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.

CALHOUN v. ILLINOIS STATE BD. OF EDUC.

July 7, 1982

STEPHEN CALHOUN, A MINOR, BY HIS PARENTS PAUL AND SHARON CALHOUN, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
ILLINOIS STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION, VALLEY VIEW COMMUNITY UNIT SCHOOL DISTRICT 365-U OF ROMEOVILLE, ILLINOIS, BOARD OF EDUCATION OF VALLEY VIEW COMMUNITY UNIT SCHOOL DISTRICT 365-U, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Moran, District Judge.

  MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

This action is brought pursuant to the Education for all Handicapped Children Act of 1975, 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq. (EAHCA), § 794 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 701 et seq. (section 794), the Civil Rights Act of 1871, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution,*fn1 and the Education Article of the Illinois Constitution, Article 10, § 1. Plaintiffs Stephen Calhoun, a minor, and his parents Paul and Sharon Calhoun seek monetary and injunctive relief against defendants Illinois State Board of Education,*fn2 Valley View Community Unit School District 365-U and the Board of Education of Valley View Community Unit School District 365-u (the latter two defendants are hereinafter collectively referred to as "defendant school district"). Whatever the source of their claims, plaintiffs charge that defendants have not provided Stephen with a free and appropriate education through their failure, inter alia, to hold a multidisciplinary staffing conference, to formulate an Individual Education Placement (IEP), and to determine a proper placement for Stephen within a reasonable time after Stephen's handicap became known to them. In addition, plaintiffs claim that defendants have wrongfully refused to reimburse Stephen's transportation expenses incurred in his move from a Kentucky facility to one in Illinois, which was the result of his parents' change in residence.

Before the court are plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction and defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint. By their motion, plaintiffs request the court to order defendant school district to hold an immediate full staffing and multidisciplinary review for Stephen at a convenient time for plaintiffs and to formulate an adequate IEP. By their motion, defendants seek a dismissal of the action with prejudice on two grounds: first, that the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction because plaintiffs failed to exhaust their administrative remedies and second, that the controversy is moot. For the following reasons, the court grants defendants' motion to dismiss on the grounds that plaintiffs have failed to exhaust their administrative remedies, but the dismissal will be without prejudice. Rambeau v. Dow, 553 F.2d 32 (7th Cir. 1977).

I. Factual Background*fn3

On March 10, 1977 Stephen Calhoun was diagnosed as suffering from mild mental retardation*fn4 and was admitted into the Oakwood treatment facility of the Kentucky Department of Mental Health. While at Oakwood Stephen attended classes in the Kentucky public school system. Stephen's parents moved to Illinois and on April 30, 1990 they registered and enrolled Stephen in defendant school district.*fn5 In May 1980 defendants were formally notified of the special education needs of Stephen and were requested to assist Stephen's education pursuant to the EAHCA. In June 1980 defendant school district identified Stephen as a handicapped child whose education was eligible for funding under the EAHCA.

Stephen's parents obtained placement for Stephen in the Madden Mental Health Center of the Illinois Department of Mental Health on July 10, 1980. Later that month the Illinois State Board of Education notified defendant school district that Stephen was not entitled to reimbursement for transportation expenses incurred in his move from Kentucky to his parents' new residence in Illinois. In November 1980 the Madden staff decided that Madden was an inappropriate placement, but Stephen remained there until May 1981. In the interim, Stephen's parents and the Madden staff notified defendant school district that it was in violation of the EAHCA and the school code of Illinois, Ill. S.H.A. ch. 122, § 14-8.02 (1979).*fn6

In July 1981 defendant school district recommended a placement for Stephen at Little Friends, Inc., a residential and day treatment center for the handicapped, and on August 31, 1981 Stephen was so placed. Plaintiff was discharged from Little Friends, Inc. on October 15, 1981 because of his violent nature, which plaintiffs allege is the result of Stephen's handicap. Since that time defendant school district has not scheduled a multidisciplinary staffing conference regarding an appropriate placement of Stephen in the evenings or on weekends, when both his parents can attend.*fn7

On October 8, 1981 the director of Kendall School attended a staffing conference at Little Friends, Inc. and stated at that meeting — attended by Stephen's parents — that Kendall School would be willing to accept Stephen. Stephen's parents have notified the school district that they will not agree to Stephen's placement at Kendall School until they have had an opportunity to visit the school.*fn8

II. Defendants' Motion to Dismiss

A. EAHCA

The EAHCA is a funding statute whereby states receive federal funds to assist them in providing educational services for the handicapped. McCowen v. Hahn, No. 78 C 4233 (N.D.Ill. July 27, 1981); Loughran v. Flanders, 470 F. Supp. 110 (D.Conn. 1979). Any state educational agency or unit receiving federal funds under the EAHCA must establish and maintain procedures whereby handicapped children and their parents may protect their rights to a "free appropriate public education." 20 U.S.C. § 1415(a).

Section 1415(b)(1)(E) requires the state to provide "an opportunity to present complaints with respect to any matter relating to the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of the child, or the provision of a free appropriate public education to such child." Upon receipt of the complaint the parents must have an opportunity for "an impartial due process hearing" by the local agency. 20 U.S.C. § 1415(b)(2). Thereafter, the aggrieved party may seek review of the local agency's decision by an impartial officer at the state agency level. 20 U.S.C. § 1415(c). Finally, judicial review is guaranteed to any party aggrieved by the final decision of the state level agency. 20 U.S.C. § 1415(e)(2). The State of Illinois, a recipient of EAHCA funds which it distributes to school districts within the state, including defendant school district, has provided by statute for the required state administrative procedure. Ill.Rev.Stat. ch. 122, § 14-8.02 (1979).

Defendants assert that the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction because plaintiffs have failed to exhaust their administrative remedies as required by EAHCA and ...


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.