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Everett H. v. Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District

United States District Court, E.D. California

March 20, 2014

EVERETT H, a minor, by and through his Guardians Ad Litem REBECCA HAVEY and HEATH HAVEY; REBECCA HAVEY, an individual; and HEATH HAVEY, an individual, Plaintiffs,
v.
DRY CREEK JOINT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DISTRICT, BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF DRY CREEK JOINT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DISTRICT; MARK GEYER, individually and in his official capacity of Superintendent of Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District; EVONNE ROGERS, individually in in her official capacity as Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services; LYNN BARBARIA, individually and in her official capacity as Director of Special Education; ANDREW GIANNINI, individually and in his official capacity as Principal at Olive Grove Elementary School; CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION; and TOM TORLAKSON, individually and in his official capacity as State Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of California, Defendants

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For Everett H., Rebecca Havey, Heath Havey, Plaintiffs: Heath A Havey, LEAD ATTORNEY, Sacramento, CA.

For Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District, Board of Trustees of Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District, Mark Geyer, individually and in his official capacity of Superintendent of Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District, Evonne Rogers, individually and in her official capacity as Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, Lynn Barbaria, individually and in her official capacity as Director of Special Education, Andrew Giannini, individually and in his official capacity as Principal at Olive Grove Elementary School, Defendants: Sloan Robert Simmons, LEAD ATTORNEY, Lozano Smith, Sacramento, CA.

For California Department of Education, Defendant: Leonard Bruce Garfinkel, LEAD ATTORNEY, California Department Of Education, Sacramento, CA.

OPINION

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MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

MORRISON C. ENGLAND, JR., CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

Through the present action, Plaintiffs Heath and Rebecca Havey, both individually and on behalf of their son Everett H. (hereinafter " Plaintiffs" unless otherwise indicated) allege educational harms based on purported violations of Everett's right as a disabled student to a free and appropriate public education (" FAPE" ) pursuant to the provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, 20 U.S.C. § § 1400 et seq. (" IDEA" ) and various state statutes. Plaintiffs also assert associated violations of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § § 12101, et seq. (" ADA" ) and § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794 (" § 504" ). Finally, Plaintiffs assert claims under the auspices of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (" § 1983" ), which include both failure to accommodate claims and claims for civil rights discrimination and retaliation. By way of damages, Plaintiffs seek compensatory education and reimbursement, compensatory and punitive damages and attorneys' fees.

The Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District, Everett's local school district, is named as a Defendant by Plaintiffs, along with Dry Creek's Board of Trustees and four individual Dry Creek administrators, Lynn Barbaria, Mark Geyer, Andrew Giannini and Evonne Rogers, in their official capacities. (These Defendants will be collectively referred to as the " Local Defendants" unless otherwise specified). In addition to the Local Defendants, the California Department of Education (the " CDE" ) and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson are also named Defendants in the instant lawsuit (the " State Defendants" ).

Both the Local and State Defendants have now moved to dismiss Plaintiffs'

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Complaint. Local Defendants' Motion is brought under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), 12(b)(6), and 12(f). This Memorandum and Order will address only Local Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 8). As set forth below, that Motion will be granted in part and denied in part.[1]

STATUTORY AND PROCEDURAL FRAMEWORK

The procedural and substantive standards for educating disabled students in this state are delineated within the federal IDEA and California's Education Code § 56000, et seq., along with state and federal implementing regulations. See 34 C.F.R. § 300 et seq.; Cal. Code Regs., tit. 5, § 3000, et seq.

The IDEA provides that a state must, in order to receive federal financial assistance, have policies and procedures in effect that assure all students with disabilities the right to a FAPE. 20 U.S.C. § 1412(a)(1). The FAPE requirement means that special education and related services must be provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge to the parent or student. 20 U.S.C. § § 1401(9); (29). Each student's special instruction is based upon the development of an Individualized Education Plan (" IEP" ) by the school district which, along with parental input, is designed to establish both annual and short term objectives and individually designed ...


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