Get legal help and file an appeal

If you or the school disagrees with the decision, either of you can appeal to the state or federal court.

Here's what you can do:

  1. Get help from a lawyer who specializes in special education law. They can help you file the appeal, prepare your case, and represent you in court.

  2. File your appeal within 90 days of the hearing officer's decision.

Click the boxes below for more on getting legal help:

You may need to find a lawyer to help you resolve your dispute.

It’s best to find one who has lots of experience with special education laws and regulations.

Choose a lawyer who lists one of these as their specialty:

  • Special Education

  • Education Law

  • Advocacy

Be sure to ask in advance about fees.

Fees will vary based on each lawyer's experience and how complex the case is.

If you can't afford a lawyer, try calling one of these organizations.

They should be able to give you free advice and maybe free or low cost legal help.

Click on the title and the website will open in a new tab.

  • The Advocacy Center of LA provides free services. Call their hotline at 800-960-7705.

  • The Louisiana Civil Justice Center offers a free legal hotline with brief advice and attorney referrals. Call 800-310-7029, Monday-Friday 9am-4pm.

  • Louisiana State Bar Legal Education and Assistance Program provides a search directory by parish that includes legal aid organizations. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select your parish.

  • The Southeast Louisiana Legal Services provides legal aid to low-income people. Visit their website to find contact information for an office located near you.

  • The courts may also provide some legal assistance but there is no guarantee.

  • You can also call the LA DOE and ask if they can help you find free legal assistance.

Reminder: We do not endorse any of these providers. We are simply providing links for your reference.

To find legal help:

Please note that when you click on a link, the website will open in a new tab or window on your screen. When searching through these resources, look for lawyers who specialize in special education law.

Reminder: We do not endorse any of the lawyers listed through these resources. We are simply providing links to databases for your reference. Legal fees will vary depending on the complexity of your case.

If the final decision is that your child is found to have "no exceptionality" or if the district's finding of no exceptionality is not overturned, your child will not receive an IEP.

Speak with the school about your next steps.


Source: LA DOE