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Case Name R.P.-K. v. Hawaii Department of Education ED-HI-0003
Docket / Court 1:10-cv-00436-SOM-KSC ( D. Haw. )
State/Territory Hawaii
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Education
Case Summary
On July 27, 2010, four students with disabilities and the Hawaii Disability Rights Center filed this class action against the Hawaii Department of Education seeking declaratory and injunctive relief. The plaintiffs, represented by Hawaii Disability Rights Center, contended that the Department was ... read more >
On July 27, 2010, four students with disabilities and the Hawaii Disability Rights Center filed this class action against the Hawaii Department of Education seeking declaratory and injunctive relief. The plaintiffs, represented by Hawaii Disability Rights Center, contended that the Department was failing to comply with its obligations to provide a Free Accessible Public Education (FAPE) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and their right to a discrimination-free education under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The case was assigned to District Judge Susan Oki Mollway.

At the time the complaint was filed, the disabled individuals who brought the suit were over twenty but under twenty-two years old and had previously received a FAPE under the IDEA. However, following the establishment of a new Hawaii Law, Act 163, these individuals were denied a FAPE because they were over twenty years of age.

The plaintiffs moved for class certification and a preliminary injunction. District Judge David Alan Ezra signed an order granting in part and denying in part the motion for class certification on March 15, 2011. 272 F.R.D. 541. The judge also issued an order denying plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction. 2011 WL 2746800. Defendants then moved for a motion to dismiss or in the alternative, for summary judgment, and the plaintiffs renewed their motion for a preliminary injunction and moved for summary judgment. Judge Ezra then issued an order denying plaintiff's motion for summary judgment, granting in part and denying in part the defendant's motion to dismiss, and denying plaintiff's renewed motion for preliminary relief. 817 F.Supp.2d 1182.

In 2012, the case went to a bench trial. Judge Alan Ezra held that the plaintiffs failed to prove the Hawaii Department of Education violated the IDEA, ACA, and Rehabilitation Act and entered judgment for the defendants. 2012 WL 1082250. The case was then appealed to the Ninth Circuit. On August 28, 2013, the Ninth Circuit announced its conclusion, affirming in part and reversing in part. 728 F.3d 982. The court found that the State of Hawaii offered public education to nondisabled students between the ages of 20 and 22 through its Community Schools for Adults. The court held that so long as the State continued to provide such an education to nondisabled students under 22, it was required under IDEA to provide a FAPE to disabled students in the same age bracket. The court reversed and remanded the case on the IDEA count. The court affirmed the district court's finding that the plaintiffs failed to prove that the Department was required to make such changes as a "reasonable accommodation." Accordingly, the court affirmed the lower court's judgement in favor of the Department on the ACA and Rehabilitation Act claims. The court also awarded costs on appeal to the Plaintiffs.

After being remanded to district court, and after the case was reassigned to Judge Susan Oki Mollway, the class was recertified. Subsequently, the parties began settlement conferences. On December 8, 2017, Judge Oki Mollway issued an order approving settlement for class members. As part of the settlement, the Department of Education agreed to fund the requisite services and pay $8.2 million dollars to class members, $1.5 million for attorneys' fees, and up to $250,000 to class counsel for future services rendered in relation to the administration of the settlement.

The administration of the settlement continues. The case remains open.

Gabrielle Simeck - 02/08/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief denied
Reasonable Accommodation
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Disability
disability, unspecified
Integrated setting
Least restrictive environment
Mental impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Reasonable Accommodations
Reasonable Modifications
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
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
Defendant(s) State of Hawaii
Plaintiff Description All IDEA eligible persons who turned age 20 after 7/1/10 and were made ineligible by Act 163 and all IDEA eligible persons who were over age 20, but under age 22, on 7/1/10 and made ineligible by Act 163.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Granted
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Damages
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2017 - 2020
Filed 07/27/2010
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Court Docket(s)
D. Haw.
10/22/2020
1:10-cv-00436-SOM-RT
ED-HI-0003-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
D. Haw.
07/27/2010
Class Action Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief; Summons [ECF# 1]
ED-HI-0003-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Haw.
03/15/2011
Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification [ECF# 31] (272 F.R.D. 541)
ED-HI-0003-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Haw.
03/30/2012
Finds of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Decision [ECF# 123] (2021 WL 184359)
ED-HI-0003-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
U.S. Court of Appeals
08/28/2013
Opinion [Ct. of App. ECF# 33] (728 F.3d 982)
ED-HI-0003-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Haw.
12/08/2017
Order Approving Settlement for Class Members [ECF# 482]
ED-HI-0003-0005.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Ezra, David Alan (D. Haw.) show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-0002 | ED-HI-0003-0004
Farris, Joseph Jerome (Ninth Circuit) show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-0003
Mollway, Susan Oki (D. Haw.) show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-0005 | ED-HI-0003-9000
Nelson, Dorothy Wright (Ninth Circuit) show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-0003
Nguyen, Jacqueline Hong-Ngoc (C.D. Cal., Ninth Circuit) show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-0003
Trader, Rom A Court not on record [Magistrate] show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Ahu, Janna W (Hawaii) show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-9000
Alston, Paul (Hawaii) show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-0001 | ED-HI-0003-9000
Amatore, Erika L. T. (Hawaii) show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-9000
Bassett, Matthew C. (Hawaii) show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-0001 | ED-HI-0003-9000
Black, Claire Wong (Hawaii) show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-9000
Comeau, Michelle N (Hawaii) show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-9000
Cookson, Patricia L (Hawaii) show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-9000
Dellera, John P (Hawaii) show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-0001 | ED-HI-0003-9000
Diionno, Zachary M (Hawaii) show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-9000
Eads, Chrystn K.A. (Hawaii) show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-9000
Erteschik, Louis (Hawaii) show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-9000
Holland, Kristin L (Hawaii) show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-9000
Kim, Jason H (California) show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-0001 | ED-HI-0003-9000
Miller, Meredith G (Hawaii) show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-9000
Paek, Kyu Y (Hawaii) show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-9000
Patricio, Jennifer Visitacion (Hawaii) show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Henderson, Harvey E. Jr. (Hawaii) show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-9000
Kuwabe, Kunio (Hawaii) show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-9000
Miyasaka, Steve K (Hawaii) show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-9000
Mow, Paul R (Hawaii) show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-9000
Richardson, Kevin M. (Hawaii) show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-9000
Roylo, Ryan W (Hawaii) show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-9000
Shikada, Holly T. (Hawaii) show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-9000
Siu, Carter K (Hawaii) show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-9000
Snow, Adam Townsend (Hawaii) show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-9000
Suganuma, Gary S (Hawaii) show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-9000
Yeh, Joanna B.K.F. (Hawaii) show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-9000
Other Lawyers Park, Candace J (Hawaii) show/hide docs
ED-HI-0003-9000

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