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Bishop v. Oakstone Academy

February 27, 2007

COURTLAND BISHOP, ET. AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
OAKSTONE ACADEMY, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Marbley

Magistrate Judge King

OPINION AND ORDER

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter is before the Court on Defendant Ohio Department of Education's ("Defendant" or "ODE") Motion for Summary Judgment on Count IV of Plaintiffs' Amended Complaint. Count IV is the only count that pertains to Defendant. In a separate motion, the remaining defendants moved to dismiss Counts I, II, III, V, VI, and VII of the Amended Complaint.

For the reasons stated herein, Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment on Count IV of Plaintiffs' Amended Complaint is GRANTED.

II. FACTS

Worthington School District placed C.B. ("Minor Plaintiff") at Oakstone Academy as a result of his identification as a child with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Act ("IDEA"), 20 U.S.C. §1400 et seq., in 2002. At the time of his placement, Minor Plaintiff was three years of age. Minor Plaintiff's parents placed his non-disabled twin brother at Oakstone Academy to serve as a peer model. During Minor Plaintiff's time at Oakstone Academy, the Worthington School District payed for his tuition.

Defendant the Ohio State University Children's Center for Developmental Enrichment ("CCDE") is a private, non-profit organization that is organized under Ohio law for charitable and educational purposes. Oakstone Academy is a name registered by CCDE which describes the portion of CCDE's business which operates a private school.*fn1 Oakstone Academy's purpose is to "provide services for enhancing the lives if children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families."*fn2

Minor Plaintiff attended Oakstone Academy from 2002 until 2005. On or about April 26, 2005, C.B. was diagnosed with a form of autism, and CCDE prepared an Individualized Education Plan ("IEP") to deal with his educational needs. Agents of CCDE, Worthington School District, and Minor Plaintiff's parents all signed the IEP. C.B.'s parents also received a copy of the "parent notice of procedural safeguards."

Oakstone Academy provided educational services to C.B. pursuant to the IEP until on or about August 25, 2005, when Oakstone Academy allegedly expelled C.B. after his mother "questioned" his classroom assignment. Minor Plaintiff's parents later withdrew his brother from Oakstone Academy.

On October 25, 2005 Plaintiffs filed a Complaint Notice and Request for Due Process Hearing with the ODE. Plaintiff alleges that all notices regarding the hearing indicated that the only parties to the hearing would be Plaintiffs and Worthington School District. Prior to the hearing, Plaintiffs withdrew this complaint and hearing request. Instead, Plaintiffs Courtland and Michelle Bishop, individually and as next friends of Minor Plaintiff, filed this action.

In Count IV of their Amended Complaint, Plaintiffs claim that Defendant ODE failed to take any reasonable steps to ensure that Minor Plaintiff was given the rights and protection afforded to him by the Individuals with Disabilities Act, 20 U.S.C. §1400 et seq. ("IDEA") and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 504.

Defendant ODE has moved to for summary judgment on Count IV, Plaintiffs have filed an opposition, and ODE has filed a reply. As ...


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