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Friday, October 9, 2009

Rule 56.1 statements not required in IDEA cases

T.Y. v. NYC, 2nd Circuit, decided 10/9/09, 08-3527-cv: In the course of affirming the District Court’s ruling in favor of the NYC Board of Ed., the 2nd Circuit addressed the role of the summary judgment motion in IDEA cases and in particular, the rule 56.1 statement of material facts not in dispute. The parent’s attorney argued that the 56.1 statement was not required and that it was improper for the district to have submitted a 56.1 statement. The district court castigated the parent’s attorney for not filing a 56.1 statement and not responding to the district’s 56.1 statement. The District Court characterized the 56.1 statement as “necessary” stating that “it goes to the heart of the Court’s determination of whether or not summary judgment is appropriate.” The 2nd Circuit disagreed stating that:

[a] Rule 56.1 statement, while not required, may assist the court’s inquiry into whether IDEA procedures were followed and whether the result was reasonably designed to confer educational benefits. But while a Rule 56.1 statement may assist the court in reviewing
particular issues, it is not in and of itself dispositive. The district court's characterization of Appellee’s Rule 56.1 statement as "necessary" was therefore not entirely correct. The court's error was of no consequence, however, because we are satisfied that the court conducted an independent review and carefully reviewed the record, as is required by the statute.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

SRO rejects Connors claim and reimbursement claim

SRO 09-079: This case was litigated as both a reimbursement case and a Connors prospective funding case. First, SRO Paul Kelly rejected the parent’s reimbursement claim noting that although there was contract language purportedly obligating the parent to pay the school in full, no payments had been made and there was no evidence that the school would seek payment. Kelly also found that the notice of intent to make a reimbursement claim was defective in that the parent utilized a form that did not provide specific details of the parent’s concerns.

As for the Connors claim, Kelly found that it was the private school that incurred the financial burden for the child’s education going forward, that the private school has no entitlement to relief, and that the parent cannot assert a claim on behalf of a private entity that lacks standing under the IDEA to maintain a claim against a school district in its own right.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Education Law §3602-c places obligations upon public school, not private school

In re Pelose, --- N.Y.S.2d ----, 2009 WL 3152988, N.Y.A.D. 4 Dept.,2009: Parent challenged the private school’s decision to expel their child. The New York State Appellate Division 4th Department, an intermediate level appellate court, determined that the private school has no obligation to provide services to a child with a disability. Rather, the obligation falls on the public school district. Further, the appeal procedures afforded to parents of kids with disabilities apply to public schools, not private and therefore, the private school “was not required either to undertake or to await the outcome of a manifestation review prior to expelling” the child.