Special Magistrate Requests
General Information for Requesting Appointment of a Special Magistrate for Unresolved Student Welfare Complaints
As an alternative to filing a declaratory judgment action in court, parents may request the appointment of a Special Magistrate to address certain parental disputes with a school district or a charter school. The law pertaining to special magistrate requests for unresolved student welfare complaints is in section 1001.42, Florida Statutes. The process for requesting a special magistrate for unresolved disputes within a school district is in Rule 6A-1.094125, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.). The process for requesting a special magistrate for unresolved disputes at a charter school is in Rule 6A-6.0791, F.A.C.
Special Magistrates are available for some, but not all, types of disputes. A Special Magistrate is either an administrative law judge provided by the Division of Administrative Hearings or a person appointed by the Commissioner of Education who is a member of The Florida Bar in good standing with a minimum of five years of administrative law experience.
Documents Regarding Special Magistrate
For disputes within a school district:
Rule 6A-1.094125, F.A.C. (PDF)
For disputes within a charter school:
Rule 6A-6.0791, F.A.C. (PDF)
Disputes That May Qualify For Special Magistrate Review
The type of dispute a Special Magistrate can consider is limited to matters described in the six areas, as set forth in section 1001.42(8)(c)1.-6., Florida Statutes.
Contact Your School’s Principal
Before requesting a Special Magistrate, Rule 6A-1.094125, F.A.C., and Rule 6A-6.0791, F.A.C., require
s that parents attempt to resolve the matter with the school principal. You should always feel free to share your concerns directly with the principal of your child’s school.
Contact Your School District
For Traditional Public School Students
Before requesting a Special Magistrate, Rule 6A-1.094125, F.A.C., also requires that parents attempt to resolve the matter with their school district. You should always feel free to share your concerns directly with your child’s school district. School district contact information is available at https://www.fldoe.org/accountability/data-sys/school-dis-data/superintendents.stml.
For Charter School Students
If, in the case of a charter school, a dispute is not resolved at the local level by a principal, then the charter school must fully cooperate in its local school district’s resolution procedures and comply with the district’s decision for resolution of the complaint.
Contact the Florida Department of Education
Parents seeking the appointment of a Special Magistrate must use the form “Request for Appointment of a Special Magistrate.” Parents can contact the Florida Department of Education staff to assist with questions and answers throughout the process. Inquiries may be emailed to SpecialMagistrate@fldoe.org or parents may contact the Office of Professional Practices Services.
Documents can be mailed to:
Florida Department of Education
325 West Gaines Street, Suite 224
Tallahassee, FL 32399