The United States Supreme Court ruled in Mr. Perez’ favor in a 9-0 decision. You can read the decision here. The case will now return to the federal district court for the Western District of Michigan for further litigation.
Case filed (started): Dec. 2017
Students with disabilities who have nothing more to gain from the IDEA’s administrative process should be able to pursue relief in federal court, like money damages, that is available under the ADA and not available under the IDEA.
Miguel is a person who is deaf. In 2017, DRM attorneys helped Miguel file a case in administrative court, seeking relief under the ADA and the IDEA for Sturgis Public Schools’ failure to provide Miguel with a qualified sign language interpreter for 12 years. After receiving Miguel’s complaint, the administrative court first dismissed the ADA claim, and then later, Sturgis Public Schools and Miguel settled the IDEA claim. Miguel then filed suit in federal court, seeking money damages under the ADA for his past harm. Money damages are not available for violations of the IDEA, but they are available for violations of the ADA.
The federal court dismissed Miguel’s ADA claim for failure to seek remedies for his IDEA claims in the administrative court all the way through an administrative hearing. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the decision, even though Miguel had received complete relief for his IDEA claims and his ADA claim, seeking money damages not available under IDEA, was previously dismissed . The Supreme Court reversed the dismissal of Mr. Perez’ ADA claim. The case will now return to the federal district court for the Western District of Michigan, where Mr. Perez will have the chance to prove his ADA claim.
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Mr. Perez in a 9-0 decision. The case will now return to the federal district court for the Western District of Michigan, where Mr. Perez will have the chance to prove his ADA claim. The Supreme Court’s decision means that across the United States, students with disabilities can now pursue federal claims requesting relief not available under the IDEA, like money damages, without needing to exhaust IDEA’s administrative remedies.
Case name: Miguel Luna Perez v. Sturgis Public Schools, et al.
Plaintiffs: Miguel Perez
Defendants: Sturgis Public Schools, Sturgis Public Schools Board of Education
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