Case: Jamie S. v. Milwaukee Public Schools

2:01-cv-00928 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin

Filed Date: Sept. 13, 2001

Closed Date: 2013

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On September 13, 2001, seven students with disabilities, by and through their parents, filed this class-action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin against the Milwaukee Public School System ("MPS") and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction ("DPI"). The Plaintiffs, represented by attorneys from Disability Rights Wisconsin, claimed that MPS violated their right to a free, appropriate public education as guaranteed by the Individuals with Disa…

On September 13, 2001, seven students with disabilities, by and through their parents, filed this class-action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin against the Milwaukee Public School System ("MPS") and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction ("DPI"). The Plaintiffs, represented by attorneys from Disability Rights Wisconsin, claimed that MPS violated their right to a free, appropriate public education as guaranteed by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Specifically, the Plaintiffs claimed that they were improperly denied special education services and Individualized Education Programs ("IEPs") designed to fit their needs.

The Plaintiffs' original complaint defined the class as "all school age children with disabilities who reside in the Milwaukee Public School District boundaries and who are or may be eligible for special education and related services under IDEA and Wisconsin law." The court, however found this too broad, which prompted the Plaintiffs to file an amended complaint on May 3, 2004, redefining the class as "all students eligible to receive special education from MPS who are, have been or will be denied or delayed entry into or participation in the IEP process." Magistrate Judge Aaron Goodstein granted the Plaintiffs' motion for class certification.

The district court eventually held a bench trial and found both the city and state Defendants liable for systemic violations of the IDEA. Jamie S. v. Milwaukee Pub. Sch., 519 F. Supp. 2d 870 (E.D. Wis. 2007). At that point, DPI settled with the class, agreeing to order MPS to meet certain compliance benchmarks. The district court approved the settlement over MPS's objection. 2008 WL 2340362 (E.D. Wis. June 6, 2008). The settlement required that MPS conduct at least 95% of its initial evaluations within the required time period (or get proper extensions), that MPS make a reasonable effort to ensure that a parent or guardian was present at 95% of the initial IEP meetings, and that MPS make better efforts in identifying children with disabilities by monitoring school suspension patterns. The Court then appointed a monitor for a two-year period to track MPS's compliance, and imposed a comprehensive remedial scheme. 2009 WL 1615520 (E.D. Wis. June 9, 2009).

MPS appealed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Plaintiffs cross-appealed the denial of certification of their first proposed class. On February 3, 2012, the Seventh Circuit (Judge Diane S. Sykes) quickly dismissed the Plaintiffs cross-appeal, noting that it was neither timely nor within the Court's jurisdiction. Turning to MPS's appeal, the Court vacated the Settlement Agreement, holding that the class never should have been certified because the Plaintiffs' cases were "highly individualized and vastly diverse," thus making the case inappropriate for a class-action lawsuit. Jamie S. v. Milwaukee Public Schools, 668 F.3d 481 (7th Cir. 2012).

The 7th Circuit opinion stated: "What remains are the claims of the individual Plaintiffs; the district court did not find a denial of a free appropriate public education [FAPE] in any individual case. Furthermore, the court's reasons for excusing administrative exhaustion appear to have been tied to the class allegations, and it's not clear whether the court would have excused exhaustion for any of the individual claims. Finally, it's possible - perhaps likely - that some of the named Plaintiffs' individual circumstances have changed such that their claims are now moot. We leave it to the district court on remand the task of determining whether anything remains of this case and what, if anything, should happen next." Jamie S. v. Milwaukee Pub. Sch., 668 F.3d 481, 499-500 (7th Cir. 2012).

On remand, the district court's Judge Rudolph Randa dismissed the action altogether on August 20, 2012. Judge Randa entered a judgment in favor of Defendant Milwaukee Public Schools and against Disability Rights of Wisconsin, and ordered the Disability Rights of Wisconsin to pay the Defendant's attorney fees of $459,123.96.

In entering the judgment to dismiss, the court explained several reasons from the Seventh Circuit decision to remand:

- A dispute over eligibility policies concerns that the Plaintiff raised--such as the Defendant's alleged failure to identify and evaluate individual disabled children--are in essence, disputes for which the Plaintiffs should have exhausted administrative remedies and utilized the formal administrative process.

- The class should not have been certified in the first place. The reason is that while none of the Plaintiffs exhausted their administrative remedies, and the exception for systemic violations is essentially a "class action exception," the exception does not apply here because Wisconsin's procedures are capable of resolving child find disputes on a case-by-case, individual basis. In summary, administrative process can resolve individual child find disputes.

- Plaintiffs' argument that exhaustion should be excused because their claims are "systemic" in nature is without merit because the Defendants cannot find safe harbor in the exception for systemic violations--each Plaintiff must offer an individual excuse for failing to exhaust the administrative process.

In conclusion, none of the individual Plaintiffs had followed the formal process, and therefore, the court dismissed the case in favor of the Defendant. The plaintiffs appealed, but later withdrew the appeal. The case is closed.

Summary Authors

Joshua Arocho (8/3/2012)

Lisa Koo (3/3/2019)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4630286/parties/s-v-school-bd-milwaukee/


Judge(s)

Easterbrook, Frank Hoover (Illinois)

Flaum, Joel Martin (Illinois)

Goodstein, Aaron E. (Wisconsin)

Randa, Rudolph Thomas (Wisconsin)

Rovner, Ilana Kara Diamond (Illinois)

Sykes, Diane S. (Wisconsin)

Williams, Ann Claire (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bachhuber, Michael J. (Wisconsin)

Murphy, Monica M. (Wisconsin)

Spitzer-Resnick, Jeffrey D. (Wisconsin)

Judge(s)

Easterbrook, Frank Hoover (Illinois)

Flaum, Joel Martin (Illinois)

Goodstein, Aaron E. (Wisconsin)

Randa, Rudolph Thomas (Wisconsin)

Rovner, Ilana Kara Diamond (Illinois)

Sykes, Diane S. (Wisconsin)

Williams, Ann Claire (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bachhuber, Michael J. (Wisconsin)

Murphy, Monica M. (Wisconsin)

Spitzer-Resnick, Jeffrey D. (Wisconsin)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Aldana, Michael (Wisconsin)

Andeen, Lisa (Wisconsin)

Anderson, Nicholas O (Wisconsin)

Appleby, Jane E. (Wisconsin)

Bickert, Susan D (Wisconsin)

Crawford, Roxane L. (Wisconsin)

Crump, Lafayette L (Wisconsin)

Featherston, Katie A. (Wisconsin)

Kruse, Autumn M. (Wisconsin)

Olsen, Bruce A. (Wisconsin)

Olson, Adrienne J (Wisconsin)

Parsons, W. Stuart (Wisconsin)

Poor, E. King (Illinois)

Ruesch, Gary M (Wisconsin)

Other Attorney(s)

Croke, William P. (Wisconsin)

Koenig, Jonathan H. (Wisconsin)

Quindel, Barbara Z. (Wisconsin)

Rowe, Todd M. (Michigan)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

12-03506

[Docket]

Jamie S. v. School Board of Milwaukee

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Oct. 31, 2012

Oct. 31, 2012

Docket

2:01-cv-00928

Docket [PACER]

Jamie S. v. School Board of Milwaukee

April 25, 2014

April 25, 2014

Docket
1

2:01-cv-00928

Complaint

Jamie S. v. Milwaukee Board of School Directors

Sept. 13, 2001

Sept. 13, 2001

Complaint
58

2:01-cv-00928

Order

May 3, 2002

May 3, 2002

Order/Opinion
159

2:01-cv-00928

Decision and Order Regarding Class Certification

May 23, 2003

May 23, 2003

Order/Opinion
184

2:01-cv-00928

Decision and Order Regarding Class Certification

Aug. 1, 2003

Aug. 1, 2003

Order/Opinion
185

2:01-cv-00928

Order Amending Decision and Order Regarding Class Certification

Aug. 5, 2003

Aug. 5, 2003

Order/Opinion
195

2:01-cv-00928

Decision and Order Regarding Second Amended Motion for Class Certification

Nov. 14, 2003

Nov. 14, 2003

Order/Opinion
236

2:01-cv-00928

Amended Complaint

Jamie S. v. Milwaukee Board of School Directors

May 3, 2004

May 3, 2004

Complaint
255

2:01-cv-00928

Order Denying Plaintiffs' Motion for Reconsideration

Jamie S. v. Milwaukee Board of School Directors

Jan. 24, 2005

Jan. 24, 2005

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4630286/s-v-school-bd-milwaukee/

Last updated Aug. 2, 2022, 3:09 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link

nan

296

PRETRIAL ORDER, TRIAL TO THE COURT, PHASE I, signed by Judge Aaron E Goodstein on 10/7/2005,finding as moot 278 Plaintiffs' Motion in Limine. Plaintiffs shall respond to MPS's motion in limine no later than October 11, 2005, MPS shall file its reply, if any, no later than October 13, 2005. (cc: all counsel) (Goodstein, A.)

Oct. 7, 2005

Oct. 7, 2005

RECAP

nan

299

ORDER signed by Judge Aaron E Goodstein on 10/14/2005 GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART 289 Motion in Limine . (cc: all counsel) (Goodstein, A.)

Oct. 14, 2005

Oct. 14, 2005

RECAP

nan

326

ORDER re 320 7.4 MOTION for Order signed by Judge Aaron E Goodstein on 3/16/2006. IT IS ORDERED that all parties supplement their witness list as described herein no later than 3/23/2006. (cc: all counsel)(Goodstein, A.)

March 16, 2006

March 16, 2006

RECAP

nan

338

ORDER signed by Judge Aaron E Goodstein on 3/28/2006 GRANTING in part and DENYING in part 320 Motion for Order. To the extent that MPS seeks to limit the number of witnesses that plaintiffs may call and hourly witness schedule, the motion is DENIED. (cc: all counsel) (Goodstein, A.)

March 28, 2006

March 28, 2006

RECAP
345

PRETRIAL ORDER - TRIAL TO THE COURT, PHASE II signed by Judge Aaron E Goodstein on 4/4/06 granting 339 Motion in Limine. (cc: all counsel)

April 4, 2006

April 4, 2006

RECAP
389

DECISION AND ORDER signed by Judge Aaron E Goodstein on 9/11/2007. Status Conference set for 9/27/2007 at 10:00 AM in Courtroom 254 before Magistrate Judge Aaron E Goodstein. (cc: all counsel)(Goodstein, A.)

Sept. 11, 2007

Sept. 11, 2007

RECAP
420

ORDER signed by Judge Aaron E Goodstein on 12/12/2007 DENYING 413 Motion to clarify. (cc: all counsel) (Goodstein, A.)

Dec. 12, 2007

Dec. 12, 2007

RECAP
467

ORDER signed by Magistrate Judge Aaron E Goodstein on 5/22/2008: IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that MPS' motion to strike is denied. (Docket No. 465.) MPS' motion to file a sur-reply is granted. (Docket No. 465.) MPS shall file its sur-reply no later than May 27, 2008. (cc: all counsel) (Goodstein, A.)

May 22, 2008

May 22, 2008

RECAP
471

ORDER GRANTING PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF PROPOSED CLASS SETTLEMENT signed by Magistrate Judge Aaron E Goodstein on 6/6/2008. Telephone Conference set for 6/20/2008 at 10:00 AM before Magistrate Judge Aaron E Goodstein. (cc: all counsel)(Goodstein, A.)

June 6, 2008

June 6, 2008

RECAP
484

ORDER REGARDING CLASS NOTIFICATION signed by Magistrate Judge Aaron E Goodstein; IT IS ORDERED that plaintiffs shall file a proposed class notification no later than 6/24/08; the notice shall be published no later than 7/07/08; objections to the proposed class settlement shall be filed no later than 7/21/08; (Fairness Hearing set for 7/28/2008 at 10:00 AM in Courtroom 254; the settling parties shall assume the cost of the publication (cc: all counsel)(vkb)

June 23, 2008

June 23, 2008

RECAP
486

ORDER by Magistrate Judge Aaron E Goodstein that the parties shall have three days from the date of this order in which to object to the court's proposed changes; at the end of the objection period the court shall resolve any objections and promptly issue an order granting preliminary approval of the proposed class notice (Attachments: # 1 Draft Proposed Notice of Pendency of Class Action Settlement Hearing) (cc: all counsel)(vkb)

2 Draft Proposed Notice of Pendency of Class Action Settlement Hearing

View on PACER

June 25, 2008

June 25, 2008

RECAP
505

ORDER APPROVING CLASS NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT by Magistrate Judge Aaron E Goodstein; the court hereby APPROVES the attached class notice of settlement; a hearing shall be held in Courtroom 254, United States Courthouse, 517 E Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, W I at 10:00am on 7/28/08, to consider whether the settlement should be given final approval of the court; the plaintiffs are directed to have the notice published in the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel newspaper one day during the week of 7/07/08 (Attachments: # 1 Notice of Class Action Settlement Hearing) (cc: all counsel)(vkb)

2 Notice of Class Action Settlement Hearing

View on PACER

July 1, 2008

July 1, 2008

RECAP
506

ORDER by Magistrate Judge Aaron E Goodstein; Telephone Conference set for 7/7/2008 at 11:00 AM to establish procedures and a schedule for conducting Rule 35 examinations; if the parties agree on procedures and a schedule prior to the hearing it should be filed with the court and the hearing will not be held (cc: all counsel)(vkb)

July 3, 2008

July 3, 2008

RECAP
511

ORDER GRANTING IN PART PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR INTERIM ATTORNEYS' FEES signed by Magistrate Judge Aaron E Goodstein on 8/15/2008. IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the plaintiffs' motion for interim attorneys' fees, (Docket No. 392), is granted as modified. The plaintiffs' motion for interim costs is denied without prejudice. (cc: all counsel) (Goodstein, A.)

Aug. 15, 2008

Aug. 15, 2008

RECAP
556

PHASE III FINAL PRETRIAL ORDER signed by Magistrate Judge Aaron E Goodstein on 10/28/2008. Based upon the parties' pretrial submissions and the argument and discussion at the conference, the court now enters the pretrial order that shall govern the proceeding in this case. See Order. (cc: all counsel) (Goodstein, A.)

Oct. 28, 2008

Oct. 28, 2008

RECAP
588

ORDER signed by Magistrate Judge Aaron E Goodstein on 1/20/2009 denying 579 Motion to Exclude; denying 579 Motion to Modify. However, now facing a revised remedy with substantially more detail does warrant the granting of additional time for a reply by MPS. The court will extend the date for reply. IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED, that the parties' Phase III reply briefs shall be filed on February 9, 2009. The Rule 7.4 motion of MPS is hereby denied. (cc: all counsel) (Goodstein, A.)

Jan. 20, 2009

Jan. 20, 2009

RECAP
598

DECISION AND ORDER FOLLOWING PHASE III, signed by Magistrate Judge Aaron E Goodstein on 6/9/2009 DENYING 559 Motion for Declaratory Order. It is the conclusion of the court that MPS' systemic failures to meet its Child Find obligations necess itates an individualized evaluation of all class members to determine whether compensatory services are appropriate for a resulting denial of FAPE, and accordingly, the court hereby orders the remedy set forth herein. The next step of this litigation requires the parties to meet in a good faith effort to reach an agreement as to certain essential matters set forth above. Therefore, no later than July 24, 2009, the parties shall submit joint proposals detailing the means that shall be used to pr ovide individual and general notice to potential class members, as well as the contents of any proposed notice. If after good faith efforts, the parties are unable to reach a mutual agreement, the parties shall each submit separate proposals. Furthe r, no later than July 24, 2009, the parties shall submit jointly the name, curriculum vitae, affidavit pursuant to Rule 53(b)(3)(a), and information indicating the terms under which the independent monitor shall be compensated for the proposed independent monitor. If after good faith efforts, the parties are unable to reach a mutual agreement, the parties shall each submit such information for up to two proposed independent monitors. (cc: all counsel) (Goodstein, A.)

June 9, 2009

June 9, 2009

RECAP
622

ORDER signed by Magistrate Judge Aaron E Goodstein on 7/22/2009 DENYING 618 Motion to Stay. (cc: all counsel) (Goodstein, A.)

July 22, 2009

July 22, 2009

RECAP
675

VACATED 5/15/2012 per 686 ORDER - DECISION and ORDER signed by Judge Rudolph T Randa on 4/20/2012. Written discovery deadline is 10/19/2012; Deadline for lay witness depositions is 12/212012; Deadline for naming expert witnesses is 1/22/2013; Deadline for exchanging expert reports is 2/22/2013; Deadline for expert witness depositions is 3/22/2013; and Deadline for dispositive motions is 5/22/2013. (cc: all counsel)(nts) Modified text on 5/16/2012 (blr).

April 20, 2012

April 20, 2012

RECAP
708

ORDER DISMISSING CASE signed by Judge Rudolph T. Randa on 8/20/2012: GRANTING 680 MOTION for judgment on the pleadings filed by defendants; GRANTING 682 MOTION to vacate order granting interim attorneys' fees and for restitution of attorneys ' fees filed by Milwaukee Public Schools; DENYING WITHOUT PREJUDICE 677 MOTION for restitution of attorneys' fees filed by Department of Public Instruction; DENYING 701 MOTION to strike state defendants' reply brief filed by plaintiffs. Matter is DISMISSED. Clerk of Court directed to enter judgment accordingly. (cc: all counsel)(cb)

Aug. 20, 2012

Aug. 20, 2012

RECAP

Case Details

State / Territory: Wisconsin

Case Type(s):

Education

Special Collection(s):

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: Sept. 13, 2001

Closing Date: 2013

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

All students eligible to receive special education from Milwaukee Public Schools who are, have been or will be denied or delayed entry into or participation in the Individualized Education Program process.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Milwaukee Public Schools, School District

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, State

Milwaukee Board of School Directors, School District

Defendant Type(s):

Elementary/Secondary School

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Indv. w/ Disab. Educ. Act (IDEA), Educ. of All Handcpd. Children Act , 20 U.S.C. § 1400

Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

General:

Classification / placement

Individualized planning

Record-keeping

Special education

Disability:

Mental impairment

Medical/Mental Health:

Intellectual/Developmental Disability

Type of Facility:

Government-run