The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hurd, District Judge.
MEMORANDUM — DECISION AND ORDER
On July 17, 2000, plaintiff Board of Education of the Pawling
Central School District ("plaintiff" or the "District") commenced
the instant action against defendants Steven Schutz and Yvonne
Schutz (collectively, the "Schutzes"), and the State Education
Department of the State of New York ("NYSED"), and Frank Munoz,
as the State Review Officer of the State Education Department of
the State of New York ("SRO Munoz") (collectively, the "State
defendants"), pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq., ("IDEA"), and against
NYSED and SRO Munoz pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Defendants now move to dismiss the complaint in its entirety.
In addition, the Schutzes move for a preliminary injunction
ordering the District to comply with SRO Munoz's order of March
16, 2000, requiring it to reimburse them for the cost of their
disabled son's private school tuition, and for attorneys' fees.
Oral argument was heard on November 27, 2000, in Albany, New
York. Decision was reserved.
This case arises out of a dispute over the education offered to
the Schutzes' son, Kevin Schutz, a student in the District with
severe dyslexia. There are no material facts in dispute in this
Kevin Schutz entered the District in kindergarten in 1991.
Classified as a student with a learning disability by the
District's Committee on Special Education ("CSE") in 1993, Kevin
continued to attend its public schools, where he received special
education and related services pursuant to Individualized
Education Programs ("IEP") for the 1993-94 and 1994-95 school
years. In September 1995, the Schutzes objected to the proposed
IEP for the 1995-96 school year and unilaterally removed Kevin
from school and enrolled him in the Kildonan School ("Kildonan").
Kildonan is a nationally renowned private school which serves
children with learning disabilities.
The parties were unable to resolve the dispute over Kevin's
IEP, and the Schutzes requested an impartial hearing in 1997, on
the grounds that the District failed to offer Kevin a free
appropriate public education ("FAPE"). In that hearing, the
Schutzes sought reimbursement of Kevin's tuition at Kildonan for
the 1995-96 and 1996-97 school years.
The Schutzes objected to the IEPs proposed by the District for
the 1997-98 and 1998-99 school years, and the parties agreed to
tuition reimbursement for those years. The Schutzes also objected
to the IEP proposed by plaintiff's CSE for the 1999-2000 academic
year, and re-enrolled Kevin at Kildonan. The Schutzes then
requested an impartial hearing seeking tuition reimbursement for
that school year.
At the outset of the hearing, the Schutzes sought to invoke the
"stay put" provision of the IDEA, 20 U.S.C. § 1415(j). They
requested that the hearing officer issue an interim ruling
requiring plaintiff to pay Kevin's tuition at Kildonan during the
pendency of the current dispute. The hearing officer denied the
Schutzes' request on November 5, 1999. The Schutzes appealed to
SRO Munoz, who sustained their appeal on March 16, 2000. SRO
Munoz annulled the decision of the hearing officer and ordered
the District to "reimburse petitioners for their expenditures for
their son's tuition at the Kildonan School during the pendency of
the proceedings brought concerning the boy's educational
placement for the 1999-2000 school year." The District then
commenced the instant lawsuit challenging this ruling.*fn2
A. 12(b)(6) Motion To Dismiss
In deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a court "must accept the
allegations contained in the complaint as true, and draw all
reasonable inferences in favor of the non-movant; it should not
dismiss the complaint `unless it appears beyond a reasonable
doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of
[its] claim which would entitle [it] to relief.'" Sheppard v.
Beerman, 18 F.3d 147, 150 (2d Cir. 1994) (quoting Conley v.
Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 78 S.Ct. 99, 2 L.Ed.2d 80 (1957));
see also Kaluczky v. City of White Plains, 57 F.3d 202, 206 (2d
Cir. 1995). However, conclusory allegations that merely state the
general legal conclusions necessary to prevail on the merits and
are unsupported by factual averments will not be accepted as
true. See, e.g., Clapp v. Greene, 743 F. Supp. 273, 276
(S.D.N.Y. 1990); Albert v. Carovano, 851 F.2d 561, 572 (2d Cir.
The State defendants move to dismiss the complaint in its
entirety pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) on the grounds that it
fails to state a cause of action upon which relief can be
granted, and on the grounds that neither State defendant is a
proper party under the IDEA. They also move to dismiss the
complaint against SRO Munoz on the grounds of qualified and
absolute immunity. The individual defendants also move to dismiss
the IDEA claim against them pursuant to Fed. ...