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P.M.B. v. Ridgefield Board of Education

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

December 16, 2019

P.M.B. and M.B., Individually and as next Friends of C.M.B., Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
Ridgefield Board of Education, Defendant-Appellee.

          Argued: December 9, 2019

          On Appeal from the United States District Court For the District of Connecticut

         Appeal from a judgment of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut (Underhill, J.) dismissing plaintiffs-appellants' complaint under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq. Plaintiffs-appellants contend that the district court erred in holding that their complaint was time-barred. Affirmed.

          Gerry A. McMahon, The Law Offices of Gerry McMahon, LLC, Danbury, Connecticut, for Plaintiffs-Appellants.

          Peter J. Murphy (Linda L. Yoder, on the brief), Shipman & Goodwin LLP, Hartford, Connecticut, for Defendant-Appellee.

          Before: Sack, Chin, and Bianco, Circuit Judges. [*]

          PER CURIAM.

         Plaintiffs-appellants P.M.B. and M.B., individually and on behalf of student C.M.B. (collectively "plaintiffs"), appeal a judgment of the district court, entered April 5, 2019, dismissing their complaint against defendant-appellee Ridgefield Board of Education ("Ridgefield") for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Plaintiffs alleged that Ridgefield violated the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq. (the "IDEA"), by failing to provide a public education that met the special education needs of C.M.B. Plaintiffs sought judicial review of a final agency determination rendered by an Impartial Hearing Officer (the "IHO") assigned by the Connecticut State Department of Education (the "CSDOE"). The IHO's final opinion and order (the "Order"), mailed on July 20, 2018, concluded that Ridgefield satisfied its obligations to plaintiffs under the IDEA and denied plaintiffs' request for reimbursement for the cost of sending C.M.B. to private school.

         Plaintiffs commenced this action on October 18, 2018, ninety days after the mailing date of the Order. Ridgefield moved to dismiss the complaint as time-barred pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), arguing that the 45-day filing requirement set forth in Conn. Gen. Stat. § 4-183(c) applies to appeals of final agency decisions in Connecticut under the IDEA. The district court agreed. On appeal, plaintiffs contend that the district court erred because Conn. Gen. State § 4-183(c) applies only to appeals filed in Connecticut state court and not to appeals filed in federal court. We affirm.

         DISCUSSION

         I. Standard of Review

         We review de novo the district court's dismissal of a complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1). See Sunrise Detox V, LLC v. City of White Plains, 769 F.3d 118, 121 (2d Cir. 2014).

         II. The IDEA's Limitations Provision

         The IDEA requires each state to establish an administrative procedure to review claimed violations of the IDEA. See 20 U.S.C. § 1415; 34 C.F.R. § 300.511. The IDEA also provides that any party aggrieved by a state hearing officer's final decision has the right to bring a civil action in state or federal court to ...


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