Innisfree Obtains the “Smoking Gun” Showing OSEPP’s Non-Compliance with the 45-Day Rule
It is common knowledge among attorneys and advocates who routinely appear in the OAL in special education cases that OSEPP is grossly out of compliant with federal and state law, which requires resolution of due process petitions within 45 days of filing. 34 C.F.R. 300.515(a); N.J.A.C. 6A:14-2.7(j). OAL documentation, recently obtained by Innisfree through OPRA requests, both documents and proves what we have known all along, using the OAL’s own records regarding the calculation of the timelines.
Analysis of this documentation reveals that the average time to resolve a due process petition in New Jersey (excluding motions for emergent relief, expedited disciplinary hearings, and cases which settle before the issuance of a final decision) is approximately nine months, i.e., six times longer than permitted by federal and state law. Although Innisfree will continue to evaluate and analyze the spreadsheet obtained from the OAL, it seems beyond argument, based on data obtained directly from the OAL, that New Jersey is wildly out of compliance with federal timelines, has been for years, and the problem is only getting worse.