UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
October 22, 2010
KATINA DAVIDSON, PLAINTIFF,
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ricardo M. Urbina United States District Judge
Re Document Nos.: 11, 39
GRANTING THE DEFENDANTS'SUPPLEMENTAL MOTION TO DISMISS; GRANTING THE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO STRIKE
This action was commenced on behalf of the parents of eighty-five disabled students who allegedly prevailed in 158 separate administrative proceedings brought under the Individuals with Disabilities Education and Improvement Act ("IDEA"), 20 U.S.C. §§ 1400 et seq. Through this action, they sought the recovery of attorney's fees and costs incurred during those administrative proceedings.
On November 25, 2009, the defendants filed a combined motion to sever and first motion to dismiss. See generally Defs.' 1st Mot. to Dismiss. On January 13, 2010, the defendants filed a supplemental motion to dismiss based on the assertions of Paul Chassy, plaintiffs' prior counsel,*fn1 who indicated that the action may have been commenced without the plaintiffs' knowledge or consent. See generally Defs.' Suppl. Mot. to Dismiss. The defendants argued that the action must be dismissed because the IDEA authorizes the parents of disabled students -- rather than their attorneys -- to commence an action to recover attorney's fees. See generally id.
On September 8, 2010, the court severed the claims of all the plaintiffs save those brought by the first-listed plaintiff, Katina Davidson. See Mem. Op. (Sept. 8, 2010) at 5-10.*fn2
With respect to this remaining claim, the court held in abeyance the defendant's supplemental motion to dismiss and directed plaintiff's counsel to submit a declaration from plaintiff Davidson that this action was commenced with her knowledge and consent by September 22, 2010. Id. at 18-21.
Plaintiff's counsel failed to submit the required declaration from plaintiff Davidson by the court's deadline, stating that the plaintiff was too ill to participate in the preparation of such a declaration. See generally Pl.'s Notice of Attempted Compliance With the Court's Order and of Related Issues ("Pl.'s Notice"). Moreover, the plaintiff has requested that the court dismiss her claim, acknowledging that she has no valid claim for attorney's fees because her administrative proceeding resulted in a settlement agreement rather than a hearing officer determination.*fn3 See generally Pl.'s Mot. to Dismiss.
In light of the plaintiff's counsel failure to comply with the court's order to submit a declaration from plaintiff Davidson, see generally Pl.'s Notice, as well as the plaintiff's acknowledgement that she "has no valid claim before this court," Pl.'s Mot. to Dismiss at 1, it is clear that this matter should be dismissed with prejudice. Accordingly, the court grants the defendants' supplemental motion to dismiss. An Order consistent with this Memorandum Opinion is separately and contemporaneously issued this 22nd day of October, 2010.