United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER ON MOTIONS TO SUPPLEMENT THE RECORD RE: DKT.
NOS. 53, 54
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.
Plaintiffs and Defendants West Contra Costa Unified School
District and West Contra Costa Unified School District
Special Education Local Plan Area separately move to
introduce additional evidence to supplement the
administrative record. [Docket Nos. 53 (Defs.' Mot.), 54
(Pls.' Mot.).] The motions are suitable for resolution
without a hearing pursuant to Civil Local 7-1(b). For the
following reasons, Defendants' motion is granted and
Plaintiffs' motion is denied.
make the following allegations in their complaint. S.B., who
was born in 1994, has multiple learning disabilities. She
became eligible for special education and related services
starting in eighth grade, and graduated from high school in
June 2015. At all relevant times, S.B.'s school district
of residence was West Contra Costa Unified School District
(the “District”). [Docket No. 45 (First Am.
Compl., “FAC”) ¶¶ 12, 13.]
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. FAC ¶ 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
specialized services. 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
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, 39. In April 2014, M.B. submitted a request for several
months' worth of mileage reimbursement to the District on
forms created by her attorney, but never received
reimbursement for the mileage claimed on these forms.
Id. at ¶¶ 39, 40. In June 2015, M.B.
submitted mileage reimbursement forms for the period August
27, 2013 through June 5, 2015. Plaintiffs allege that the
District never processed the forms. Id. at ¶
43. S.B. graduated from Bayhill High School on June 7, 2015.
Id. at ¶ 12.
to Plaintiffs, 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 ¶ 37. 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
IEEs. Id. at ¶¶ 37, 41. 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 ¶ 38.
filed a due process complaint against the District on August
26, 2015, alleging that the District had failed to provide
S.B. 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
¶ 44. 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 ¶ 45.
Plaintiffs allege that their attorney “was told
M.B.'s signature was not required [on the forms] because
her signature was on the other forms.” Id.
Plaintiffs further allege that on or around October 8, 2015,
their attorney “was told by District Counsel that M.B.
needed to come in and sign the mileage forms before they
could be processed, ” even though “the attorney
had inquired on September 8[, 2015].” Id. at
¶ 46. M.B. signed the forms on October 9, 2015 and was
told she would receive the check within 30 days. Id.
amended her due process complaint in October 2015,
challenging the District's failure to 1) reimburse S.B.
and/or her parents for round trip mileage to and from Bayhill
High School through March 5, 2014; 2) provide transportation
to and from school for S.B. after Plaintiffs' March 5,
2014 request; and 3) provide the three IEEs following
Plaintiffs' counsel's March 5, 2014 request.
Id. at ¶ 48. The matter was tried on March
22-24, 2016. Id. at ¶ 56. Plaintiffs allege
that 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 ¶ 53. Plaintiffs never received a check
in the mail. Id. at ¶ 54. 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 ¶ 62.
Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) issued a
decision in May 2016. FAC 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
bring three claims for relief. The first asserts that the
District violated the IDEA, 20 U.S.C. §
1415(c)(2)(B)(i)(I), by failing to respond to L.B. and
M.B.'s due process complaint within 10 days, which
“resulted in unnecessary and protracted litigation
considering that the District paid the mileage reimbursement
during the second day of [the] hearing.” Id.
at ¶¶ 87-89. The second claim for relief challenges
the ALJ's finding that Plaintiffs were entitled to
reimbursement for two round-trips per day instead of the
actual costs of transportation for transporting S.B. to and
from Bayhill High School. Id. at ¶ 91. The third
claim for relief asserts that the ALJ erred in finding that
the District did not deny S.B. a FAPE based on its failure to
provide IEEs. Id. at ¶¶ 97-113.
parties now move separately to supplement the administrative
record. The District asks to supplement the record with a
declaration by its counsel, Shawn Olson Brown, to which three
exhibits are attached. [Docket No. 51-1 (Olson Brown Decl.,
Jan. 27, 2017).] According to the District, the Olson Brown
declaration contains evidence that contradicts certain
allegations in the FAC.
move to supplement the record with an “expert
declaration” by transportation provider Brenda
Saunders, which they submitted with their reply. [Docket No.
57-1 (Saunders Decl., Oct. 5, 2017).]
enacted the IDEA “to assist state and local agencies
financially in educating students with disabilities.”
M.L. v. Fed. Way Sch. Dist., 394 F.3d 634, 642 (9th