Effective Dispute Resolution

Welcome to the Maine Department of Education Office of Special Services Dispute Resolution. The links below offer information on dispute resolution options available to parents and school districts regarding disputes that may arise during the Special Education process. In addition to information on Mediation, Due Process Hearing requests, State Complaint Investigation requests, the links include information about Special Education laws and regulations.

Virtual Hearings Guidance 2020 


Mediation is a voluntary process option when filing a Due Process Hearing request or a State Complaint Investigation.  A neutral person assists the parties in communicating and exploring possible options for resolving a conflict.  The goal of special education mediation is to help the parties reach their own mutually acceptable resolution of the disputed issues related to a student’s special education services. Stand-alone mediation is available without filing for a Due Process Hearing or a State Complaint Investigation.

Due Process Hearing

A Due Process hearing is a process involving a Hearing Officer who conducts a hearing, much like a formal court proceeding. The Hearing Officer considers the information and testimony offered by each side and issues a written decision.

Complaint Investigation

A Complaint Investigation is a written complaint requesting an investigation of any alleged violations of the IDEA/MUSER requirements.  A State Complaints Officer will conduct an informal investigation, considering the information and interviews of the parties involved, and issue a written decision.


Office of Special Services
(207) 624-6713