United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Jeffrey T. Gilbert, Magistrate Judge.
H.P., by and through her father, W.P., has sued Defendant
Naperville Community Unit School District 203 alleging that
the District is discriminating against her as a person with a
disability by refusing to waive its residency requirement and
allow H.P. to attend high school in District 203 even though
she no longer resides in that District. This matter is now
before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for Summary
Judgment on Count I of Plaintiff's Complaint
(“Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment”)
[ECF No. 93] and Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment
on the Plaintiff's Complaint (“Defendant's
Motion for Summary Judgment”) [ECF No. 95]. For the
reasons stated below, Plaintiff's Motion for Summary
Judgment [ECF No. 93] is denied and Defendant's Motion
for Summary Judgement [ECF No. 95] is granted.
Naperville Community Unit School District 203
(“Defendant”) is an Illinois public school
district established and operated pursuant to the Illinois
School Code. Defendant's Rule 56.1 Statement of
Undisputed Material Facts in Support of Its Motion for
Summary Judgment on the Complaint (“Defendant's
SoF”), [ECF No. 97], ¶ 7; Plaintiff's
LR56.1(3) Statement of Material Facts (“Plaintiff's
SoF”), [ECF No. 94-1], ¶ 2. One of the
schools that Defendant operates is Naperville Central High
School (“NCHS”). Plaintiff H.P.
(“Plaintiff”), who is 17-years-old, was a student
at NCHS during her freshman, sophomore, and junior years of
high school. Defendant's SoF, [ECF No. 97], ¶¶
1, 3; Plaintiff's SoF, [ECF No. 94-1], ¶¶ 17-
27, 29. For the 2017-18 academic year, Plaintiff enrolled at
and is attending Downers Grove North High School
(“DGNHS”), which is a public high school in
Community High School District 99 (“District
99”). Defendant's SoF, [ECF No. 97], ¶ 24;
Plaintiff's SoF, [ECF No. 94-1], ¶ 34.
change in schools was not voluntary. In fact, she wants to
complete her secondary education at NCHS. Plaintiff changed
schools because she moved out of District 203. From 2008
until roughly the middle of 2016, Plaintiff lived with her
mother in Naperville, Illinois, which is part of District
203. Defendant's SoF, [ECF No. 97], ¶ 22;
Plaintiff's SoF, [ECF No. 94-1], ¶¶ 9, 25.
Then, after her mother's tragic death in May 2016,
Plaintiff went to live with her father, W.P., in Lisle,
Illinois, which is part of District 99, not part of District
203.Defendant's SoF, [ECF No. 97],
¶¶ 2, 4-6, 24-25; Plaintiff's SoF, [ECF No.
94-1], ¶¶ 7, 23, 25. It seems Defendant did not
find out about Plaintiff's change of residence at that
time. See Affidavit of Bob Ross, [ECF No. 98-1],
¶ 4. So Plaintiff was able to spend her entire junior
year at NCHS even though she lived in Lisle. Plaintiff's
SoF, [ECF No. 94-1], ¶¶ 26, 27. Defendant learned
that Plaintiff no longer lived in District 203 before the
start of the 2017-18 academic year and, when her father
sought permission to enroll Plaintiff at NCHS for her senior
year, Defendant refused. Defendant's SoF, [ECF No. 97],
¶¶ 26-27; Plaintiff's SoF, [ECF No. 94-1],
denied W.P.'s request because Plaintiff lived outside
District 203. Defendant's SoF, [ECF No. 97], ¶ 27;
Plaintiff's SoF, [ECF No. 94-1], ¶ 30. According to
Defendant's Board Policy 7:60 Residence,
“[a] student must establish residence within the School
District's boundaries in order to attend a School
District school.” Board Policy 7:60 Residence,
[ECF No. 22-3]; see also Defendant's SoF, [ECF
No. 97], ¶ 27. The Policy contains limited exceptions to
the requirement of in-district residency for students who (1)
move into District 203 within 60 days of the first day of
attendance, (2) move out of District 203 during the school
year, (3) change residence due to a legal custodian's
military service obligation, (4) are homeless, or (5) are
foreign exchange students. Board Policy 7:60
Residence, [ECF No. 22-3]; Defendant's SoF, [ECF
No. 97], ¶ 28; Affidavit of Bob Ross, [ECF No. 98-1],
¶ 7. It is undisputed that none of the
exceptions to Defendant's “residency requirement,
” as the Court will refer to Defendant's policy,
applies to Plaintiff.
Defendant's initial denial, W.P. subsequently asked
Defendant to waive its residency requirement and let
Plaintiff attend NCHS as an accommodation for her disability
under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“the
ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., and the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“the Rehabilitation
Act”), 29 U.S.C. § 701 et seq.
Defendant's SoF, [ECF No. 97], ¶ 31; Plaintiff's
SoF, [ECF No. 94-1], ¶ 31. Defendant again refused.
Plaintiff's SoF, [ECF No. 94-1], ¶¶ 31, 33;
see also Defendant's SoF, [ECF No. 97],
¶¶ 32-33. It is this sequence of events that led
Plaintiff to enroll at DGNHS even though W.P. and she believe
and contend that DGNHS does not provide the academic, social,
or emotional support that Plaintiff needs. Plaintiff's
SoF, [ECF No. 94-1], ¶ 35.
understand W.P.'s request for an accommodation under the
ADA and the Rehabilitation Act, it is necessary to begin in
2008. That year, after her parents' separation and
divorce, Plaintiff began to experience anxiety, depression,
sleep disturbances, and seizures. Id. ¶ 10;
see also Defendant's SoF, [ECF No. 97], ¶
12. In August 2009, Plaintiff was diagnosed with epilepsy and
subsequently prescribed Keppra for her seizures.
Plaintiff's SoF, [ECF No. 94-1], ¶ 11;
Defendant's SoF, [ECF No. 97], ¶ 12. On nine days
between September 2013 and February 2014, Plaintiff received
treatment at Linden Oaks Behavioral Health for anxiety,
depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and school
avoidance issues. Plaintiff's SoF, [ECF No. 94-1], ¶
12; Defendant's SoF, [ECF No. 97], ¶ 13. For seven
of those days, Plaintiff was hospitalized. Defendant's
SoF, [ECF No. 97], ¶ 13. Plaintiff also was prescribed
Celexa and Melatonin for her anxiety, depression, and sleep
disorders. Plaintiff's SoF, [ECF No. 94-1], ¶ 12;
see also Defendant's SoF, [ECF No. 97], ¶
early 2014, Defendant found Plaintiff was eligible for
special education and related services and prepared an
Individualized Education Program (“IEP”) for her.
IEP (Conference Summary Report), [ECF No. 94-3];
Defendant's SoF, [ECF No. 97], ¶ 19. The IEP
reflected, among other things, the following information.
Plaintiff had been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder,
Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and a seizure disorder.
Plaintiff's SoF, [ECF No. 94-1], ¶ 13. Defendant
determined that Plaintiff had “limited strength,
vitality, or alertness” and that her disability had a
significant adverse impact on her educational performance,
including in the areas of fatigue, concentration, attendance,
math, and coping skills. Id. ¶¶ 14-16.
Pursuant to this IEP, Defendant provided Plaintiff with
special education classes and services during her freshman
year of high school at NCHS. Id. ¶ 18;
Defendant's SoF, [ECF No. 97], ¶ 20.
January 2015, Plaintiff and W.P. decided that it was in
Plaintiff's best interest to enroll in general education
classes. Plaintiff's SoF, [ECF No. 94-1], ¶ 21.
Although District 203 discouraged this change and told
Plaintiff and W.P. that Plaintiff would not be eligible for
any special education classes and services if she enrolled in
general education classes, they went ahead. Id.
¶ 21; Defendant's SoF, [ECF No. 97], ¶ 20.
Since then, Plaintiff has attended general education classes
and has not participated in an IEP conference or received
special education or related services. Plaintiff's SoF,
[ECF No. 94-1], ¶¶ 21, 22, 27; Defendant's SoF,
[ECF No. 97], ¶ 21. In her junior year at NCHS, Plaintiff
attended an advanced placement class, became an active member
and officer of Future Farmers of America, and obtained a
teaching assistant position for the following school year.
Plaintiff's SoF, [ECF No. 94-1], ¶ 27.
September 2017, after she switched to DGNHS, Plaintiff began
seeing Melanie Bullock, a clinical counselor, because of
increasing despondency over the impact of attending the new
school. Id. ¶ 36; Defendant's SoF, [ECF No.
97], ¶ 17. Bullock initially diagnosed H.P. with an
adjustment disorder, which is a milder form of depression.
Plaintiff's SoF, [ECF No. 94-1], ¶ 37. Bullock
subsequently diagnosed her with Persistent Depressive
Disorder and recommended that she see a psychologist.
Id. ¶ 38. In December 2017, Bullock began
assessing Plaintiff for a major depressive disorder because
she observed, among other things, passive suicidal thoughts
and an increase in apathy and hopelessness. Id.
¶ 39. Later that month, Plaintiff saw Dr. Petrit Ndrio,
a psychologist, who confirmed the diagnosis of Persistent
Depressive Disorder and prescribed Prozac and Adderall for
Plaintiff's increasing anxiety and depression.
Id. ¶ 41. Because attending DGNHS is causing
her anxiety and mental stress, Plaintiff has decided that she
would rather drop out of school and pursue a GED or High
School Equivalency Certificate than complete her senior year
at DGNHS. Id. ¶ 42.
21, 2017, Plaintiff filed a three-count Complaint for
Declaratory and Injunctive Relief (“Complaint”)
[ECF No. 1]. On August 1, 2017, Plaintiff filed a motion for
a preliminary injunction. Plaintiff's Motion for
Preliminary Injunction, [ECF No. 9]. On August 16, 2017, the
Court held a preliminary injunction hearing and denied
Plaintiff's motion in an oral ruling. Minute Entry Dated
August 16, 2017, [ECF No. 32]. Two days later, Defendant
moved to dismiss the Complaint in its entirety.
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss, [ECF No. 36]. The Court
dismissed part of Count I (a disparate impact claim) and all
of Count II without prejudice, and dismissed Count III with
prejudice. Memorandum Opinion and Order, [ECF No. 97];
see also H.P. v. Naperville Cmty. Unit Sch. Dist.
#203, 2017 WL 5585627 (N.D.Ill. Nov. 20, 2017). The
Court did not dismiss any other portion of Count I, including
the claim that Defendant violated Title II of the ADA and
§ 504 of the Rehabilitation Act by refusing to
accommodate Plaintiff's disability by waiving the
residency requirement and allowing Plaintiff to attend NCHS
even though she does not reside in District 203. Because
Plaintiff did not file an amended complaint, only her claim
under Title II and § 504 remain alive in this case.
judgment is proper when “the pleadings, depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together
with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine
issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is
entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). A genuine issue of material fact exists
if “the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could
return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson
v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). The
party seeking ...