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A.A. By and Through Her Guardian Ad Litem, Jay andrews v. Orange County Health Care Agency

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


January 3, 2011

A.A. BY AND THROUGH HER GUARDIAN AD LITEM, JAY ANDREWS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ORANGE COUNTY HEALTH CARE AGENCY, A LOCAL COUNTY MENTAL HEALTH AGENCY, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dean D. Pregerson United States District Judge

CLOSED

I. Background

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO ALTER JUDGMENT

[Motion filed on 9/7/10]

Jay Andrews placed his daughter, A.A. at Provo Canyon ("Provo"), a residential treatment center in Utah, because she suffered from recurrent major depression and oppositional defiant disorder. (ALJ Op. at 5-6.) Defendant Orange County Health Care Agency ("HCA") determined that Provo was not an appropriate treatment center for A.A. (ALJ Op. at 9-10.) An assessment team presented A.A.'s father with four alternative proposed treatment centers and described the treatments available at those centers. (ALJ Op. at 10.)

A.A.'s father did not want A.A. transferred to a new treatment center, and refused to consent to HCA releasing A.A.'s information to any of the four proposed treatment centers or to allow any of the treatment centers to interview A.A. (ALJ Op. at 11-12.) Three of the treatment centers indicated that they would have room for A.A., pending more information regarding her specific needs. (ALJ Op. at 12.) HCA determined that Cathedral Home("Cathedral") was best equipped to meet A.A.'s needs. (ALJ Op. at 12.)

HCA wrote a letter to A.A's father explaining that Cathedral would meet A.A.'s needs and educational goals. (ALJ Op. at 12-13.) The letter explained that Cathedral provided 24-hour supervision and services to its students, that it provided individual, group, family and milieu therapy, and that it provided psychiatric treatment. (ALJ Op. at 12-13.) The letter also stated that Cathedral had access to the Laramie Youth Crisis Center, a year-round educational program that consisted of academic and vocational training combined with community service projects, as well as wilderness, recreation and horse programs. (ALJ Op. at 12-13.) The letter did not, however, indicate the specific types of mental health therapy HCA believed A.A. required to meet her unique needs, how much of each type of therapy or related services she required on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, how long it believed each therapy or other related services session should last, or when such services would start. (ALJ Op. at 13.)

On August 19, 2008, A.A., by and through her father, requested a due process hearing regarding whether A.A. was receiving a FAPE in accordance with 20 U.S.C. § 1415(f). (ALJ Op. at 2.) On December 30, 2008, the ALJ issued a thirty page decision, ruling in favor of HCA on all issues. (See ALJ Op.) On March 27, 2009, A.A., by and through her father, filed a complaint in this court seeking review of the ALJ's decision. On August 10, 2010, this court affirmed the ALJ's decision and denied the petition for review. (Dkt. No. 44.) A.A. now moves to alter the judgment.

II. Legal Standard

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) allows for "motion[s] to alter or amend a judgment" if "filed no later than 28 days after entry of the judgment." The Rule, however, "offers an extraordinary remedy, to be used sparingly in the interests of finality and conservation of judicial resources." Carroll v. Nakatani, 342 F.3d 934, 945 (9th Cir. 2003) (internal quotation marks omitted). "[A] motion for reconsideration should not be granted, absent highly unusual circumstances, unless the district court is presented with newly discovered evidence, committed clear error, or if there is an intervening change in the controlling law." Id. (internal quotation marks omitted).

Local Rule 7-18 provides that: A motion for reconsideration of the decision on any motion may be made only on the grounds of (a) a material difference in fact or law from that presented to the Court before such decision that in the exercise of reasonable diligence could not have been known to the party moving for reconsideration at the time of such decision, or (b) the emergence of new material facts or a change of law occurring after the time of such decision, or (c) a manifest showing of a failure to consider material facts presented to the Court before such decision. No motion for reconsideration shall in any manner repeat any oral or written argument made in support of or in opposition to the original motion.

III. Discussion

A.A.'s motion does nothing more than reiterate arguments made in support of her original motion. Specifically, A.A. argues that the court did not address the specific services, or lack thereof, offered to A.A. in the letter describing her potential placement at cathedral. (Reply at 2.) Contrary to A.A.'s assertion, the court addressed the specificity issue at length, and held that any procedural errors regarding the specificity of services described in the letter were harmless. See Order Affirming Decision of Administrative Law Judge Pursuant to Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §1415(I), Sec. III(B) (Dkt. No. 44.) A.A. has not identified any new law or facts warranting reconsideration of the court's earlier order.

IV. Conclusion

For the reasons set forth above, Plaintiff's Motion to Alter Judgment is DENIED.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20110103

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