MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MORRISON C. ENGLAND, Jr., District Judge.
Through the present action, Plaintiffs Heath and Rebecca Havey, both individually and on behalf of their son Everett H. (hereinafter "Plaintiffs" unless otherwise indicated) allege educational harms based on purported violations of Everett's right as a disabled student to a free and appropriate public education ("FAPE") pursuant to the provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1400, et seq. ("IDEA"), and various state statutes. Plaintiffs also assert associated violations of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq. ("ADA"), and § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794 ("Section 504"). By way of damages, Plaintiffs seek compensatory education and reimbursement, compensatory and punitive damages, and attorneys' fees.
The Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District, Everett's local school district, was originally named as a Defendant by Plaintiffs, along with Dry Creek's Board of Trustees and four individual Dry Creek administrators, Lynn Barbaria, Mark Geyer, Andrew Giannini and Evonne Rogers in their official capacities (collectively referred to hereafter as "Dry Creek"). On or about November 23, 2014, however, Plaintiffs settled their claims against Dry Creek by accepting its offer of entry of judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68.
The CDE moved for summary judgment and, by Memorandum and Order filed September 30, 2016 (ECF No. 138), that motion was granted with respect to Plaintiffs' third claim for relief, which alleged a violation of California Education Code § 37252.2. Summary adjudication was also granted with respect to certain relief sought in the prayer to Plaintiffs' Second Amended Complaint. Presently before the Court are cross-motions for reconsideration asking the Court to revisit its rulings as to the propriety of damages requested by Plaintiffs in their prayer for relief. The CDE, in its motion (ECF No. 15), asks the court to reconsider its order denying the CDE's request to strike Plaintiffs' prayer for injunctive relief. Plaintiffs, for their part, urge the Court to find that compensatory damages are indeed available for Plaintiffs' allegations of intentional discrimination and retaliation under Title II of the ADA and Section 504.
A court should not revisit its own decisions unless extraordinary circumstances show that its prior decision was wrong.
With respect to the CDE's claim that any injunctive relief available to Plaintiffs be precluded, the CDE claimed in their motion for summary judgment that because Everett left the Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District more than four years ago, he lacks standing to assert injunctive relief since he is currently being home-schooled and consequently cannot show any ongoing injury susceptible to injunctive redress. The Court declined to find a lack of standing on summary adjudication, however, reasoning that reassurances by way of injunctive relief could permit Everett to return to Dry Creek, where he continues to be geographically zoned, and that his parents' decision to home school Everett for his own safety amounted to a "heavy burden" on their resources. Memorandum and Order, ECF No. 138, at 25:24-26:5. The CDE now requests reconsideration of that Order on grounds that by the time of the trial currently set for July 24, 2017, Everett will have graduated from eighth grade and consequently will no longer be able to attend Dry Creek (and qualify for CDE oversight over Dry Creek's educational services) since Dry Creek is a K-8 school district. Thus, according to the CDE, any injunctive relief can no longer be had.
In opposition, Plaintiff Heath Havey has submitted a declaration indicating that because Everett's latest Triennial and IEP meetings confirm that he remains below grade level, being held back another year is being considered rather than currently advancing Everett to high school for the 2017-18 school year. Havey further indicates that an additional Triennial meeting has been scheduled for May 18, 2017 to address these concerns. Decl. of Heath Havey, ECF No. 160-1, ¶¶ 2-4. While the CDE argues that this is sheer speculation, the Court believes that the circumstances present are sufficient to permit standing at this time. In addition, by demonstrating alleged systemic shortcomings on the part of CDE that extend beyond FAPE issues applicable only to Everett, Plaintiffs' standing in seeking redress is not necessarily limited by the scope of Everett's particular concerns in any event. Consequently, the CDE's Motion for Reconsideration fails.
As indicated above, Plaintiffs' cross-motion for reconsideration targeted specifically to the availability of compensatory damages for Plaintiffs' claim under the ADA and Section 504. Plaintiffs failed to offer any meaningful opposition to the CDE's request that the court deem those damages unavailable given the Ninth Circuit's holding in
While the Ninth Circuit's decision in
It must also be noted that where discriminatory intent is found, Ninth Circuit authority itself has recognized the availability of money damages.
In sum, while the CDE's Motion for Reconsideration as to the availability of injunctive relief (ECF No. 150) is DENIED, the Court GRANTS Plaintiffs' Request for Reconsideration (ECF No. 161) as to the availability of compensatory damages for Plaintiffs' allegations of intentional discrimination and retaliation under Title II of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, including under a "deliberate indifference" standard. The Court accordingly strikes lines 14-23 from page 25 of its Memorandum and Order filed September 30, 2016 (ECF No. 138).
IT IS SO ORDERED.