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Cases

A History of Success in New Jersey Special Education Cases

Our Legacy of Service

For more than 40 years, Cranbury, New Jersey–based Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler has helped thousands of special needs children obtain access to educational opportunities they would not otherwise have had.

The following are representative cases:

Third Circuit Court

D.M.S. and A.S. o/b/o D.S. v. BAYONNE BOARD OF EDUCATION:

Reimbursement for private parental placement granted as parents proved that access to education was not offered and that the IEP was not appropriate.

D.S. v. BAYONNE BOARD OF EDUCATION:

The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals found that a court should not place conclusive significance on special education classroom scores. Although the district presented evidence that D.S. was achieving high academic marks, his standardized testing indicated a decline in academic functioning. The parents were awarded a private placement at the district’s expense.

J.H. v. BERNARDSVILLE BOARD OF EDUCATION:

Favorable ruling on behalf of parents, awarding tuition reimbursement and affirming that IEPs were inadequate and denied J.H. his right to a free appropriate public education.

GEIS v. BOARD OF EDUCATION OF PARSIPPANY-TROY HILLS:

Case discusses standards that existed in NJ in 1985.

Federal District Court

T.O. et al v. SUMMIT CITY BOARD OF EDUCATION:

The Administrative Law Judge had held that Summit failed to provide a free, appropriate public education to a child, J.O., who suffered from apraxia of speech and dyspraxia. Jayne M. Wesler, a partner at SGW, tried the case before the ALJ for J.O.’s parents.

J.M. and M.M. v. MORRIS SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD OF EDUCATION:

Court upholds administrative law ruling that awarded tuition for child privately placed by parents, finding that the local BOE did not offer a free appropriate public education.

K.D. v. HOLLAND TOWNSHIP BOARD OF EDUCATION:

A U.S. District Court judge reversed the decision of the administrative law judge who had found that K.D.’s parents were not entitled to reimbursement because they failed to notify the school district within ten days of K.D.’s enrollment in her private placement. The U.S. District Court judge found that the parents’ wait over six months to request reimbursement was reasonable, as they wanted to be sure that K.D. was receiving the educational benefit from her private placement since the district had failed to provide K.D. with a free appropriate public education for six years. The failure to give the school district ten days’ notice did not bar reimbursement.

J.B. v. WATCHUNG HILLS REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD OF EDUCATION:

Reimbursement permitted to parent even though a child had not previously received special education and related services from defendant board of education.

S.O. v. EGG HARBOR TWSP BOE:

Residential school ordered for a dyslexic child.

Office of Administrative Law

N.H. ON BEHALF OF N.H. v. FREEHOLD REGIONAL BOARD OF EDUCATION

Based upon the evidence and testimony presented, the ALJ determined that the district IEP provided no meaningful educational benefit and resulted in a denial of NH’s right to a free, appropriate public education. N.H. required a program that adhered to a structured, data-driven ABA approach and which provided more functional and practical goals. The out-of-district program was found to be the least restrictive environment for N.H. Petitioner was entitled to full reimbursement for placement in the specialized out-of-district educational facility.

T.O. AND K.O. ON BEHALF OF J.O., v. SUMMIT BOARD OF EDUCATION:

Board of education ordered to pay for child’s private school placement due to BOE’s failure to provide free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.

J.M. AND H.M. ON BEHALF OF H.M., v. OCEANPORT BOARD OF EDUCATION:

Board of Education ordered to provide Braille instruction for blind children who need it.

S.F. AND S.F. ON BEHALF OF G.F., v. VERONA BOARD OF EDUCATION:

Parents are awarded reimbursement for unilateral private school placement due to BOE’s failure to provide free and appropriate public education.

P.B. v. WANAQUE BOARD OF EDUCATION:

Board of Education ordered to pay for child’s private school placement, as parents proved that free and appropriate public education was not offered and that the IEP was not appropriate.

J.S. AND B.S. ON BEHALF OF J.S., v. PASSAIC CITY BOARD OF EDUCATION:

Parents win by motion for summary judgment. In this case, the district never formally proposed a program because it did not hold an IEP meeting, and it did not include the parents in the formulation process. Moreover, none of the other required constituent members of the IEP team were consulted or submitted any input for the “draft” IEP. Thus, there was a two-fold procedural breakdown in this instance: Not only were the parents excluded from participation but the other members of the team were as well, thereby depriving the parents of the expertise of those members of the IEP team. Therefore the parents’ opportunity to participate in the decision-making process regarding the provision of free and appropriate public education was seriously impeded, and the district has not proposed a program to be considered for the 2009-2010 school year.

R.T. AND T.H. o/b/o A.T. v. WEST WINDSOR-PLAINSBORO REGIONAL BOARD OF EDUCATION:

District’s refusal to offer reasonable accommodations in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 overturned; parents’ position deemed reasonable and proper by the administrative law judge.

D.C. and J.P. o/b/o K.C. v LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP BOARD OF EDUCATION:

Unilateral placement in a private school not on the Department of Education approved list found to be justified and results in retroactive reimbursement.

R.S v. SOUTH RIVER BOARD OF EDUCATION:

In this case, the parents contested the manifest determination review; sought a full-time aide; compensatory education; and other services from the school district.

S.C. v. BERNARDS TOWNSHIP BOARD OF EDUCATION:

Court determined that the local school district did not offer free and appropriate public education to a classified child; orders private placement.

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    We are proud of our record over the past 40 years. If you seek experienced attorneys who know the law and can skillfully represent special needs children, contact Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler today to discuss your child’s special education needs.

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