University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name P.V. v. School District of Philadelphia ED-PA-0003
Docket / Court 2:11-cv-04027-LDD ( E.D. Pa. )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Education
Case Summary
On June 20, 2011, Philadelphia school children with autism filed a class action lawsuit against the School District of Philadelphia in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504), ... read more >
On June 20, 2011, Philadelphia school children with autism filed a class action lawsuit against the School District of Philadelphia in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504), the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and relevant state law. The plaintiffs, represented by attorneys from the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia and private counsel, sought declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that the District's Automatic Autism Transfer Policy was illegal under the IDEA, Section 504 and the ADA. The challenged policy routinely transferred students with autism from school to school at a certain age solely because they were disabled as a result of autism.

On October 31, 2011, the District Court (Judge Legrome D. Davis) denied the defendant's motion to strike class action allegations and motion to dismiss the suit. P.V. ex rel. Valentin v. Sch. Dist. of Philadelphia, 2011 WL 5127850 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 31, 2011).

On February 19, 2013, Judge Davis granted the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment in part and denied it in part and granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment in part and denied in part. P.V. ex rel. Valentin v. Sch. Dist. of Philadelphia, 2013 WL 618540 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 19, 2013). The Court concluded that the policy violated the IDEA, but that it did not violate Section 504 or the ADA. The Court ordered the school district to alter its policy to meet the procedural requirements under the IDEA and provide parents the opportunity to participate in the decision-making process regarding the educational placement of their autistic children.

In addition, the Court granted the plaintiffs' motion for class certification. P.V. ex rel. Valentin v. Sch. Dist. of Philadelphia, 289 F.R.D. 227, 228 (E.D. Pa. 2013). The class included all children with autism in the School District of Philadelphia in grades Kindergarten through eight who had been transferred, were in the process of being transferred, or were at risk of being transferred, as a result of the School District's upper-leveling process, the parents and guardians of those children as well as future members of the class. The case is ongoing.

For more information, see this site .

Emma Bao - 06/05/2013


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Elementary/Secondary School
Disability
Mental impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Classification / placement
Disparate Treatment
Education
Individualized planning
Juveniles
Parents (visitation, involvement)
School/University policies
Special education
Mental Disability
Autism
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action State law
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Indv. w/ Disab. Educ. Act (IDEA), Educ. of All Handcpd. Children Act , 20 U.S.C. § 1400
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) School District of Philadelphia
Plaintiff Description Philadelphia school children with autism assigned and transferred routinely and automatically by the school district from one school to another after they complete a certain grade.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Declaratory Judgment
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 2013 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Courts and Kids: Pursuing Educational Equity Through the State Courts
By: Michael Rebell (Columbia University, and Campaign for Educational Equity)
Citation: (University of Chicago Press, 2009)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:11-cv-04482-LDD (E.D. Pa.) 05/22/2013
ED-PA-0003-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 06/20/2011
ED-PA-0003-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum 10/31/2011 (2011 WL 5127850) (E.D. Pa.)
ED-PA-0003-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Developmental Disabilities Consultation 06/08/2012
ED-PA-0003-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order [including injunction] 02/19/2013 (2013 WL 618540) (E.D. Pa.)
ED-PA-0003-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum [Class certification] and Order 02/19/2013 (289 F.R.D. 227) (E.D. Pa.)
ED-PA-0003-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Davis, Legrome D. (E.D. Pa.)
ED-PA-0003-0002 | ED-PA-0003-0004 | ED-PA-0003-0005 | ED-PA-0003-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bowers, Daniel G. (District of Columbia)
ED-PA-0003-9000
Kelly, Tara L. (Pennsylvania)
ED-PA-0003-0001 | ED-PA-0003-9000
Kerr, Sonja D. (Pennsylvania)
ED-PA-0003-0001 | ED-PA-0003-9000
Krause, Cheryl Ann (Pennsylvania)
ED-PA-0003-0001 | ED-PA-0003-9000
Rubin, Jeffrey W. (Pennsylvania)
ED-PA-0003-9000
Stanoch, David J. (Pennsylvania)
ED-PA-0003-9000
Woodring, Darla D. (Pennsylvania)
ED-PA-0003-0001 | ED-PA-0003-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Smith, David (Pennsylvania)
ED-PA-0003-9000
Wanger, Benjamin D. (Pennsylvania)
ED-PA-0003-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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