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Fairfield Board of Education v. A.B.

Superior Court of Connecticut, Judicial District of Fairfield, Bridgeport

October 15, 2015

Fairfield Board of Education
v.
A.B. a Minor Child, by and Through his Parents and Next Friends, Mr. C and Mrs. D et al

MEMORANDUM OF DECISION

Dale W. Radcliffe, J.

FACTS

The Plaintiff, the Fairfield Board of Education, brings this action seeking to reverse a decision rendered by a State of Connecticut, Department of Education Hearing Officer. The decision concerns a minor child, A.B., an eight-year-old who resides with his parents in the Town of Fairfield, and who has been identified as a student requiring special education and related services.

In its Amended Complaint, dated May 20, 2015, the Plaintiff acknowledges that A.B. is eligible for special education, under the category of autism, and has been provided with a free appropriate public education since the fall of 2009. Planning and placement team (PPT) evaluations were conducted on an annual basis.

As part of the ongoing PPT process, on February 7, 2014, it was agreed that A.B. would undergo an outside neurological evaluation, at the expense of the Fairfield Board of Education. A report was compiled by Dr. Richard Grayson, a licensed psychologist, and several recommendations were offered.

At the June 6, 2014 PPT meeting attended by Dr. Grayson, A.B.'s parents requested an independent educational evaluation, a request which the Plaintiff Board of Education refused.

In August of 2014, the Plaintiff filed for a due process hearing, claiming that Dr. Grayson's evaluation was appropriate and met the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Two issues were presented before Hearing Officer Justino Rosado at the hearing:

1. Was the Neuropsychological evaluation conducted by the Board appropriate?
2. If not, should the Board conduct an independent neuropsychological evaluation at public expense?

The due process hearing, consumed parts of three days, October 21, 2014, December 16, 2014 and December 18, 2014. Testimony was received, and approximately 140 exhibits were introduced.

On February 18, 2015, Hearing Officer Rosado issued a written decision. He found that the neuropsycholoical evaluation conducted by the Board was not appropriate, and ordered the Plaintiff to pay the cost of conducting a neuropsychological evaluation of A.B.

On March 4, 2015, the Plaintiff, Fairfield Board of Education, filed a Motion to Clarify the decision of Attorney Rosario. A decision on the Motion to Clarify was issued on March 9, 2015, and was mailed to all parties to the due process hearing on March 10, 2015.

On April 22, 2015, the Fairfield Board of Education filed this appeal, from the decision of the Hearing Officer. Two days later, on April 24, 2015, a copy of this appeal was sent via email to an attorney at the Connecticut Department of Education. The initial complaint listed " A.B., a minor child" and " Mr. C and Mrs. D" the parents of the minor child, as Defendants.

On May 25, 2015, the Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint. The Amended complaint was served on the Connecticut Board of Education ...


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