Fry, Stacy, et vir v. Napoleon Community Sch., et al

Summarized by:

  • Court: United States Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Disability Law
  • Date Filed: June 28, 2016
  • Case #: 15-497
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: 788 F.3d 622 (6th Cir. 2015)
  • Full Text Opinion

Whether the HCPA commands exhaustion in a suit, when it is brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act, that seeks damages if that remedy that is not available under the IDEA?

Handicapped Children's Protection Act of 1986 (HCPA), requires exhaustion of state administrative remedies under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for non-IDEA actions, where the individual is "seeking relief that is also available under" IDEA. Petitioner was born with cerebral palsy. When she was five years old, she was prescribed a service dog, Wonder. Respondent refused to permit Wonder to accompany Petitioner to school, reasoning that Wonder did not provide any additional support not already provided through the school's program. In December 2012, Petitioner’s parents filed suit seeking damages for Respondent’s violations of Title II of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The District Court dismissed the suit for failure to exhaust state administrative remedies. A divided Sixth Circuit affirmed, holding that exhaustion is required “when the injuries alleged can be remedied through IDEA procedures, or when the injuries relate to the specific substantive protections of the IDEA.” Petitioners argue that the Sixth Circuit’s interpretation of the exhaustion requirement is not required by the text of IDEA and if the relief that the plaintiffs are seeking is not available under IDEA, they are not required to go through the state administrative process.

Advanced Search