So you think special ed litigation is always small potatoes?

I don’t want to get into the specifics of ISD No. 283 v. E.M.D.H.  I just want to dazzle you with some numbers.  This case has been going on for a long time. The parents have prevailed at the 8th Circuit with a ruling that the school denied FAPE. But the parties continue to wrangle over the proper remedy. In this ruling the court considers the request from the parents for $838,689.16 along with $75,945.31 in attorneys’ fees and costs.  That brings the total to an eye-popping  $914,634.47.  Yowza. 

Apparently the court felt that way too.  The judge  said this demand was “counter to the cooperative process required by the IDEA, is excessive, and may not be supportable.”  Being even handed, Hizzoner also blasted the school district for its failure to serve the student appropriately. Rather than deciding the case, the judge threw up his hands, and ordered the parties to mediate and come to a reasonable solution. If that doesn’t work, the court said that it would “consider hiring a Rule 706 Expert to assist the parties.” 

I had never heard of a Rule 706 Expert, but it certainly sounds ominous.  Images of someone being tossed into the trunk of the car come to mind.    

The case was “decided” by the federal court in Minnesota on May 3, 2021, and can be found on Special Ed Connection at 78 IDELR 254.


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Tomorrow: Did they change the Penalty Free Resignation Date?