TD v. LaGrange School District No. 102

349 F.3d 469 (2003)

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TD v. LaGrange School District No. 102

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
349 F.3d 469 (2003)

  • Written by Alexander Hager-DeMyer, JD

Facts

TD (plaintiff) was a disabled student in LaGrange School District No. 102 (district) (defendant). TD attended private schools through kindergarten. TD’s mother met with the district to learn about the available special-education programs, but she did not enroll TD. The district did not attempt to conduct an evaluation of TD for special-education services. TD was enrolled in a private day school, which required TD’s parents to hire an aide to accompany him. TD’s parents requested a due-process hearing under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The parents alleged that the district violated the IDEA by failing to properly evaluate TD for special-education services. TD’s parents requested relief, including a special-education evaluation. The hearing officer conducted a prehearing conference, determined that a case study was necessary, and ordered the district to conduct the evaluation. After TD was found eligible for services, the district created an individualized education program for TD, which recommended placement in public school with additional special-education services. TD’s parents rejected the placement. The hearing continued, and TD’s parents requested reimbursement for TD’s private-school tuition, the full-time aide, and other costs. The hearing officer ordered that the reimbursements be granted except for tuition, finding that the private school was not an appropriate placement for TD. Instead, the officer ordered TD to be placed in a public school with additional services. TD appealed to a district court, seeking his initial relief and attorney’s fees. The parties entered into a settlement agreement regarding all issues except attorney’s fees. TD agreed to placement in a specialized public-school program and received reimbursement of tuition and all associated costs. The district court found that TD was a prevailing party under the IDEA and entitled to attorney’s fees. The district appealed to the Seventh Circuit.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Kanne, J.)

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