Under the IDEA there is a two-year statute of limitation for filing a due process complaint. What this means is that a due process complaint must allege a violation that occurred not more than two years before the date the parent or public agency knew or should have known about the alleged action that forms the basis of the due process complaint. See 34 C.F.R. 300.507(a)(2). It is up to a hearing officer or ALJ to make the decision as to whether the parent should have known about the alleged action that forms the basis of the complaint. See Analysis of Comments and Changes to 2006 IDEA Part B Regulations, 71 Fed. Reg. 46706 (2006).
Under the IDEA there are several exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations. It does not apply to a parent if the parent was prevented from filing a complaint due to: 1) Specific misrepresentations by the district that it had resolved the problems forming the basis of the complaint; or 2) The district's withholding of information from the parent that the IDEA required it to provide. See 34 CFR 300.511(f). The Department of Education declined to define the term "misrepresentations" as used in that section. See Analysis of Comments and Changes to 2006 IDEA Part B Regulations, 71 Fed. Reg. 46706 (2006).
If a state law has set an explicit time limitation for requesting a due process hearing, the IDEA defers to the state's law. See 34 CFR 300.507(a)(2).