Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Yoo v. District of Columbia

United States District Court, District of Columbia

January 7, 2019

BYUNG HWA YOO, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION REGARDING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          KETANJI BROWN JACKSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On January 29, 2017, plaintiffs Byung Hwa Yoo and Chang Choi (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) commenced this action against the District of Columbia, to recover a total of $94, 739.05 in attorney fees and costs associated with an administrative proceeding under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”), 20 U.S.C. § 1400, et seq. On January 31, 2017, the Court referred this matter to a magistrate judge for full case management (see Minute Order of Jan. 31, 2017), and Plaintiffs thereafter filed the requisite motion for attorney fees and costs (see Pls.' Mot. for Attorney Fees and Costs, ECF No. 9). Currently before this Court is the Report and Recommendation that the assigned Magistrate Judge, Deborah A. Robinson, has filed with respect to Plaintiffs' fee motion. (See Report & Recommendation (“R & R”), ECF No. 15.)[1]

         Magistrate Judge Robinson determined the attorney fees, paralegal fees, and costs that Plaintiffs incurred in litigating the underlying administrative proceeding. With respect to attorney fees, Magistrate Judge Robinson recommended that this Court award Plaintiff attorney fees “at their attorney's applicable Laffey billing rate for the number of hours claimed[, ]” for a total of $89, 346.40 (id. at 14; see also Id. at 4), as well as paralegal fees in the amount of $154, which likewise represents the number of paralegal hours claimed “at the applicable Laffey billing rate” (id. at 15; see also Id. at 5). The Report and Recommendation further suggests that Plaintiffs be awarded $1320.15 in costs, including $70.20 for mileage (130 miles at $0.54 per mile instead of the requested $0.54 per mile), $30 for parking, $78.60 for postage, and $ $1, 141.35 for copying (all the pages requested at $0.15 per page instead of the requested $0.25 per page).[2] (See Id. at 4, 15-16.)

         The Report and Recommendation also advised the parties that they “may file written objections to this report and recommendation[, ]” and warned that, “[i]n the absence of timely objections, further review of issues addressed may be deemed waived.” (Id. at 17.) See also Gov't of Rwanda v. Johnson, 409 F.3d 368, 376 (D.C. Cir. 2005) (“[O]bjections to magistrate rulings are forfeited absent timely challenge in the district court[.]”). Magistrate Judge Robinson further informed the parties that any objections must “specifically identify the portions of the findings and recommendations to which objection is made and the basis of each objection.” (R & R at 17.) To date, no such objections have been filed.

         This Court finds that Magistrate Judge Robinson has thoroughly considered the issues raised in this action, and, given that neither party has filed an objection, it will ADOPT the attached Report and Recommendation's findings and conclusions in their entirety. Thus, as set forth in the accompanying Order, Plaintiffs' motion for attorney fees and costs will be GRANTED IN PART, and they will be awarded $89, 346.40 in attorney fees; paralegal fees in the amount of $154; and $1320.15 in costs.[3]

         APPENDIX A

         UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

         BYUNG HWA YOO, et al. Plaintiffs, v.

         DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Defendant.

         Civil Action No. 17-00184 KBJ/DAR

         REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          DEBORAH A. ROBINSON United States Magistrate Judge

         Plaintiffs Byung Hwa Yoo and Chang Choi bring this action against Defendant, the District of Columbia, to recover a total of $94, 739.05 in attorney's fees and costs associated with an administrative proceeding conducted pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Act (“IDEA”), 20 U.S.C. § 1400, et seq. Complaint (ECF No. 1) at ¶ 5. Pending for consideration by the undersigned is Plaintiffs' Motion for Attorney['s] Fees and Costs (“Plaintiffs' Motion”) (ECF No. 9). Upon consideration of Plaintiffs' motion, the memoranda in support thereof and in opposition thereto (ECF Nos. 9-3, 10, 11, 13, 14), the exhibits offered by the parties and the entire record herein, the undersigned will recommend that Plaintiffs' motion be granted in part.

         I. Background

         Plaintiffs are the parents of W.C., a resident of the District of Columbia eligible for special education and related services. See Hearing Officer's Determination (“HOD”) (ECF 9-4) at 6. On April 27, 2016, Plaintiffs filed an administrative due process complaint against District of Columbia Public Schools (“DCPS”), in which they sought “reimbursement from Respondent District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) for [W.C.'s] enrollment at [Nonpublic School] for the 2015-2016 school year[, ]” and other relief for “alleged denials of a free and appropriate education (FAPE) to [W.C.] since the 2010-2011 school year.” Id. at 1-2. The following issues were presented:

I. Whether DCPS denied [W.C.] a FAPE by failing to develop an appropriate IEP for [W.C.] at the IEP meetings held in February 2014, November 2014, December 2014 and June 2015 in that:
a. At each of the above IEP meetings, the IEP teams failed to discuss, determine and indicate on [W.C.'s] IEPs what was the appropriate Least Restrictive Environment for [W.C.] and the type of placement [W.C.] needed along the continuum of alternative placements;
b. DCPS denied [W.C.] a FAPE by delegating the placement and Least Restrictive Environment determination/decision to a DCPS team that did not include Petitioners and individuals knowledgeable about [W.C.];
c. The IEP teams failed to include Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) on any of the above IEPs; d. The IEPs did not include the services of a one-on-one dedicated aide.
II. Whether DCPS denied [W.C.] a FAPE by failing to offer [W.C.] placement in a program that could provide [W.C.] with a FAPE;
III. Whether DCPS denied [W.C.] a FAPE for the last two years by failing to issue Prior Written Notices informing the Petitioners of the placement for the [W.C.] in an appropriate program and describing what options had been considered, thereby depriving Petitioners of the ability to meaningfully participate and make meaningful decisions concerning [W.C.'s] education;
IV. Whether DCPS denied [W.C.] a FAPE since the 2014-2015 school year by requiring Petitioners to fund the services of a one-on-one aide to assist [W.C.] at school;
VI. Whether DCPS denied [W.C.] a FAPE by failing to convene an IEP/MDT meeting to review and revise [W.C.'s] IEP based on the new information contained in the May 2015 [Independent Educational Evaluation] neuropsychological evaluation report;
VII. Whether DCPS denied [W.C.] a FAPE by failing to conduct a functional behavioral assessment (FBA) and develop a behavior intervention plan after repeated requests from Petitioners to do so, beginning over two years ago;
VIII. Whether DCPS denied [W.C.] a FAPE by failing to provide ABA Therapy services to [W.C.] and include it on his IEPs;
IX. Whether DCPS denied [W.C.] a FAPE by failing to develop a safety plan after being on notice for several years that [W.C.] had aggressive behaviors and was injurious to himself and others;
X. Whether DCPS denied [W.C.] a FAPE by failing to: a) inform Petitioners of the availability of ESY programs; b) ensure that [W.C.'s] IEP team discussed and determined [W.C.'s] need for [Extended School Year (“ESY”)] services and c) offered [W.C.] an appropriate placement in an ESY program during the summers of 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 and
XI. Whether DCPS denied [W.C.] a FAPE by failing to conduct an assistive technology (AT) evaluation of [W.C.] beginning ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.