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Case Name Jamie S. v. Milwaukee Public Schools ED-WI-0001
Docket / Court 2:01-cv-00928 ( E.D. Wis. )
State/Territory Wisconsin
Case Type(s) Education
Attorney Organization NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Case Summary
On September 13, 2001, seven students with disabilities, by and through their parents, filed this class-action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin against the Milwaukee Public School System ("MPS") and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (" ... read more >
On September 13, 2001, seven students with disabilities, by and through their parents, filed this class-action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin against the Milwaukee Public School System ("MPS") and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction ("DPI"). The plaintiffs, represented by attorneys from Disability Rights Wisconsin, claimed that MPS violated their right to a free, appropriate public education as guaranteed by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that they were improperly denied special education services and Individualized Education Programs ("IEPs") designed to fit their needs.

The plaintiffs' original complaint defined the class as "all school age children with disabilities who reside in the Milwaukee Public School District boundaries and who are or may be eligible for special education and related services under IDEA and Wisconsin law." The court, however found this too broad, which prompted the plaintiffs to file an amended complaint on May 3, 2004, redefining the class as "all students eligible to receive special education from MPS who are, have been or will be denied or delayed entry into or participation in the IEP process." Magistrate Judge Aaron Goodstein granted the plaintiffs' motion for class certification.

The district court eventually held a bench trial and found both the city and state defendants liable for systemic violations of the IDEA. Jamie S. v. Milwaukee Pub. Sch., 519 F. Supp. 2d 870 (E.D. Wis. 2007). At that point, DPI settled with the class,
agreeing to order MPS to meet certain compliance benchmarks. The district court approved the settlement over MPS's objection. 2008 WL 2340362 (E.D. Wis. June 6, 2008). The settlement required that MPS conduct at least 95% of its initial evaluations within the required time period (or get proper extensions), that MPS make a reasonable effort to ensure that a parent or guardian was present at 95% of the initial IEP meetings, and that MPS make better efforts in identifying children with disabilities by monitoring school suspension patterns. The Court then appointed a monitor for a two year period to track MPS's compliance, and imposed a comprehensive remedial scheme. 2009 WL 1615520 (E.D. Wis. June 9, 2009).

MPS appealed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the plaintiffs cross-appealed the denial of certification of their first proposed class. On February 3, 2012, the Seventh Circuit (Judge Diane S. Sykes) quickly dismissed the plaintiffs cross-appeal, noting that it was neither timely nor within the Court's jurisdiction. Turning to MPS's appeal, the Court vacated the Settlement Agreement, holding that the class never should have been certified because the plaintiffs' cases were "highly individualized and vastly diverse," thus making the case inappropriate for a class-action lawsuit. Jamie S. v. Milwaukee Public Schools, 668 F.3d 481 (7th Cir. 2012).

The 7th Circuit opinion stated: "What remains are the claims of the individual plaintiffs; the district court did not find a denial of a free appropriate public education [FAPE] in any individual case. Furthermore, the court's reasons for excusing administrative exhaustion appear to have been tied to the class allegations, and it's not clear whether the court would have excused exhaustion for any of the individual claims. Finally, it's possible - perhaps likely - that some of the named plaintiffs' individual circumstances have changed such that their claims are now moot. We leave it to the district court on remand the task of determining whether anything remains of
this case and what, if anything, should happen next." Jamie S. v. Milwaukee Pub. Sch., 668 F.3d 481, 499-500 (7th Cir. 2012).

On remand, the district court dismissed the action altogether. The court explained that the IDEA requires states to provide a formal process for parents to seek administrative and judicial review of "any matter relating to the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of a child, or the provision of a free appropriate public education to such child" in a funded special-education program. § 1415(b)(6)(A). Any party aggrieved by the findings and decision made after an impartial due process hearing may bring a civil action in federal court. § 1415(i)(2)(A). In this case, none of the individual plaintiffs had followed the formal process, and therefore the court dismissed the case.

Plaintiffs appealed, but later withdrew the appeal.

Joshua Arocho - 08/03/2012
- 03/30/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Elementary/Secondary School
Disability
Mental impairment
General
Classification / placement
Individualized planning
Record-keeping
Special education
Medical/Mental Health
Intellectual/Developmental Disability
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 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
Defendant(s) Milwaukee Board of School Directors
Milwaukee Public Schools
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Plaintiff Description All students eligible to receive special education from Milwaukee Public Schools who are, have been or will be denied or delayed entry into or participation in the Individualized Education Program process.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
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 ]

  The Complex Legacy of Jamie S.
By: Alan J. Borsuk (Marquette University Law School)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
12­-3506 (U.S. Court of Appeals) 10/31/2012
ED-WI-0001-9001.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
2:01−cv−00928 (E.D. Wis.) 11/01/2012
ED-WI-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 09/13/2001
ED-WI-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 05/03/2002 (E.D. Wis.)
ED-WI-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Decision and Order Regarding Class Certification 05/23/2003 (E.D. Wis.)
ED-WI-0001-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Decision and Order Regarding Class Certification 08/01/2003 (E.D. Wis.)
ED-WI-0001-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Amending Decision and Order Regarding Class Certification 08/05/2003 (E.D. Wis.)
ED-WI-0001-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Decision and Order Regarding Second Amended Motion for Class Certification 11/14/2003 (E.D. Wis.)
ED-WI-0001-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint 05/03/2004
ED-WI-0001-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Plaintiffs' Motion for Reconsideration 01/24/2005 (E.D. Wis.)
ED-WI-0001-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Stipulated Statement of Facts 06/24/2005
ED-WI-0001-0010.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Decision and Order (Rev'd) 09/11/2007 (519 F.Supp.2d 870) (E.D. Wis.)
ED-WI-0001-0011.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum of Understanding Between Plaintiffs and State Defendants 04/29/2008
ED-WI-0001-0012.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Preliminary Approval of Proposed Class Settlement (Rev'd) 06/06/2008 (2008 WL 2340362) (E.D. Wis.)
ED-WI-0001-0013.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Approving Class Notice of Settlement 07/01/2008 (E.D. Wis.)
ED-WI-0001-0014.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Approval of Class Action Settlement 07/28/2008 (E.D. Wis.)
ED-WI-0001-0015.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting in Part Plaintiffs' Motion for Interim Attorneys' Fees 08/15/2008 (2008 WL 3852663) (E.D. Wis.)
ED-WI-0001-0016.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Decision and Order Following Phase III (Rev'd) 06/09/2009 (2009 WL 1615520) (E.D. Wis.)
ED-WI-0001-0017.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Motion for Stay 07/22/2009 (2009 WL 2225419) (E.D. Wis.)
ED-WI-0001-0018.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Appointing Independent Monitor 08/19/2009 (E.D. Wis.)
ED-WI-0001-0019.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Regarding Class Notification 08/19/2009 (E.D. Wis.)
ED-WI-0001-0020.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 08/26/2009
ED-WI-0001-0021.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion (Seventh Circuit) 02/03/2012 (668 F.3d 481)
ED-WI-0001-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Notice of Issuance of Mandate 03/13/2012
ED-WI-0001-0023.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Decision and Order 03/20/2012 (E.D. Wis.)
ED-WI-0001-0022.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Decision and Order 08/20/2012 (2012 WL 3600231) (E.D. Wis.)
ED-WI-0001-0024.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Decision and Order 10/03/2012 (E.D. Wis.)
ED-WI-0001-0025.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Judgment in a Civil Case 10/04/2012 (E.D. Wis.)
ED-WI-0001-0026.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Easterbrook, Frank Hoover (Seventh Circuit)
ED-WI-0001-0021
Flaum, Joel Martin (Seventh Circuit, N.D. Ill.)
ED-WI-0001-0001
Goodstein, Aaron E. (E.D. Wis.) [Magistrate]
ED-WI-0001-0003 | ED-WI-0001-0004 | ED-WI-0001-0005 | ED-WI-0001-0006 | ED-WI-0001-0007 | ED-WI-0001-0009 | ED-WI-0001-0011 | ED-WI-0001-0013 | ED-WI-0001-0014 | ED-WI-0001-0015 | ED-WI-0001-0016 | ED-WI-0001-0017 | ED-WI-0001-0018 | ED-WI-0001-0019 | ED-WI-0001-0020
Randa, Rudolph Thomas (E.D. Wis.)
ED-WI-0001-0022 | ED-WI-0001-0024 | ED-WI-0001-0025 | ED-WI-0001-9000
Rovner, Ilana Kara Diamond (Seventh Circuit, N.D. Ill.)
ED-WI-0001-0001
Sykes, Diane S. (Seventh Circuit)
ED-WI-0001-0001 | ED-WI-0001-0021 | ED-WI-0001-0023
Williams, Ann Claire (Seventh Circuit, N.D. Ill.)
ED-WI-0001-0021
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bachhuber, Michael J. (Wisconsin)
ED-WI-0001-9000
Murphy, Monica M. (Wisconsin)
ED-WI-0001-0002 | ED-WI-0001-0008 | ED-WI-0001-0010 | ED-WI-0001-0012 | ED-WI-0001-9000 | ED-WI-0001-9001
Spitzer-Resnick, Jeffrey D. (Wisconsin)
ED-WI-0001-0002 | ED-WI-0001-0010 | ED-WI-0001-0012 | ED-WI-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Aldana, Michael (Wisconsin)
ED-WI-0001-9000
Andeen, Lisa (Wisconsin)
ED-WI-0001-9000
Anderson, Nicholas O (Wisconsin)
ED-WI-0001-9000 | ED-WI-0001-9001
Appleby, Jane E. (Wisconsin)
ED-WI-0001-9000
Bickert, Susan D (Wisconsin)
ED-WI-0001-9000
Crawford, Roxane L. (Wisconsin)
ED-WI-0001-9000
Crump, Lafayette L (Wisconsin)
ED-WI-0001-9000
Featherston, Katie A. (Wisconsin)
ED-WI-0001-9000
Kruse, Autumn M. (Wisconsin)
ED-WI-0001-9000
Olsen, Bruce A. (Wisconsin)
ED-WI-0001-0012 | ED-WI-0001-9000
Olson, Adrienne J (Wisconsin)
ED-WI-0001-9000
Parsons, W. Stuart (Wisconsin)
ED-WI-0001-9000
Poor, E. King (Illinois)
ED-WI-0001-9000
Ruesch, Gary M (Wisconsin)
ED-WI-0001-0010 | ED-WI-0001-9000
Other Lawyers Croke, William P. (Wisconsin)
ED-WI-0001-9000
Koenig, Jonathan H. (Wisconsin)
ED-WI-0001-9000
Quindel, Barbara Z. (Wisconsin)
ED-WI-0001-9000
Rowe, Todd M. (Michigan)
ED-WI-0001-9000

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