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Friday, January 15, 2010

Denial of a FAPE is Not Required for a Parent to recover fees

Weissburg v. Lancaster School District, ________ (9th Cir. 2010): In a case decided January 14, 2010, the 9th Circuit held that a parent can recover attorney fees even when there is no denial of FAPE (see also cases cited at footnote 2). Here, the parent prevailed on the claim that her child should be classified autistic. The Court found that prevailing on an eligibility determination altered the legal relationship between the parties. Also, of interest, the Court held that the IDEA authorizes attorney fees for legal services provided by a family member who is not a parent of the child at issue.