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Case Name Alicia B. v. Malloy ED-CT-0005
Docket / Court 3:16-cv-00065 ( D. Conn. )
Additional Docket(s) HHD-CV-15-5040967-S  [ 15-5040967 ]
State/Territory Connecticut
Case Type(s) Education
Attorney Organization National Center for Youth Law
Case Summary
On December 15, 2015, two Connecticut African-American students filed this lawsuit in Connecticut Superior Court. On January 14, 2016, the case was removed to the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut. The plaintiffs sued the Bloomfield Board of Education, the Manchester ... read more >
On December 15, 2015, two Connecticut African-American students filed this lawsuit in Connecticut Superior Court. On January 14, 2016, the case was removed to the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut. The plaintiffs sued the Bloomfield Board of Education, the Manchester Board of Education, the Hartford Board of Education, the State Board of Education, and the State Department of Education under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, alleging violations of the Constitution of Connecticut, the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and Title VI.

Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that, after their expulsion from Connecticut public schools, they were given inadequate alternative education, thus depriving them of their fundamental right to an education. They argued that Black students were particularly affected by these inadequacies because Black students were disproportionately expelled as a result of selective enforcement of neutral discipline policies. One plaintiff brought claims against the Manchester and Bloomfield Boards of Education. Both plaintiffs brought claims against the Hartford Board of Education. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel and the Center for Children’s Advocacy, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief to improve the insufficient education provided to students who had been expelled. The plaintiffs also requested reasonable attorneys' fees and costs.

On August 11, 2016, Manchester Board of Education defendants settled with one of the plaintiffs. This settlement is sealed.

On August 16, 2016, the Bloomfield Board of Education also settled with the same plaintiff. The settlement agreement stipulated the Bloomfield BOE would provide $14,400 for education costs to be used until the 2019-2020 school year, would expunge the record of the plaintiff, would amend Board policies related to the expulsion of students, would define “individualized learning plan” to provided definition, would train administrators, teachers, and staff on changed policies and expelled students' rights, would provide plaintiff's counsel data about the District's progress in implementing this agreement, would acknowledge all allegations and that the District violated plaintiff's education rights, and would pay $20,000 in attorney fees.

On December 22, 2016, Hartford Board of Education settled with both plaintiffs. That settlement agreement is also sealed. This left only the plaintiffs’ claims against State defendants.

On July 16, 2018, State defendants settled with both plaintiffs. The settlement provided that the State Department of Education would provide guidance to the local education agencies about the expulsion-related provisions of Connecticut Public Act 16-147, addressing the process and timeline for district adoption of a prior expulsion hearing decision for students who transfer school districts during periods of expulsion. The State Department of Education also agreed to issue guidelines about best practices for the education the student should receive if expelled, and to circulate these guidelines to the local education agencies, boards of education and school districts at the same time, no longer than September 1, 2018. Moreover, the State Department of Education agreed to submit to the State Board of Education a proposed Board Policy Statement concerning the importance of reducing expulsions and disproportionality in expulsions, among other points, in Connecticut for consideration by the State Board no later than its December 2018 regular meeting. According to the settlement agreement, within 15 days after such time as the State Board issued a final Policy Statement, the State Department of Education should circulate it to local education agencies, boards of education and school districts.

Additionally, the State Department of Education, no later than September 1, 2018, would facilitate state oversight of alternative educational opportunities by publishing on its website, in a manner easily accessible to students and families, materials providing information for students and parents about student rights to education during periods of expulsion. These materials would also be published as part of the guidelines mentioned above, and would be sent by the State Department of Education via electronic mail to a list of agreed-upon community and legal organizations. The State Department of Education agreed to consider recommendations from the Plaintiffs' attorney in these resources, although the decision about their content would be made solely by the State Department.

The State Department of Education agreed to analyze suspension and expulsion data on an annual basis, to identify districts with meaningful disparities in the rates of these punishments and racial disparities in suspensions/expulsions. The methodology of this analysis would be determined by the State Department of Education and shared with the plaintiffs and their counsel within 30 days of the execution of the settlement agreement, whose considerations, if made within 15 days, would be taken into account before a final decision was reached.

Besides that, the State Department of Education agreed to develop a tiered monitoring and recommended remediation approach of progressive intervention generally consisting of guidance for all districts, including sharing of resources pertaining to restorative and culturally responsive practices, and, as justified by the particular circumstances it defined, more significant interventions for some districts, to be defined by the Department. Beginning in December 2020, the State Department of Education would annually determine the tiers of intervention, publish the results on its website and report the tiers annually to the State Board of Education. Beginning no later than December 2021, the State Department of Education would include in its annual reporting on the website and to the State Board of Education information concerning the progress of districts in Tier 3 toward improvement.

Finally, the State defendants agreed to pay $50,000 in fees and costs, and the plaintiffs waived any rights to apply for any additional fees and expenses in connection with all claims and potential claims resolved through the settlement agreement.

The parties agreed the Court would retain jurisdiction until March 31, 2022 to enforce the provisions of the agreement.

On July 18, 2018, Judge Stefan R. Underhill approved the settlement agreement and stipulation of dismissal. The settlement agreement is ongoing.

Erica Christianson - 02/02/2017
Daniele de Oliveira Nunes - 10/12/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Monitoring
Remedial education
Required disclosure
Defendant-type
Elementary/Secondary School
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Discharge & termination plans
Individualized planning
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Title IV, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000c et seq.
Defendant(s) Bloomfield Board of Education
Connecticut State Board of Education
Connecticut State Department of Education
Hartford Board of Education
Manchester Board of Education
Plaintiff Description Children sent to an alternative educational program after being expelled from public school.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations National Center for Youth Law
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration 2016 - 2022
Filing Year 2015
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
15-5040967-S (State Trial Court)
ED-CT-0005-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/15/2015
Source: Westlaw
3:16-cv-65 (D. Conn.)
ED-CT-0005-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/18/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum in Support of Ex Parte Application for Permission to Prosecute Suit through a Pseudonym
ED-CT-0005-0001.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 12/15/2015
Complaint
ED-CT-0005-0002.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 12/15/2015
Settlement Agreement [ECF# 79-1]
ED-CT-0005-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/16/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation of Dismissal [ECF# 107]
ED-CT-0005-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/14/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Settlement Agreement and Stipulation of Dismissal [ECF# 135]
ED-CT-0005-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/16/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Robaina, Antonio C. Court not on record
ED-CT-0005-9000
Underhill, Stefan R. (D. Conn.)
ED-CT-0005-9001
Plaintiff's Lawyers Chadha, Priya (New York)
ED-CT-0005-0004 | ED-CT-0005-0005 | ED-CT-0005-9001
Eidsath, Hannah Benton (California)
ED-CT-0005-0001 | ED-CT-0005-0002 | ED-CT-0005-0003 | ED-CT-0005-0004 | ED-CT-0005-0005 | ED-CT-0005-9000 | ED-CT-0005-9001
Halm, Marisa M. (Connecticut)
ED-CT-0005-0001 | ED-CT-0005-0002 | ED-CT-0005-0003 | ED-CT-0005-0004 | ED-CT-0005-0005 | ED-CT-0005-9001
Harris, Michael (California)
ED-CT-0005-0003 | ED-CT-0005-0004 | ED-CT-0005-0005 | ED-CT-0005-9001
Iverson, Erica R. (New York)
ED-CT-0005-0003 | ED-CT-0005-9001
Lee, Annie (California)
ED-CT-0005-9001
Loughlin, Walter P. (New York)
ED-CT-0005-0001 | ED-CT-0005-0002 | ED-CT-0005-9000 | ED-CT-0005-9001
Steinberger, Luke E. (New York)
ED-CT-0005-0004 | ED-CT-0005-0005 | ED-CT-0005-9001
Stone, Martha (Connecticut)
ED-CT-0005-0001 | ED-CT-0005-0002 | ED-CT-0005-0003 | ED-CT-0005-0004 | ED-CT-0005-0005 | ED-CT-0005-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Chinni, Christine Lucia (Connecticut)
ED-CT-0005-0003 | ED-CT-0005-9000 | ED-CT-0005-9001
Kaufmann, Melinda B. (Connecticut)
ED-CT-0005-0004 | ED-CT-0005-9001
Maher, Peter J. (Connecticut)
ED-CT-0005-9001
Menjivar, Walter Alberto (Connecticut)
ED-CT-0005-0005 | ED-CT-0005-9000 | ED-CT-0005-9001
Schurin, Zachary David (Connecticut)
ED-CT-0005-9001
Sedor, Stephen M. (Connecticut)
ED-CT-0005-0004 | ED-CT-0005-9001
Urban, Ralph E. (Connecticut)
ED-CT-0005-0005 | ED-CT-0005-9000 | ED-CT-0005-9001
Yoder, Linda L. (Connecticut)
ED-CT-0005-9001

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