United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Johnson Coleman United States District Court Judge
Cynthia Nardella, acting as the parent and guardian of C.D.,
filed a first amended complaint in this action against Leyden
High School District 212, Nick Polyak, the Superintendent of
Leyden High School District 212, the Board of Education of
Leyden Township, Melinda R. McGuffin, Kate Talsma, Katie
LaCount, Kathy Klaus (collectively “the Leyden
defendants”), and the Adventist Glen Oaks Hospital
Therapeutic Day School (Glen Oaks). Glen Oaks now moves to
dismiss the amended complaint against it for failure to state
a claim on which relief may be granted. For the reasons set
forth below, that motion  is granted.
underlying facts of this case are fully set forth in this
Courts’ prior opinion partially granting the Leyden
defendants’ motion to dismiss. (Dkt. 116). Those facts,
taken from the plaintiff’s amended complaint, are
accepted as true for the purpose of ruling on the present
motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) tests the legal sufficiency of the complaint, not
the merits of the allegations. The allegations must contain
sufficient factual material to raise a plausible right to
relief. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 569 n.14, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007).
Although Rule 8 does not require a plaintiff to plead
particularized facts, the complaint must allege factual
“allegations that raise a right to relief above the
speculative level.” Arnett v. Webster, 658
F.3d 742, 751-52 (7th Cir. 2011). Put differently, Rule 8
“does not require ‘detailed factual allegations,
’ but it demands more than an unadorned,
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct.
1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009), see also Fed. R. Civ.
P. 8(a). When ruling on a motion to dismiss, the Court must
accept all well-pleaded factual allegations in the complaint
as true and draw all reasonable inferences in the
plaintiff’s favor. Park v. Ind. Univ. Sch. of
Dentistry, 692 F.3d 828, 830 (7th Cir. 2012).
Oaks contends that Count I, which appeals the Independent
Hearing Officer’s final determination and order, must
be dismissed because Glen Oaks was not a participant in the
administrative hearing. The Individuals with Disabilities
Education Improvement Act (IDEA) provides that a parent may
file a complaint “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, ” and establishes the
procedures under which a due process hearing on the complaint
will be held. 20 U.S.C. § 1415(b). The results of such a
hearing, once final, may be appealed by bringing a civil
action with respect to the complaint presented in a district
court of competent jurisdiction. 20 U.S.C. §
Count I functions as an appeal of the Hearing Officer’s
final order, it may only be brought with respect to parties
who were participants in the due process hearing. Kerry
M. v. Manhattan Sch. Dist. #114, No. 03 C 9349, 2004 WL
2538303, at *8 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 28, 2004) (Guzman, J.).
Nardella’s amended complaint does not allege that Glen
Oaks was a participant in the administrative hearing. Rather,
it only alleges that she requested that the independent
hearing officer order the release of records in Glen
Oaks’ possession. Although Nardella now argues that her
counter-claim and amended counter-claim in the administrative
proceeding contained allegations concerning Glen Oaks, those
factual allegations are not reflected in the amended
complaint and therefore cannot be considered by this Court.
Thomason v. Nachtrieb, 888 F.2d 1202, 1205 (7th Cir.
1989) (“It is a basic principle that the complaint may
not be amended by the briefs in opposition to a motion to
dismiss . . . .”). Accordingly, there is no basis for
this Court to conclude that Glen Oaks participated in the
administrative hearing process and Count I must be dismissed
with respect to Glen Oaks.
Oaks does not address Counts II, III, or IV in its motion
because it contends that it is not named in those counts.
Each of those counts contains a paragraph explicitly
identifying which defendants they are brought against, and
Glen Oaks is not listed in any of them. Although Nardella now
asserts that the facts alleged in the amended complaint are
sufficient to support claims against Glen Oaks under those
counts, Glen Oaks was not actually named as a defendant in
those counts and therefore was deprived of notice that those
counts concerned its alleged conduct. Accordingly, to the
extent that those counts were meant to encompass Glen
Oaks’ conduct they are insufficiently plead under the
federal pleading standards and therefore must be dismissed
with respect to Glen Oaks.
Glen Oaks contends that Count V of Nardella’s amended
complaint must be dismissed because Nardella has failed to
establish a claim for intentional infliction of emotional
distress. In order to state a claim for intentional
infliction of emotional distress, a plaintiff must show that
(1) the defendant’s conduct was extreme and outrageous;
(2) the defendant intended that his conduct should inflict
severe emotional distress or knew that there was a high
probability that it would do so; and (3) the
defendant’s conduct in fact caused severe emotional
distress. Cook v. Winfrey, 141 F.3d 322, 330 (7th
Liability does not extend to mere insults, indignities,
threats, annoyances, petty oppressions or trivialities.
Liability only attaches in circumstances where the
defendant’s conduct is so outrageous in character, and
so extreme in degree, as to go beyond all possible bounds of
decency. The distress inflicted must be so severe that no
reasonable person could be expected to endure it.
Graham v. Commonwealth Edison Co., 742 N.E.2d 858,
866, 318 Ill.App.3d 736 (2000) (internal quotations and
respect to Glen Oaks, Count V of the amended complaint
alleges only that Glen Oaks “inappropriately and
improperly accepted C.D. and then continued to serve him in
an inappropriate placement intentionally causing him
emotional distress.” Nardella’s general factual
allegations further clarify that while C.D. was enrolled at
Glen Oaks he was disciplined for behaviors that may have
resulted from his autism, he was suspended twice, and it was
incorrectly suggested that he might suffer from
schizophrenia. Although this Court fully believes that C.D.
might have experienced emotional distress upon his transfer
to Glen Oaks, Nardella has not set forth any allegations
sufficient to demonstrate that Glen Oaks engaged in extreme
and outrageous conduct “beyond all possible bounds of
decency”. Id.; see also A.G. v. Paradise Valley
Unified Sch. Dist. No. 69, 815 F.3d 1195, 1209 (9th Cir.
2016) (holding that allegations that the defendants had
failed to research whether interventions were appropriate,
had failed to provide necessary accommodations, had touched
the student in an effort to restrain her, and had enlisted
police assistance to restrain her were insufficient to
establish extreme and outrageous conduct). Nor has Nardella
adequately alleged that Glen Oaks intended to inflict severe
emotional distress on C.D. or that severe emotional distress
in fact resulted from Glen Oaks’ conduct. Accordingly,
Nardella has failed to state a claim for intentional
infliction of emotional distress.
this Court turns to Glen Oaks request that its dismissal from
this case be with prejudice. Although the plaintiff has
already had one opportunity to amend the pleadings, this
Court notes that the original complaint was filed without the
assistance of counsel and that the plaintiff has specifically
requested leave to amend the ...