Jenna R.P. v. The City of Chicago School District No. 229

Illinois Appellate Court
Civil Court
School Law
Case Number: 
2013 IL App (1st) 112247
Decision Date: 
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
1st Dist.
Cook Co., 5th Div.
Reversed and remanded with directions.
(Court opinion corrected 1/8/14.) Plaintiffs, pursuant to Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), appealed circuit court's order finding in favor of School District, and denying Plaintiffs reimbursement of tuition and expenses for her placement at a private boarding school. Hearing officer erred as a matter of law in denying reimbursement, although he concluded that District had denied Plaintiff a free appropriate public education; and erred in making "Least Restrictive Environment" the ultimate test. School prevented father from expressing his concerns at an IEP meeting by refusing to convene an IEP meeting. Hearing officer must evaluate the IEP as it existed, and not a hypothetical IEP that never existed. Two-year limitations period in IDEA does not bar action, as District failed to notify Plaintiffs of limitations period. (LAMPKIN, concurring; REYES, dissenting.)