United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART
DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS RE: DKT. NO. 19
M. RYU UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
L.B. and M.B. are the parents of S.B., a former student. They
appeal the May 15, 2016 administrative decision of the
California Office of Administrative Hearings pursuant to the
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
(“IDEA”), 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq.
Defendants West Contra Costa Unified School District and West
Contra Costa Unified School District Special Education Local
Plan Area move pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) to dismiss Plaintiffs' complaint.
[Docket No. 19.] The court held a hearing on March 23, 2017.
For the following reasons, Defendants' motion is granted
in part and denied in part.
make the following allegations in their complaint, all of
which are taken as true for purposes of this
motion. S.B. was born in 1994 and has multiple
learning disabilities. By the time she graduated from high
school in June 2015, she had been eligible for special
education and related services since 2009, when she was in
the eighth grade. At all relevant times, S.B.'s school
district of residence was West Contra Costa Unified School
District (the “District”). [Docket No.
(Compl.) ¶¶ 12, 13.] S.B. is bilingual and speaks
Spanish and English. Compl. Ex. 1 at 3.
25, 2013, S.B. filed a due process complaint with the Office
of Administrative Hearings (“OAH”) alleging that
the District had failed to provide her with a free and
appropriate public education (“FAPE”) for the
2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years. Compl. ¶ 25. In
August 2013, while the due process proceeding was pending,
S.B. began attending Bayhill High School in Oakland,
California. Id. at ¶¶ 27, 29. S.B. and her
parents settled their due process complaint with the District
on November 17, 2013. As part of the settlement, the District
finalized S.B.'s placement at Bayhill High School with
services including speech and language therapy and mental
health counseling. The parties also agreed that the District
would provide S.B. with “transportation to/from Bayhill
in the form of reimbursement for one round-trip per day of
attendance at the current IRS rate.” Id. at
¶ 31. Plaintiffs allege that the agreement provided that
“[m]ileage reimbursement shall be provided within 30
days of the District's receipt of properly completed
mileage reimbursement form(s), ” and that
“[m]ileage reimbursement must be submitted by [S.B.] on
a monthly basis.” Id.
allege that after the settlement agreement was finalized, the
District never provided S.B. or M.B. with mileage
reimbursement forms to complete. Id. at ¶ 32.
In April 2014, M.B. submitted mileage reimbursement to the
District on forms created by her attorney for August 2013
through March 2014. Id. at ¶ 38. She never
received reimbursement for the mileage claimed on these
forms. Id. at ¶ 39. In June 2015, M.B.
submitted mileage reimbursement forms for August 27, 2013
through June 5, 2015. Plaintiffs allege the District never
processed the forms. Id. at ¶ 42. S.B.
graduated from Bayhill High School on June 7, 2015.
Id. at ¶ 12.
further allege that at S.B.'s March 5, 2014
individualized education program (“IEP”) meeting,
her attorney requested that the District provide independent
educational evaluations (“IEEs”) in the areas of
psychoeducation, speech and language, and occupational
therapy. Id. at ¶ 36. Plaintiffs allege that
although the District advised that it would respond to the
request “at a later time, ” they never received a
letter from the District regarding their request for the
three IEEs. Id. at ¶¶ 36, 40.
Additionally, Plaintiffs allege that at the March 5, 2014 IEP
meeting, S.B.'s attorney requested District-provided
transportation for S.B. because it was burdensome for M.B. to
make two round trips per day to transport S.B. to and from
school. According to Plaintiffs, the District responded that
“it would only provide reimbursement pursuant to the
settlement agreement.” Id. at ¶ 37.
filed a due process complaint against the District on August
26, 2015, alleging that the District had failed to provide
her with a FAPE for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years
by failing to reimburse S.B. and/or her parents for round
trip mileage to and from Bayhill High School. Id. at
¶ 43. At a September 8, 2015 resolution session, the
District informed S.B.'s attorney that it could not
accept the mileage reimbursement request previously submitted
by M.B. because the request was not submitted on District
forms. S.B.'s attorney and her sister then completed the
District's mileage reimbursement forms for the period
August 27, 2013 to June 5, 2015. Id. at ¶ 44.
M.B. signed the forms on October 9, 2015 and was told she
would receive the check within 30 days. Id. at
amended her due process complaint in October 2015, alleging
that the District had failed to reimburse S.B. and/or her
parents for round trip mileage to and from Bayhill High
School through May 5, 2014, failed to provide transportation
to and from school for S.B. after Plaintiffs' May 5, 2014
request, and failed to provide the three IEEs
following Plaintiffs' counsel's March 5, 2014
request. Id. at ¶ 47. The matter was scheduled
for trial on March 22-24, 2016. Id. at ¶ 55. At
a March 11, 2016 prehearing conference, counsel for the
District informed Plaintiffs' counsel for the first time
that the District had notified M.B. that it had granted the
request for the IEEs in a letter dated March 27, 2014.
Counsel further stated that the District had already mailed
M.B. and L.B. a check for the mileage reimbursement.
Id. at ¶ 52. Plaintiffs never received a check
in the mail. Id. at ¶ 53. On March 23, 2016,
the second day of trial, the District provided M.B. with a
check for mileage reimbursement from August 27, 2013 to June
5, 2016. Id. at ¶ 60.
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) issued a
decision on May 5, 2016. Compl. Ex. 1 (OAH Decision). In
relevant part, the ALJ found that 1) OAH lacked jurisdiction
over the issue of whether the District denied S.B. a FAPE by
failing to reimburse Plaintiffs for mileage for one round
trip per day from August 28, 2013 through March 5, 2014,
since the reimbursement was required by a settlement
agreement and OAH lacks jurisdiction to enforce settlement
agreements; 2) even if OAH had jurisdiction over the August
2013-March 2014 mileage reimbursement dispute, the issue was
moot because S.B. received full reimbursement on March 23,
2016; and 3) S.B. did not establish that she was denied a
FAPE based on the District's failure to provide IEEs,
since S.B. had failed to pursue the IEEs after the District
granted her request. Id.
filed this action on August 3, 2016, alleging three claims
challenging the ALJ's decision with respect to the three
findings set forth above. Defendants now move pursuant to
Rule 12(b)(1) to dismiss Plaintiffs' first and second
claims as moot, and pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) to dismiss
Plaintiffs' third claim as barred by laches.