Right to Education

J.G. et al. v. Mills,
04 Civ. 5415 (ARR) (SMG)( E.D.N.Y.)

Nature of Claims: Plaintiffs and proposed class have sued the NYC Department of Education and the NY State Education Department on behalf of court-involved youth (children charged with delinquency or as juvenile offenders) to ensure appropriate and timely transfer into the NYC community schools following detention or incarceration. Students returning from detention or court-ordered placement have often been turned away from school or not placed in appropriate schools, grade level, classes, and services, in violation of their rights to due process of law and in violation of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the State Constitution, and education law.

Current Status: Plaintiffs’ motions for class certification and systemic preliminary injunctive relief are submitted and pending. The magistrate judge has issued a report and recommendations on the injunction motion, and the parties’ time to file objections has been extended during revived settlement talks.  Settlement talks with the city are ongoing. Individual children’s cases are being pursued via an informal relief process and applications for relief from the court where necessary. The plaintiff and the State Education Department have reached a settlement.

No. Persons Affected: Several thousand New York City children pass through OCFS residential, OCFS contracted facilities, and DJJ secure and nonsecure settings each year. More than one thousand students return to NYC and need to reenroll in community schools each year.

Reported decisions: None published. Decisions and Orders available via ECF.