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Baumhofer v. State Department of Human Services

United States District Court, D. Oregon

May 28, 2014

WILLIAM SCOTT BAUMHOFER, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE OF OREGON DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES (DHS), Defendant.

WILLIAM SCOTT BAUMHOFER, Portland, OR, Plaintiff, Pro Se.

ELLEN ROSENBLUM, Attorney General, ANDREW D. CAMPBELL, Assistant Attorney General, Salem, OR, Attorneys for Defendant.

OPINION AND ORDER

ANNA J. BROWN, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on Defendant State of Oregon Department of Human Services' Motion (#39) for Summary Judgment. For the reasons that follow, the Court GRANTS Defendant's Motion and DISMISSES this matter with prejudice.

BACKGROUND

From 2003 through August 28, 2012, Plaintiff William Scott Baumhofer was a client of the Oregon Office of Vocational and Rehabilitation Services (OVRS), which is a unit of the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS). While he was enrolled with OVRS Plaintiff received a Conditional Certification for Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), which, according to Defendant, is a form[1] that OVRS clients may present to prospective employers to inform them that they may be entitled to claim a favorable WOTC on their tax returns if they hire the OVRS client.

On August 28, 2012, the OVRS closed Plaintiff's case.

On October 3, 2012, Plaintiff filed a Request for Impartial Fair Hearing requesting a due-process hearing on the August 28, 2012, closure of his case.

On January 29, 2013, a due-process hearing was held as to "whether OVRS inappropriately closed [Plaintiff']s file, treated [Plaintiff] unfairly, or otherwise failed in its mandate." Hector Aff., Ex. A at 5.

On March 11, 2013, the hearing officer issued a decision in which he addressed the following six issues:

1. Did [OVRS] wrongly close [Plaintiff's] file on August 28, 2013?
2. Has OVRS released a complete copy of [Plaintiff's] case file to [him]? If not, must OVRS do so?
3. Has OVRS made the "tape and transcript" from the pre-hearing conference and the hearing available to [Plaintiff]? If not, must OVRS do so?
4. Has OVRS treated [Plaintiff] in an unfair or unprofessional manner?
5. Must OVRS provide [Plaintiff] with respiratory therapy or physical therapy services?
6. Has OVRS informed [Plaintiff] of what services OVRS will provide? If not, must OVRS do so?

Hector Aff., Ex. A at 3. The hearing officer concluded: OVRS properly closed Plaintiff's case file on August 28, 2012; OVRS must provide Plaintiff with a complete copy of his case file; OVRS made the audio recording of the hearing available to Plaintiff and was not required to provide a written transcript of the hearing; OVRS treated Plaintiff in a fair and professional manner; OVRS is not required to provide Plaintiff with respiratory therapy or physical therapy services "in the absence of medical documentation of such impairments creating barriers to [Plaintiff's] employment"; and OVRS has informed Plaintiff of the services that OVRS will provide. Hector Aff., Ex. A at 6.

On May 10, 2013, Plaintiff filed a pro se Complaint in this Court asserting this Court has jurisdiction to review due-process hearing decisions pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 722(c) and 34 C.F.R. § 361.57. Plaintiff appeared to seek review of the order issued by DHS on March 11, 2013. In the "Relief" portion of his Complaint Plaintiff requested the following:

(1) Have single case worker for all services & benefits at Dept. of Human Service as to I'm told to go away or get lose as they state I or we have nothing to do with that issues, instead of finding the correct Open Door, staff or set record to give details why other at Dept of Human Service have handle these issues.
(2) Get an updated conditional certification from the state workforce (SWA) or a participating local agency for the work opportunity credit as mention on IRS Form 8850 OMB #XXXX-XXXX.
(3) Correctly Advance L.I.S. to Medicare Saving(s) Program(s) for reimbursement of Part B or the likes of Qualifying Individual (QI) Program p99 of Medicare & You 2013 CMS Product No. 10050-57 September 2012.
(4) Correctly release of files & records.

Compl. at IV.

On August 2, 2013, Defendant filed a Motion to Strike in which it sought an order striking Plaintiff's First, Third, and Fourth requests for relief.

On October 25, 2013, DHS Hearings Officer Lawrence Smith held a contested case hearing regarding Plaintiff's "continuing struggles to comply with OVRS recommendations and directives." Hearings Officer Smith found by clear and convincing evidence that OVRS lawfully ...


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