ZR vs. Chester County Intermediate Unit

IN THE PENNSYLVANIA OFFICE FOR DISPUTE RESOLUTION

Final Decision and Order

ODR File No. 2866-1112AS

CLOSED HEARING1

Child’s Name: Z.R.2

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Hearing Dates: N/A

Parties to the Hearing: Parent

Chester County Intermediate Unit 455 Boot Road
Downingtown, PA 19335

Representative:

Thomas Bowman, Esquire 1156 Easton Road Abington, PA 19001

Andrew E. Faust, Esquire
Sweet, Stevens, Katz and Williams, LLP 331 East Butler Avenue
New Britain, PA 19901

Record Closed: February 6, 2012

Date of Decision: February 6, 2012

Hearing Officer: Brian Jason Ford

Introduction

The instant matter is a special education administrative due process hearing requested by the Parents against Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU) pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq.

Before me is CCIU’s Motion to Dismiss and Sufficiency Challenge. In its Motion to Dismiss, CCIU argues that it is an improper party in an IDEA hearing and that the Parents seek relief that the Hearing Officer does not have authority to grant. In its Sufficiency Challenge, CCIU argues that the Parents’ Complaint fails to meet the IDEA’s pleading requirements.

For reasons discussed below, this Hearing Officer determines that CCIU is an improper party to this hearing and dismisses this case without prejudice on that basis. Nothing in this decision is intended to prevent the Parents from requesting a due process hearing against a proper party.

It is somewhat unusual for a hearing officer to dismiss a hearing outright on a pre- hearing motion (as opposed to giving the complainant leave to cure any procedural defect by way of an amended complaint). Such dismissals are even more unusual when the complainants are pro se parents. In recognition of this, this Hearing Officer believes it is appropriate to provide a comprehensive history of this matter and a full explanation of this decision.

ODR and BSE

Understanding the procedural context of this matter requires some knowledge of the different responsibilities of the Office for Dispute Resolution (ODR) and the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education (BSE). ODR administers the special education due process system, as described at 20 U.S.C.

§ 1415(f).3 ODR has no jurisdictional authority to enforce due process decisions. Enforcement authority lies with BSE.4

Z-R-Chester-County-Intermediate-Unit-ODRNo-2866-1112AS

Leave a Reply

Pennsylvania

Montgomery Law, LLC
1420 Locust Street, Suite 420
Philadelphia, PA 19102
T/F. 215-650-7563

Rate By
SUPER LAWYERS
Joseph W Montgomery, II

New Jersey

Historic Smithville, Suite 1
1 N. New York Road
Galloway, NJ 08205
(all mail to Phila. office)
T. 856-282-5550

Disclaimer: Montgomery Law, LLC does not give legal advice until after it has entered into an attorney-client relationship. No part of this website creates an attorney-client relationship. All Parts of this website are Attorney Advertising. The photos and videos on this website contain portrayals of clients by non-clients, re-enactment of scenes, pictures and persons which are not actual or authentic and depictions which are a dramatization.