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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Court grants TRO to enforce 504 plan

L.G. v. Port Townsend School Dist. No. 50, Slip Copy, 2009 WL 4730840, W.D.Wash.,2009: Student had a 504 plan pursuant to which the school was required to scan all written materials for use in a text to speech program. For 2009, the school advised that it would only scan certain subject matter material. The parents sought a temporary restraining order to compel the school to continue to scan all materials.
That Court recognized that a plaintiff seeking any remedy also available under the IDEA must exhaust the administrative process prior to commencing a court action. The Court rejected the district’s argument that the parent should be required to exhaust, finding instead that enforcement of a 504 plan is not relief available under the IDEA. The Court then employed a traditional TRO analysis and found that the student would suffer irreparable harm if the 504 plan was not continued. The Court ordered the district to implement the 504 plan.

This case is of interest and some significance because there is no pendency provision under §504 as there is in the IDEA. Thus, if a district proposes changes to a child’s 504 plan, those changes can ordinarily be implemented even if a parent disagrees.