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Case Name Council of Parents Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) v. DeVos ED-DC-0008
Docket / Court 1:18-cv-01636 ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Education
Attorney Organization National Center for Youth Law
Case Summary
On July 12, 2018, the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. COPAA sued the U.S. Department of Education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) ... read more >
On July 12, 2018, the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. COPAA sued the U.S. Department of Education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Represented by the National Center for Youth Law and private attorneys, COPAA sought declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as attorneys' fees and costs to remedy the disproportionate adverse treatment of students of color with disabilities. The case was assigned to District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan.

In 2016, the Dept. of Education established Final Regulations that were aimed to help States fully comply with Section 618(b) of IDEA, which required states to implement measures that could address problems related to racial disproportionality. Section 618(b) was meant to capture whether significant disproportionality based on race and ethnicity was occurring in the States and the local educational agencies of the States with respect to the identification, placement, and discipline of children with disabilities. Significantly, it also established a standard methodology for states to use to determine whether racial disproportionality is occurring. The Dept. of Education gave States until July 1, 2018 to comply.

The issue in this case was that on July 3, 2018, the Dept. of Education issued a notice in the Federal Register delaying by two years the requirement to comply with the 2016 Final Regulations. The plaintiffs alleged that this delay was an abuse of discretion and arbitrarily allowed states to delay their compliance with section 618(d) of the IDEA, in violation of the IDEA itself and also the APA.

The Dept. of Education moved to dismiss the complaint on September 17, 2018. It claimed that the plaintiffs lacked standing for two main reasons. First, in defendants' view, plaintiffs' allegations of harm--that without the delay, more disproportionate school districts would have been identified--was speculative. The defendants also claimed that the plaintiff failed to identify people who actually had suffered or would imminently suffer harm due to the delay.

On October 1, 2018, the plaintiffs filed both an opposition to the defendants' motion to dismiss, and its own motion for summary judgment. On November 12, 2018, the defendants also moved for summary judgment.

The court had not yet ruled on these motions and the case is still ongoing.

Lisa Koo - 01/31/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Disability
disability, unspecified
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Education
School/University Facilities
School/University policies
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. ยงยง 551 et seq.
Indv. w/ Disab. Educ. Act (IDEA), Educ. of All Handcpd. Children Act , 20 U.S.C. § 1400
Defendant(s) U.S. Department of Education
Plaintiff Description COPAA is a national non-profit organization of more than 2,100 parents of children with disabilities, their attorneys, and their advocates.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations National Center for Youth Law
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Declaratory Judgment
Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2018
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  COPAA V. DEVOS
National Center for Youth Law
Date: July 2018
By: National Center for Youth Law
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:18-cv-01636 (D.D.C.)
ED-DC-0008-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/22/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
ED-DC-0008-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/23/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Chutkan, Tanya Sue (D.D.C.) show/hide docs
ED-DC-0008-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Adams, Crystal (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-DC-0008-0001 | ED-DC-0008-9000
Andr, Jean-Claude (California) show/hide docs
ED-DC-0008-0001 | ED-DC-0008-9000
Barokh, Benjamin G. (California) show/hide docs
ED-DC-0008-0001 | ED-DC-0008-9000
Clark, Jennifer J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-DC-0008-0001 | ED-DC-0008-9000
Galanter, Seth Michael (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-DC-0008-0001 | ED-DC-0008-9000
Harris, Michael (California) show/hide docs
ED-DC-0008-0001 | ED-DC-0008-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Lee, Jason (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-DC-0008-9000

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