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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

SDNY reverses SRO yet again on reimbursement claim

N.R., on behalf of T.R. v. NYC Bd of Ed., 07-CV-9648, 2009 WL 874061(SDNY, decided 3/31/09)(Judge Jones): At hearing, the district conceded on prong 1, that it failed to offer a FAPE. The IHO found against the parents on prong 2 and thus, rejected the parents claim for reimbursement for a private placement at the Rebecca School. The IHO did not make a determination on the equities. SRO Paul Kelly reversed on prong 2 in favor of the parents, but denied the claim on the equities(SRO 07-038). In a very well reasoned decision, the SDNY granted the parents motion for summary judgment. The Court found that the parents had cooperated throughout the placement process. The denial of FAPE was premised in part on the district failure to offer a site specific placement prior to the start of the school year. The Court noted that there are no cases supporting the denial of reimbursement on the equities where the district has failed to offer the child a placement.

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