United States District Court, D. Columbia
DALE YOUNG, Parent and Next Friend of C.Y., a minor, C. Y.,
Plaintiffs: Robert Wilson Jones, LEAD ATTORNEY, JAMES E.
BROWN & ASSOCIATES, PLLC, Washington, DC.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, A Municipal Corporation, Defendant:
Laura George, LEAD ATTORNEY, OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL/DC,
A. ROBINSON, United States Magistrate Judge.
Dale Young and minor child C.Y., brought this action against
Defendant, the District of Columbia, to recover a total of
$25,537.72 in attorneys' fees and costs incurred during
the course of administrative proceedings pursuant to the
Individuals with Disabilities Act (" IDEA" ), 20
U.S.C. § § 1400 et seq. See
Complaint (" Compl." ) (Document No. 1). This
action was referred to the undersigned United States
Magistrate Judge for full case management. Order Referring
Case (Document No. 3). With the consent of the parties, this
case was reassigned to the undersigned for all purposes.
See (Document Nos. 16, 17).
Motion for Summary Judgment (Document No. 12) has been fully
briefed, and is pending for determination by the court.
See also Plaintiffs' Memorandum of Points and
Authorities in Support of the Plaintiffs' Motion for
Summary Judgment (" Pl.s' Mem." ) (Document No.
12) and accompanying exhibits; Defendant's Opposition to
Plaintiffs' Petition for Attorneys' Fees and Costs
(" Def.'s Opp'n" ) (Document No. 13);
Plaintiffs' Reply to Defendant's Opposition to the
Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment (" Pl.s'
Reply" ) (Document No. 14); Hearing Officer
Determination (" HOD" ) (Document 12-2 at 23-31).
Upon consideration of the motion, the memoranda in support
thereof and in opposition thereto; the exhibits offered in
support of the motion, and the entire record herein, the
court will grant Plaintiffs' motion in part.
was 12 years old and attended a DCPS middle school at the
time of the underlying administrative action. HOD at 3.
During School Year (" SY" ) 2011/2012, C.Y. was in
6th grade and generally conformed to expected behavior
standards with limited prompting. Id. In SY 2012/13,
C.Y. began exhibiting behavioral problems resulting in
C.Y.'s suspension about once per month during the SY.
approximately September of SY 2012/13, Plaintiff Dale Young
contacted the counselor at C.Y.'s school, stated that he
suspected C.Y. was having problems academically, and asked
for testing to determine whether C.Y. was having problems
learning. Id. Plaintiff Dale Young did not hear back
from the counselor on this issue. Id. "
However, DCPS had both parents coming up to the school to sit
in class with [C.Y.] in attempt to avoid suspensions, DCPS
had [C.Y.] interact with the counselor and social worker, and
DCPS tried to work with parents to get [C.Y.] help outside
the school." Id. C.Y. received failing grades
for the first and second advisories of SY 2012/13.
Id. In or about February 2013, Plaintiff Dale Young
sent e-mails to three of C.Y.'s teachers expressing
concern about C.Y.'s grades, informing them that he asked
the counselor to conduct a testing of C.Y. and that he was
waiting for a response, and suggesting that " perhaps
[C.Y.] was acting out because [C.Y.] was academically slow in
some areas." Id. at 4. After being told by the
she would suspend C.Y. if C.Y. remained at the school and
C.Y.'s homeroom teacher recommended removing C.Y. from
the school, Plaintiff Dale Young withdrew C.Y. from the
school. Id. at 4.
February 2013, C.Y. began attending the second middle school
for SY 2012/2013. Id. Plaintiff Dale Young shared
his concerns about C.Y.'s academic ability, previous
history, and request for testing at the previous school, with
the special education coordinator (SEC). Id. It
appears that the SEC decided to take a wait and see approach
and that nothing was done about Plaintiff Dale Young's
concerns. Id. Approximately three weeks after C.Y.
began attending the second middle school, C.Y. began
exhibiting behavioral problems and was subsequently suspended
twice. Id. As there were only two days left of the
school year when C.Y. was due to return, Plaintiff Dale Young
decided not to take C.Y. back at the end of the school year.
the summer of 2013, DCPS began C.Y.'s initial evaluation
for special education and related services. Id. In
September 2013, DCPS conducted C.Y.'s comprehensive
evaluation. C.Y. was diagnosed with Disruptive
Behavior Disorder Not Otherwise Specified and
Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Combined Type.
Id. at 5. For SY 2013/14 Plaintiff Dale Young
enrolled C.Y. in the current DCPS middle school. Id.
C.Y. began having behavioral problems during the second week
of enrollment and was subsequently suspended " at least
three times at the start of SY 2013/2014." Id.
November 7, 2013, DCPS conducted an eligibility meeting for
C.Y. " Although [C.Y.'s] advocate pointed out
[C.Y.'s] many suspensions and problematic behaviors, the
team determined that there was not enough information to
support ED." Id. Ultimately, the team
determined that [C.Y.] qualified for special education and
related services with a disability of OHI and ADHD."
continued to exhibit behavioral problems and was again
suspended. Id. Plaintiff Dale Young and DCPS
disagreed regarding the cause of C.Y.'s behavioral
problems. See id. at 5-6. On November 18,
2013, at a manifestation determination review meeting ("
MDR" ) concerning C.Y.'s suspension, the MDR team
determined that C.Y.'s behavior was not a manifestation
of his disability. Id. at 5. Plaintiff Dale Young
stated that C.Y.'s behavior at home was not disrespectful
and " not as sever." Id. at 6. C.Y.'s
advocate disagreed with the MDR team's determination,
" asserting that C.Y. should be considered ("
ED" ) instead of OHI and ADHD only." Id.
November 26, 2013, C.Y.'s IEP team met to develop
C.Y.'s initial IEP, which lists OHI (ADD or ADHD) as
C.Y.'s primary disability. Id. The IEP required
C.Y. to receive 3 hours per week of specialized instruction
in general education, 2 hours per week of specialized
instruction outside general education, and 120 minutes
per month of behavioral support services. Id. DCPS
indicated that C.Y. would receive additional 30 minutes per
week of behavioral support that would not be listed in the
IEP. Id. C.Y.'s advocate disagreed with the
services provided, asserting that C.Y. needed a full-time
therapeutic placement. Id. However, DCPS was
concerned that pulling C.Y. out of general education and
implementing too many services at the outset would stigmatize
C.Y. Id. DCPS indicated a willingness to revisit the
IEP after it had been given a chance to work. Id.
C.Y. continued to exhibit behavioral problems in November
2013 and was suspended in December 2013. Id. DCPS
continued with efforts to help modify C.Y.'s behavior.
Process Complaint and Hearing
November 27, 2013, Plaintiffs Dale Young and C.Y. brought an
administrative action against DCPS. Id. at 1. The
parties were not able to resolve the matter during the
resolution period. Id. A subsequent Prehearing Order
identified the following Plaintiffs' claims for
i. Alleged failure to comply with Child Find obligations
and/or timely evaluate or identify [C.Y.] as eligible for
special education and/or develop an IEP for [C.Y.] and make
services available in a timely manner;
ii. Alleged inappropriate determination on or about November
18, 2013 that [C.Y.'s] conduct was not a manifestation of
[C.Y.'s] disability and alleged failure to conduct an FBA
and/or develop a BIP for [C.Y.] following a one week
suspension, which exceeded 10 days of suspension in the same
iii. Alleged failure to develop an appropriate IEP on or
about November 26, 2013 because the IEP failed to provide a
full-time therapeutic setting for students with ED and ADHD
and failed to provide sufficient behavior support services in
light of [C.Y.'s] escalating behaviors; and
iv. Alleged failure to conduct a timely FBA and convene a
follow-up meeting to develop a BIP during SYs 2012/13 and
2013/14 (although Petitioner acknowledged DCPS supplied an
FBA and a BIP at the resolution session).
HOD at 1.
relief, Plaintiffs requested that the DCPS be ...