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Case: Disability Rights Pennsylvania v. School District of Philadelphia

2:17-cv-04858 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Filed Date: Oct. 31, 2017

Closed Date: Oct. 24, 2019

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This case is about a Protection and Advocacy agency’s request to obtain contact information for the guardians of public-school students who were on a waiting list for special education services. Disability Rights Pennsylvania (DRP) requested this information from the School District of Philadelphia citing both the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (42 U.S.C. §§ 15041 et seq.) and Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Act (42 U.S.C. § 10801 et seq…

This case is about a Protection and Advocacy agency’s request to obtain contact information for the guardians of public-school students who were on a waiting list for special education services. Disability Rights Pennsylvania (DRP) requested this information from the School District of Philadelphia citing both the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (42 U.S.C. §§ 15041 et seq.) and Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Act (42 U.S.C. § 10801 et seq.). The school district refused to provide it and on October 31, 2017, DRP, representing itself, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The case was assigned to District Judge Nitza Quinones Alejandro. Bringing suit under 42. U.S.C. § 1983, DRP asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as attorneys’ fees.

Soon after the case was filed, both parties filed motions asking the court to decide the ultimate legal question of whether the district was required to turn over the information. On March 28, 2019, Judge Alejandro issued an opinion in favor of DRP. She held that DRP was not required to show probable cause to suspect abuse or neglect or to prove that it had received a complaint in order to obtain the contact information it requested and ordered the district to turn over the information.

After Judge Alejandro’s ruling, DRP filed a motion for fees and costs and the defendants filed a notice of appeal. However, both parties dropped eventually dropped their respective requests. The case is now closed.

Summary Authors

NDRN (8/11/2022)

Jonah Hudson-Erdman (9/25/2022)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document
1

2:17-cv-04858

Complaint

Oct. 31, 2017

Oct. 31, 2017

Complaint
6

2:17-cv-04858

Motion for Summary Judgment

March 1, 2018

March 1, 2018

Pleading / Motion / Brief
15

2:17-cv-04858

Memorandum Opinion

March 28, 2019

March 28, 2019

Order/Opinion
17

2:17-cv-04858

Plaintiff's Motion for an Award of Attorneys’ Fees and Costs

April 11, 2019

April 11, 2019

Pleading / Motion / Brief

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/13464432/disability-rights-pennsylvania-v-school-district-of-philadelphia/

Last updated Nov. 21, 2022, 3:27 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT against WILLIAM R. HITE, JR, SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 168108.), filed by DISABILITY RIGHTS PENNSYLVANIA. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet)(jwl, ) (Entered: 10/31/2017)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

View on PACER

Oct. 31, 2017

Oct. 31, 2017

Clearinghouse
2

Disclosure Statement Form pursuant to FRCP 7.1 by DISABILITY RIGHTS PENNSYLVANIA.(jwl, ) (Entered: 10/31/2017)

Oct. 31, 2017

Oct. 31, 2017

PACER

Summons Issued as to WILLIAM R. HITE, JR, SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA. Two Forwarded To: Counsel on 10/31/17 (jwl, )

Oct. 31, 2017

Oct. 31, 2017

PACER
3

SUMMONS Returned Executed by DISABILITY RIGHTS PENNSYLVANIA re: Gabriella Labella served Summons and Complaint upon All Defendants by Personal. All Defendants. (LABELLA, GABRIELLA) (Entered: 11/08/2017)

Nov. 8, 2017

Nov. 8, 2017

PACER
4

ANSWER to 1 Complaint with Affirmative Defenses by WILLIAM R. HITE, JR, SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA.(COYLE, JOHN) (Entered: 12/07/2017)

Dec. 7, 2017

Dec. 7, 2017

RECAP
5

ORDER THAT A PRELIMINARY PRETRIAL CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD ON 4/18/2018, AT 11:00 AM, IN ROOM 8613, BEFORE HONORABLE NITZA I QUINONES ALEJANDRO, ETC. SIGNED BY HONORABLE NITZA I QUINONES ALEJANDRO ON 1/18/2018. 1/19/2018 ENTERED AND COPIES E-MAILED.(amas) (Entered: 01/19/2018)

Jan. 18, 2018

Jan. 18, 2018

PACER
6

MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by DISABILITY RIGHTS PENNSYLVANIA.Memorandum of Law, Certificate of Service. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibits A-H, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(LABELLA, GABRIELLA) (Entered: 03/01/2018)

1 Exhibits A-H

View on PACER

2 Text of Proposed Order

View on PACER

March 1, 2018

March 1, 2018

Clearinghouse
7

MOTION for Judgment on the Pleadings filed by WILLIAM R. HITE, JR, SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA.Memorandum of Law, Certificate of Service.(COYLE, JOHN) (Entered: 03/08/2018)

March 8, 2018

March 8, 2018

PACER
8

MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply (Unopposed) filed by WILLIAM R. HITE, JR, SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA.Certificate of Service.(COYLE, JOHN) (Entered: 03/14/2018)

March 14, 2018

March 14, 2018

PACER
9

ORDER THAT DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME TO RESPOND TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DOC. NO. 8 ) IS GRANTED. DEFENDANTS' RESPONSE TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (RE: DOC. NO. 6 ) IS DUE 3/22/2018. SIGNED BY HONORABLE NITZA I QUINONES ALEJANDRO ON 3/20/2018.3/20/2018 ENTERED AND COPIES E-MAILED.(amas) (Entered: 03/20/2018)

March 20, 2018

March 20, 2018

PACER
10

RESPONSE in Opposition re 7 MOTION for Judgment on the Pleadings filed by DISABILITY RIGHTS PENNSYLVANIA. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(LABELLA, GABRIELLA) (Entered: 03/22/2018)

March 22, 2018

March 22, 2018

PACER
11

RESPONSE in Opposition re 6 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by WILLIAM R. HITE, JR, SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA. (COYLE, JOHN) (Entered: 03/22/2018)

March 22, 2018

March 22, 2018

PACER
12

Report Of Rule 26(f) Meeting by DISABILITY RIGHTS PENNSYLVANIA. (LABELLA, GABRIELLA) (Entered: 04/02/2018)

April 2, 2018

April 2, 2018

PACER
13

ORDER THAT THE PRELIMINARY PRETRIAL CONFERENCE SCHEDULED FOR APRIL 18, 2018 IS CANCELED, AND WILL BE RESCHEDULED, IF NECESSARY, FOLLOWING HTE RESOLUTION OF THE MOTIONS THAT ARE OUTLINED HEREIN. SIGNED BY HONORABLE NITZA I QUINONES ALEJANDRO ON 4/13/18. 4/13/18 ENTERED AND COPIES E-MAILED.(lisad, ) (Entered: 04/13/2018)

April 13, 2018

April 13, 2018

PACER
14

NOTICE of Appearance by BONNIE M. HOFFMAN on behalf of WILLIAM R. HITE, JR, SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA with Certificate of Service(HOFFMAN, BONNIE) (Entered: 01/30/2019)

Jan. 30, 2019

Jan. 30, 2019

PACER
15

MEMORANDUM OPINION. SIGNED BY HONORABLE NITZA I QUINONES ALEJANDRO ON 3/27/2019. 3/28/2019 ENTERED AND COPIES E-MAILED.(amas) (Entered: 03/28/2019)

March 28, 2019

March 28, 2019

Clearinghouse
16

MEMORANDUM OPINION ORDER THAT PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DOC. NO. 6 ) AND DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS (DOC. NO. 7 ) ARE DENIED. DEFENDANTS ARE OBLIGATED TO PROVIDE PLAINTIFF WITH THE CONTACT INFORMATION REQUESTED IN THE COMMUNICATIONS REFERENCED IN PARAGRAPHS 35 AND 36 OF THE COMPLAINT, AS OUTLINED HEREIN. THE CLERK OF COURT IS DIRECTED TO MARK THIS MATTER CLOSED. SIGNED BY HONORABLE NITZA I QUINONES ALEJANDRO ON 3/27/2019. 3/28/2019 ENTERED AND COPIES E-MAILED.(amas) (Entered: 03/28/2019)

March 28, 2019

March 28, 2019

RECAP
17

MOTION for Attorney Fees and Costs filed by DISABILITY RIGHTS PENNSYLVANIA.Memorandum of Law and Certificate of Service. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibits A through L, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(LABELLA, GABRIELLA) (Entered: 04/11/2019)

1 Exhibits A through L

View on PACER

2 Text of Proposed Order

View on PACER

April 11, 2019

April 11, 2019

Clearinghouse
18

MOTION to Withdraw 17 MOTION for Attorney Fees and Costs (Unopposed) filed by DISABILITY RIGHTS PENNSYLVANIA.Certificate of Service. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(LABELLA, GABRIELLA) (Entered: 04/25/2019)

April 25, 2019

April 25, 2019

PACER
19

NOTICE OF APPEAL as to 15 Memorandum and/or Opinion, 16 Order (Memorandum and/or Opinion),, by WILLIAM R. HITE, JR, SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA. Filing fee $ 505. Copies to Judge, Clerk USCA, Appeals Clerk and (HOFFMAN, BONNIE) (Entered: 04/26/2019)

April 26, 2019

April 26, 2019

PACER
20

NOTICE of Docketing Record on Appeal from USCA re 19 Notice of Appeal filed by WILLIAM R. HITE, JR., SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA. USCA Case Number 19-1966 (dmc, ) (Entered: 04/29/2019)

April 29, 2019

April 29, 2019

PACER

USCA Appeal Fees

April 29, 2019

April 29, 2019

PACER

USCA Appeal Fees received $ 505 receipt number PPE196355 re 19 Notice of Appeal filed by WILLIAM R. HITE, JR., SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA (rf, )

April 29, 2019

April 29, 2019

PACER
21

ORDER THAT PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO WITHDRAW ITS MOTION (DOC. NO. 18 ) IS GRANTED. THE CLERK OF COURT IS DIRECTED TO MARK PLAINTIFF'S PRIOR MOTION FOR AN AWARD OF ATTORNEYS' FEES AND COSTS (DOC. NO. 17 ) AS WITHDRAWN. SIGNED BY HONORABLE NITZA I QUINONES ALEJANDRO ON 5/13/2019.5/13/2019 ENTERED AND COPIES E-MAILED.(amas) (Entered: 05/13/2019)

May 13, 2019

May 13, 2019

PACER
22

USCA ORDER AS TO 19 NOTICE OF APPEAL, FILED BY WILLIAM R. HITE, JR., AND SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA, THAT THIS MATTER IS HEREBY DISMISSED WITHOUT COST TO EITHER PARTY. (amas) (Entered: 10/24/2019)

Oct. 24, 2019

Oct. 24, 2019

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: Pennsylvania

Case Type(s):

Disability Rights

Education

Key Dates

Filing Date: Oct. 31, 2017

Closing Date: Oct. 24, 2019

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

A protection & advocacy organization seeking to access educational records of students with disabilities

Plaintiff Type(s):

Non-profit NON-religious organization

Attorney Organizations:

NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Defendant Type(s):

Elementary/Secondary School

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) Act, 42 U.S.C. § 10801

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Declaratory Judgment

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Issues

General:

Education

Individualized planning

Parents (visitation, involvement)

Records Disclosure

School/University policies

Special education

Disability:

disability, unspecified

P&A access authority

P&A Associational Standing

Mental Disability:

Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified

Learning disability