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October 2012

Gordon & Rees Team Wins Dismissal of Due Process Petition in IDEA Action

Florham Park partner Douglas Motzenbecker, assisted by associate Michael Miano, obtained a dismissal of Due Process Petition in favor their client, a New Jersey school district.

Following a seven-day hearing, an Administrative Law Judge issued a fifty-two page decision dismissing the Due Process Petition filed by the parents of an autistic student, alleging that a New Jersey school district had violated the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act ("IDEA") in failing to implement an Individualized Education Program ("IEP") that met the student's special needs.

The parents alleged that the IEP failed to comply with the IDEA's various procedural guidelines, that the curriculum the district had developed for their daughter was inadequate, that their daughter had regressed academically and intellectually as a result, and that the district should therefore be ordered to place their daughter in a private school, at a cost to the district of up to $75,000 a year for the next six to seven school years.  The Judge rejected these allegations and found that the district had taken appropriate, good-faith steps to meet the student's needs.  Specifically, the Judge held that, notwithstanding the procedural violations cited by the parents, the IEP afforded the student a free appropriate public education and refused to order a private placement or other relief. 

Douglas E. Motzenbecker



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