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Case Name J.N. v. Oregon Board of Education ED-OR-0002
Docket / Court 6:19-cv-00096-AA ( D. Or. )
State/Territory Oregon
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Education
Attorney Organization Bazelon Center
National Center for Youth Law
Case Summary
This case is about discrimination that students with disabilities face in the Oregon Public School system. On January 22, 2019, plaintiffs brought a class-action suit against the Oregon Department of Education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Americans with Disabilities ... read more >
This case is about discrimination that students with disabilities face in the Oregon Public School system. On January 22, 2019, plaintiffs brought a class-action suit against the Oregon Department of Education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The plaintiffs sought to address the long-standing problem in Oregon of denying students with disabilities the ability to attend a full-day of school or in some cases, the chance to attend school at all.

J.N., the lead plaintiff, was a 6-year-old public school student. He had a disability and was eligible for special education and related services under the IDEA. Due to behaviors related to his disability, J.N. had been subjected to a shortened school day. When he was in kindergarten, J.N. was forced to attend a truncated form of school for the entire 2017-2018 school year. For a few months, this meant that J.N.'s entire day of schooling was only an hour. Other plaintiffs also were subject to shortened school days, including schooling under an hour a day, as a result of their disability.

The plaintiffs argued that the discriminatory consequences of the shortened school day policy violated the IDEA, the ADA, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Under the IDEA, every state has to "ensure" that it provides "special education" and "related services" to all children with disabilities aged 3 to 21 who reside in the state. The IDEA also requires that every child be provided a free appropriate public education (FAPE). Under Title II of the ADA, individuals with disabilities cannot be excluded from participating in, excluded from the benefits of, or be discriminated against in public school. Title II also requires that all students regardless of disability status be provided with an equal education. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act requires that institutions receiving federal funding provide assistance and benefits to individuals with disabilities.

In the complaint, the plaintiffs requested the following relief: a permanent enjoinder of defendants from subjecting the plaintiffs to policies that violate the IDEA, the ADA, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act; an order requiring defendants to create and implement new policies that would ensure compliance with FAPE standards; and an order demanding that defendants develop and maintain policies and practices to ensure that the State of Oregon and individual Oregon school districts do not discriminate against students with disabilities, including exclusion of students with disabilities from a full school day. The case was assigned to Judge Ann L. Aiken.

On April 19, 2019, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss. The plaintiffs responded to this motion, but both parties began to participate in settlement talks in October 2019. However, the no settlement agreement was reached, and on February 3, 2020, the plaintiffs motioned to certify the class.

On September 1, 2020, Judge Aiken denied the defendants' motion to dismiss, finding that the plaintiffs had standing to proceed. 2020 WL 5209846. The defendants filed their answer to the complaint shortly thereafter.

As of November 1, 2020, the case remains open.

Gabrielle Simeck - 11/01/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Elementary/Secondary School
Disability
disability, unspecified
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Education
Reasonable Accommodations
Reasonable Modifications
School/University policies
Special education
Mental Disability
Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Indv. w/ Disab. Educ. Act (IDEA), Educ. of All Handcpd. Children Act , 20 U.S.C. § 1400
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Defendant(s) Oregon Department of Education
Plaintiff Description All students with disabilities aged 3 to 21 residing in Oregon who are eligible for special education and related services under the IDEA and are currently being subjected to a shortened school day or are at substantial risk of being subjected to a shortened school day due to their disability-related behaviors.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Bazelon Center
National Center for Youth Law
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Pending
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 01/22/2019
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  J.N. v. Oregon Department of Education
youthlaw.org
Date: Sep. 2, 2020
By: National Center for Youth Law
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Court Docket(s)
D. Or.
10/19/2020
6:19-cv-00096-AA
ED-OR-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
D. Or.
01/22/2019
Class Action Allegation Complaint for Equitable Relief Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act [ECF# 1]
ED-OR-0002-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Or.
02/05/2020
Opinion and Order [ECF# 78] (2020 WL 589534)
ED-OR-0002-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Or.
09/01/2020
Opinion and Order [ECF# 104] (2020 WL 5209846)
ED-OR-0002-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Aiken, Ann L. (D. Or.) show/hide docs
ED-OR-0002-0002 | ED-OR-0002-0003 | ED-OR-0002-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Abrokwa, Alice (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-OR-0002-0001 | ED-OR-0002-9000
Almazan-altobelli, Selene (Maryland) show/hide docs
ED-OR-0002-0001 | ED-OR-0002-9000
Bossing, Lewis (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-OR-0002-0001 | ED-OR-0002-9000
Burnim, Ira Abraham (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-OR-0002-0001 | ED-OR-0002-9000
Folger, Michael W (New York) show/hide docs
ED-OR-0002-0001 | ED-OR-0002-9000
Galanter, Seth Michael (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-OR-0002-0001 | ED-OR-0002-9000
Greenberg, Joel (Oregon) show/hide docs
ED-OR-0002-0001 | ED-OR-0002-9000
Horth-Neubert, Stacy R. (California) show/hide docs
ED-OR-0002-0001
Simshauser, Peter (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
ED-OR-0002-0001 | ED-OR-0002-9000
Stenson, Thomas (Oregon) show/hide docs
ED-OR-0002-0001 | ED-OR-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Andrews, Beth (Oregon) show/hide docs
ED-OR-0002-9000
Englander, Nina R. (Oregon) show/hide docs
ED-OR-0002-9000
Staley, Darsee (Oregon) show/hide docs
ED-OR-0002-9000

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