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We keep you up to date on the latest developments in special education and disabilities rights at the local, state, and federal level.

Federal Court victory for students with disabilities

In a case in which RCGZ is co-counsel with several other law firms, United States District Judge Joel Hillman ruled that parents’ lawsuit against the State of New Jersey claiming that the state routinely violates federal law by denying timely hearings to children with disabilities and their families may proceed. That important decision is available here.

Judge Hillman used strong language and explained that time is of the essence for these children under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.  This is the case ever more so today, as we face a global pandemic.   He said:

The Court issues this Opinion in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. Much of New Jersey lies in or near one of our nation’s epicenters of this plague. Our Governor has issued stay-at-home orders and closed the public schools. Parents are struggling to balance the demands of work at home and the education of their children. School administrators and teachers, dedicated to their students and their calling, strive mightily on a daily basis to deliver meaningful content outside their familiar classrooms so that students may continue to progress or at least not regress. We are reminded of how precious time is, and how, once lost, it can never be recovered.

And so philosophers, mental health professionals, pundits and politicians alike, all of various stripes, have asked us in this crisis to reflect on what our priorities as individuals, families, and as a society as a whole ought to be. There should be no controversy in this case or otherwise that the education of a child – indeed all children – should be at the top of that list.

That is not just the opinion of this Court; it is the will of Congress as reflected in the statutes and federal regulations upon which Plaintiffs base their claims. As set forth above, these Plaintiffs have made out plausible claims that the system for the adjudication of IDEA disputes by the administrative state in New Jersey is profoundly broken and routinely violates the federal laws designed to insure that our most vulnerable children remain the priority we all should agree they are, not only in these times, but at all times.

The attorneys at RCGZ continue to advocate vigorously on behalf of children and their parents. To contact us for more information, email us or call us at 856.354.0021.