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12. Add provisions regarding the awarding of attorneys’ fees.

In any action or proceeding brought under section 615 of the Act, the court, in its discretion, may award reasonable attorneys' fees as part of the costs to:
  • The prevailing party who is the parent of a child with a disability;
  • A prevailing party who is an SEA or LEA against the attorney of a parent who files a complaint or subsequent cause of action that is frivolous, unreasonable, or without foundation, or against the attorney of a parent who continued to litigate after the litigation clearly became frivolous, unreasonable, or without foundation; or
  • A prevailing SEA or LEA against the attorney of a parent, or against the parent, if the parent’s request for a due process hearing or subsequent cause of action was presented for any improper purpose, such as to harass, to cause unnecessary delay, or to needlessly increase the cost of litigation.
[34 CFR 300.517(a)(1)] [20 U.S.C. 1415(i)(3)(B)(i)]

Dialogue Starter - Cross-stakeholder

Reaction Questions

  1. In your opinion, why is it important to include a timeline for filing a civil action?

Application Questions

  1. Are you aware of the specific time limit for filing a civil action in your state?
    • Does it follow the IDEA’s 90-day timeline or is the timeline different in your state?
    • If it is different, what is the timeline?
    • If you do not know, how can you find this information?

  2. Do you know how your State/district shares information so that parents know about their appeal rights and the filing timeline? If you do not know, how can you find this information?

    These questions were developed by the following stakeholders working together:
    Role: General Education Administrator
    Location: California

    Role: Educational Consultant
    Location: Florida

    Role: Higher Education
    Location: Indiana

    Role: Administrator
    Location: Illinois

    Role: Special Education Administrator
    Location: Kentucky

    Role: Family Member
    Location: New Jersey

    Role: Teacher
    Location: West Virginia