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The GAP Attorneys Blog

Meeting the needs of people with disabilities, their families, educators & service providers

Posts Tagged ‘Class certification’

Class action certified for challenge to district-wide policy delaying related services

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

R.A-G. v. Buffalo City School District., 61 IDELR 164 (W.D.N.Y. 2013): The parent of a child whose IEP provides for speech and language therapy challenged a district-wide policy or practice regarding the provision of related services.  The school district has a practice of delaying the commencement of related services until the third week of each school year, and implemented such practice with respect to nearly every student receiving related services.  The parent alleged this practice, which denies parents meaningful participation in the decision making process, and denies individualized determinations of IEPs, thereby denies children a free appropriate public education (FAPE).  A federal district court permitted the lawsuit to proceed as a class action.

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Federal Court of Appeals overturns decision to certify a child-find claim as a class action

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Jamie S. v. Milwaukee Public Schools, 58 IDELR 91 (7th Cir. 2012): The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals found that plaintiffs claiming child-find violations and seeking classification as “students eligible to receive special education from [the school district] ‘who are, have been or will be’ denied or delayed entry into or participation in the IEP process” to be ineligible to file a class action lawsuit.  A settlement agreement, which the class plaintiffs entered into with the state defendant (over the objection of the school district) and an order from the court that included monitoring of the school district’s compliance with its child find obligations, was also vacated.  The Eighth Circuit reasoned that the claims of the class plaintiffs were “highly individualized and vastly diverse” and lacked sufficient “commonality” (which is one of the required elements of a certified class).

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