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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit issues one Indiana decision today

In Brown, Robert v. Bartholomew School Corp. (SD Ind., David F. Hamilton, Judge), a 21-page opinion, Judge Ripple writes:

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”), 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq., requires that states, as a condition of receiving federal funds, provide each disabled child within their school system a free appropriate public education. In this action, the parents of an autistic child, Robert Brown (“Bobby”), were unhappy with the “individualized educational program” (“IEP”) that their school district, the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation (“Bartholomew”), proposed for the 2002-2003 school year to address Bobby’s autism. Unable to settle their differences through negotiation, the parties proceeded before a state administrative officer, who ruled in favor of Bartholomew. Bobby’s parents appealed to the State Board of Special Educational Appeals (“BSEA”), which upheld the hearing officer’s determination. The Browns then filed this action in the district court, requesting reversal of the administrative decisions. After hearing new evidence on Bobby’s academic progress following the BSEA’s decision, the district court affirmed the BSEA. The Browns then filed this appeal. In the meantime, while this appeal has been pending, the Browns enrolled Bobby to a different school district and agreed to a new IEP for Bobby’s upcoming school year. As we explain further in the following opinion, this change in circumstances renders Bobby’s case moot. We therefore vacate the order of the district court and remand with the direction to dismiss this action on that ground. * * *

Accordingly, the judgment of the district court is vacated, and the case is remanded with direction that it be dismissed as moot. The parties shall bear their own costs in this appeal.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 29, 2006 01:13 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions