Goldstein, Ackerhalt & Pletcher
70 Niagara Street, Suite 200 Buffalo , New York, 14202
Phone: 716-362-1533
Fax: 716-362-1534

The GAP Attorneys Blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘Section 1983’

School district’s failure to discuss natural setting at IEP team meeting gives parent claim for damages

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

Luo v. Baldwin Union Free School District, 60 IDELR 281 (E.D.N.Y. 2013): A federal district court allowed a parent of a student with an autism spectrum disorder to pursue claims for damages based on IDEA violations.  The parent claimed that he had requested his son be placed in a “natural setting environment,” but that the student’s IEP team failed to discuss or present any information about such a possibility.  The parent further alleged that he was unable to pursue his grievances through an impartial hearing due, in part, to malfeasance by school district officials.  The Court (following precedent within that Circuit) allowed the parent to assert claims for damages, brought under Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act, to proceed based on allegations of procedural violations of the IDEA.  The Court did note, however, that it was construing the parent’s allegations liberally at this particular stage in the proceedings.

Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on School district’s failure to discuss natural setting at IEP team meeting gives parent claim for damages

Court refused to dismiss denial of 504 FAPE claim against private school

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Bishop v. Children’s Center for Developmental Enrichment, 57 IDELR 156 (S.D. Ohio 2011): The court refused to dismiss a claim brought by the parents of a student with autism that a private school denied the student a free appropriate public education (FAPE) under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.  As a recipient of federal financial assistance, the private school may be subject to a denial of FAPE claim under Section 504.  Although the private school claimed that the parents withdrew the student from the school, the parents had evidence that the school expelled the student from school by reason of the student’s autism.  Therefore, there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the private school acted with bad faith or gross misjudgment (or at the very least with deliberate indifference) and that it discriminated against the student “solely by reason of his disability.”

However, the court dismissed the parents’ claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), since the parents did not present any admissible evidence that the private school is a place of public accommodation (as is required by Title III of the ADA).  The court also dismissed the parents claim under Section 1983 since the parents could not show that the private school was acting under the color of state law.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Court refused to dismiss denial of 504 FAPE claim against private school

School personnel violated a student’s right to privacy by using a redacted psychiatric evaluation as a teaching tool for a literature class.

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

S.S. v. Mount Olive Board of Education, 56 IDELR 99 (D.N.J. 2011):  A U.S. District Court ruled for parents of a student with diabetes and anxiety as a result of the use of a redacted version of the student’s psychiatric evaluation by a school social worker and special education teacher as a teaching tool for a high school literature class.  The Court withheld a determination as to what harm, if any, the student suffered as a result of the unauthorized disclosure of his psychiatric evaluation.

A high school special education teacher wished to provide a sample psychiatric evaluation to his literature class as an instructional tool in relation to J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye.”  The teacher requested a sample from the school’s social worker, who provided a psychiatric evaluation of the student, and attempted to redact personally identifiable information.  However, the students in the class were still able to identify the student due to the substantive information in the evaluation.

The parents sued, and the Court dismissed their claims under FERPA, HIPAA, IDEA and state student records laws.  Additionally, the Court dismissed the claims against the school district itself, and against various school personnel not specifically associated with the unauthorized disclosure of the student’s psychiatric evaluation.  However, the Court ruled in favor of the parents against the teacher and social worker under Section 1983, due to their violation of the student’s constitutional right to privacy.  The Court stated “no reasonable juror could find that” the teacher and social worker “did not breach a duty of care owed to” the student.

Tags: , , , , , ,
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on School personnel violated a student’s right to privacy by using a redacted psychiatric evaluation as a teaching tool for a literature class.

Parent permitted to use Section 1983 to enforce hearing officer’s order

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Dominique L. v. Board of Education of the City of Chicago, 56 IDELR 65 (N.D. Ill. 2011): The Court determined that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provided the parent of a student with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with no mechanism to seek court enforcement of the favorable decision of an impartial hearing officer (IHO), since only a party “aggrieved by the findings and decision” of a hearing officer could seek judicial review of that decision.  However, the Court was persuaded by the decisions of many circuit courts of appeals and ruled that the parent may use Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act to enforce the IHO’s decision.

Tags: , , , , , ,
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Parent permitted to use Section 1983 to enforce hearing officer’s order

Entries (RSS) | Comments (RSS).