Amanda J. v. Clark County School District

267 F.3d 877 (2001)

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Amanda J. v. Clark County School District

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
267 F.3d 877 (2001)

Facts

Amanda J. was a student who was evaluated by the Clark County School District (the district) (defendant) for educational disabilities. The district eventually identified Amanda as developmentally delayed despite indications revealed during the evaluation process that Amanda might have autism. Amanda’s parents (plaintiffs) claimed that school officials failed to provide them with copies of reports from the evaluations, to notify them that a medical evaluation by a psychiatrist had been recommended, or to provide any information whatsoever about the potential autism diagnosis. When this information eventually came to light, Amanda’s parents filed an administrative appeal under the procedures of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), alleging that the district had committed procedural violations of the statute, had misidentified Amanda’s disabilities, and had therefore failed to provide her with a free appropriate public education (FAPE). The initial-hearing officer found Amanda’s parents to be more credible than school officials and held that Amanda had been misidentified and denied a FAPE. The state-review officer disagreed with the initial-hearing officer’s determinations and ruled for the district. Amanda’s parents appealed in federal district court. The district court deferred to the state-review officer and held that Amanda had not been misdiagnosed or denied a FAPE. Amanda’s parents appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Wardlaw, J.)

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