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(1) The impartial hearing officer shall schedule a prehearing conference to:

(a) identify and clarify the issues;

(b) determine the necessity or desirability of amendments to the request for impartial due process hearing;

(c) obtain, if possible, admissions of fact and documents which will avoid unnecessary proof;

(d) set discovery and prehearing schedule, including schedule for identification of expert witnesses;

(e) determine if the parent wants an audio record of the hearing and/or the findings of facts and decision; and

(f) consider such other matters as may aid in the disposition of the action.

(2) The impartial hearing officer shall make an order which recites the action taken at the conference, any amendment to the request for impartial due process hearing, the agreements made by the parties as to any of the matters considered, and which limits the issues for the hearing to those not disposed of by admissions or agreements of the parties. Such order when entered will control the subsequent course of action, unless modified at the hearing to prevent manifest injustice. The impartial hearing officer, in his/her discretion, may establish by rule a prehearing calendar on which actions may be placed for consideration as provided above.

(3) Individual privacy. The impartial hearing officer shall provide for provisions to ensure the privacy of matters before him/her as is required by law. Parents maintain the right to waive their right of confidentiality and privacy in the hearing and to have the hearing be open to the public. The impartial hearing officer shall also provide or allow an opportunity for the student with disabilities to be present at the hearing upon request of the parent, guardian, surrogate parent or the student with disabilities who is the subject of the hearing.

(4) Location of hearing. The impartial hearing officer shall conduct the hearing at a time and place reasonably convenient to the parent and student. If the parties cannot agree on such time and place, the hearing will be held in the county in which the named school district is located.

History: 20-7-402, MCA; IMP, 20-7-402, MCA; NEW, 1990 MAR p. 934, Eff. 5/18/90; AMD, 1993 MAR p. 1913, Eff. 8/13/93; AMD & TRANS, 2000 MAR p. 1048, Eff. 7/1/00.

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