hearings of the request for hearing.

(c) If a hearing officer receives a communication in violation of this section, the hearing officer shall disclose the content of the communication on the record and give the parties an opportunity to address the matter if so requested within 10 days of receipt of notification of the communication.

(1) The hearing officer has discretion to allow the party to present evidence concerning the subject of the communication.

(2) The hearing officer has discretion to reopen a hearing that has been concluded.

(d) If a hearing officer receives a communication in violation of this section, the hearing officer shall make all of the following a part of the record in the proceeding:

(1) If the communication is written, the writing and any written response of the hearing officer.

(2) If the communication is oral, a memorandum stating the substance of the communication, any response made by the hearing officer, and the identity of each person from whom the hearing officer received the communication.

(e) The hearing officer shall notify all parties that the communication has been made a part of the record.

(f) Receipt by the hearing officer of a communication in violation of this section may be grounds for disqualification of the hearing officer. If the hearing officer is disqualified, the portion of the record pertaining to the ex parte communication may be sealed by order of the disqualified hearing officer.

Authority cited:

Education Code 56100

Reference:

Education Code 56500

Education Code 56501

Education Code 56502

Education Code 56503

Education Code 56504

Education Code 56505

Education Code 56506

Education Code 56507

Government Code 11425.10

Government Code 11430.10-11430.30

Government Code 11430.50

Government Code 11430.60

20 U.S.C. 1415(b)(2)(c)

34 C.F.R. 300.507

34 C.F.R. 300.508

34 C.F.R. 300.509

34 C.F.R. 300.510

34 C.F.R. 300.511

34 C.F.R. 300.512

(Amended by Register 2014, No. 19.)