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Warshaw Law Firm, advocating for the educational rights of special needs children, is dedicated to protecting the rights of children with disabilities and children who are the victims of or accused of bullying, and assisting families in crisis through mediation and collaborative divorce.
The U.S. Supreme Court just issued a victorious ruling for parents in Fry v. Napoleon Download Fry decision that will open up avenues of judicial enforcement of rights without the need for taking cases through due process first, and then seeking redress in court, provided that the issues presented are not redressable under IDEA. The Court specifically held:”[e]xhaustion of the IDEA’s administrative procedures is unnecessary where the gravamen of the plaintiff’s suit is something other than the denial of the IDEA’s core guarantee of a FAPE.” Frequently parents in my office are seeking to bring a separate action in court for denial of 504 rights to access or discrimination under ADA, but are deterred given the need to first have an expensive adjudication in an IDEA due process proceeding. This decision gives the parents another significant litigation avenue to either pursue a hearing or possible settlement. The full scope and ramifications of this decisions will be unfolded as lower courts flesh out this decision but it is a happy day for parents; and goodness knows we could use some good news.