Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Hayes v. Williamsville Central School Dist.

August 10, 2007

BARBARA YVONNE HAYES AND BARBARA YVONNE HAYES ON BEHALF OF HER SON HARRY HAYES, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
WILLIAMSVILLE CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT, DEFENDANT.
BARBARA YVONNE HAYES AND BARBARA YVONNE HAYES ON BEHALF OF HER SON HARRY HAYES, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
WILLIAMSVILLE CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT, NEW YORK STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT AND UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES OFFICE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS REGION II, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: John T. Elfvin S.U.S.D.J.

MEMORANDUM and ORDER*fn1

INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff BarBara Yvonne Hayes (Ms. Hayes) filed the instant*fn2 Amended Complaint pro se on behalf of herself and her son, Harry Hayes, alleging violations of 20 U.S.C. §1400 et seq. (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ("IDEA"*fn3 )), 29 U.S.C. §794 (§504(a) of the Rehabilitation Act), 42 U.S.C. §12101 et seq. (Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA")), 20 U.S.C. §1232g (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act ("FERPA")), 42 U.S.C. §1983 ("§1983") and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act (42 U.S.C. §2000d - hereinafter referred to a "Title VI") against the Williamsville School District ("the District"), the New York State Education Department ("the Education Department") and the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights Region II ("the U.S. Civil Rights Office").*fn4 The Education Department has filed a Motion for a More Definite Statement and/or to Dismiss (Dkt. #8) and the District has filed a Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. #7). The parties have filed their respective Responses and Replies, oral argument was held on June 1, 2007 and the motions are now before the Court for decision. Having fully reviewed the submissions of the parties and carefully considered the matter before it, the Court issues the following decision regarding the above motions and various other motions pending in both cases. (See fn.2 herein).

DISCUSSION

The Education Depar tm ent's Motion

The Education Department moves for dismissal, primarily on two grounds:

(1) the Court lacks jurisdiction over the claims filed against it pursuant to the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution, and (2) any IDEA claims against it are untimely. In its motion for a more definite statement the Education Department argues that the Amended Complaint does not comply with Rules 8 and 10 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCvP).

The gravamen of the claims against the Education Department herein are that it "errorred [sic] in many of its findings regarding complaints", hearings and appeals Ms. Hayes filed against the District and also that it "continuously errored [sic] in the handling" of these complaints, hearings and appeals due to "bias and incompetence" of the hearing officers*fn5 . The Amended Complaint seeks monetary relief from this defendant (i.e., $600,000 on each cause of action) and an Order revoking the individual hearing officers' certificates forever.*fn6 Notwithstanding this certificate revocation request, this is not a claim for injunctive relief because it does not seek prospective relief to remedy an ongoing violation of federal law but rather seeks money and other punitive action from the state to punish the hearing officers for their past allegedly improper behavior. See generally Davis v. New York, 316 F.3d 93, 102 (2d Cir. 2002) (citing Kostok v. Thomas, 105 F.3d 65, 69 (2d Cir.1997)("A federal court may grant prospective injunctive relief only to stop or prevent acts that are illegal under federal law.")).

The Court agrees with the defendant Education Department that the Amended Complaint is very difficult to decipher and does not indicate which cause of action is asserted against which defendant.*fn7 However, for purposes of the motion to dismiss on Eleventh Amendment grounds, the Court will construe the Amended Complaint to assume that each cause of action as asserted therein was asserted against the Education Department. Other problems presented by the unartful and inarticulate drafting of the Amended Complaint will be addressed, infra.

a. The Motion to Dismiss

The Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution states:

The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.

U.S.C.A. Const. Amend. XI.

The Eleventh Amendment bars federal court claims against states, absent their consent to such suit or an express statutory waiver of immunity. Will v. Mich. Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 66 (1989); Pennhurst State School & Hospital v. Halderman, 465 U.S. 89, 98-100 (1984). A state agency or department such as the Education Department is "[a]n official arm of the state" that "enjoys the same Eleventh Amendment immunity from suit in federal court as is enjoyed by the state itself." Posr v. Court Officer Shield No. 207, 180 F.3d 409, 414 (2d Cir. 1999); see also Pennhurst, supra at 100; Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. 159, 166 (1985); Santiago v. New York ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.