Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Split Vote

In New York City Department of Education v. Tom F., the Supreme Court has upheld the Second Circuit's decision by a 4-4 vote. The case involved the issue of whether a child has to have gone to a public school before the the school district has to recompense him for the cost of a private placement. The decision (it's not much) can be found here.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Tom F.

Oral argument was held in Board of Education of the City School District of the City of New York v. Tom F. and the transcript is available on the Supreme Court website. The case involves the issue of whether parents were entitled to reimbursement for special education services provided at a private school where the student had never received an educational services at a public school.


The Second Circuit held that a student had to exhaust his administrative remedies before going to Federal Court even though he was scheduled to graduate before his remedies could be exhausted. The plaintiff in Coleman v. Newburgh Enlarged City School District had the award of attorneys' fees revered because the District Court should have dismissed the action for failure to exhaust.

The Court left open the question as to whether the exhaustion requirement is jurisdictional (and non-waiveable) or merely mandatory (but waiveable). In this case, the School District has not waived the defense.

The decision can be found here.