and Submitted June 15, 2017 Honolulu, Hawaii
from the United States District Court for the District of
Hawaii D.C. No. 1:13-cv-00263-HG-BMK, Helen W. Gillmor,
Senior District Judge, Presiding
Handlin (argued), New York, New York, for
Kaliko'onalani D. Fernandes (argued), Holly T. Shikada,
and Gary S. Suganuma, Deputy Attorneys General; Clyde J.
Wadsworth, Solicitor General; Douglas C. Chin, Attorney
General; Department of the Attorney General, Honolulu,
Hawaii; for Defendant-Appellee.
Before: Raymond C. Fisher, Richard A. Paez and Jacqueline H.
Nguyen, Circuit Judges.
with Disabilities Education Act
panel affirmed the district court's summary judgment in
favor of the Hawaii Department of Education in an action
brought on behalf of a student under the Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act.
panel held that there was no procedural violation of the
IDEA, and the student was not denied a free appropriate
public education, when the anticipated school where special
education services would be delivered, in light of a planned
move to a new school district, was not identified. The panel
held that the IDEA does not require identification of a
particular school in every instance. Rather, the requirement
that an individualized education program identify the
"location" in which special education services will
be provided means that the IEP must identify the general
setting or type of environment.
FISHER, Circuit Judge:
H.'s parents brought suit on her behalf against the
Hawaii Department of Education, alleging she was denied a
free appropriate public education under the Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This alleged denial did
not stem from any substantive failure to include any
particular special education service in her individualized
education program. Rather, Rachel's parents argued their
daughter was denied a free appropriate public education
because of a purported procedural error, specifically, not
identifying the anticipated school where special education
services would be delivered in light of a planned move to a
new school district. Because we hold the IDEA does not
require identification of a particular school in every
instance, we affirm the district court's summary judgment
for the Hawaii Department of Education.
has Down syndrome, but this has not stopped her from spending
"her entire educational life fully included with typical
students in a general education setting." In 2012,
Rachel was finishing ninth grade at a private school paid
for, in part, by the Hawaii Department of Education
(Department) under a settlement agreement with Rachel's
parents. In May of that year, the Department held an
individualized education program (IEP) meeting to determine
the special education services Rachel would receive in the
upcoming school year. During the meeting, Rachel's father
urged the Department to continue paying for Rachel's
tuition at the private school, but the Department declined.
Although agreeing that Rachel qualified for numerous special
education services, including one-on-one adult support, the
Department's offer of a free appropriate public education
(FAPE) provided that her IEP would be "implemented on a
public school campus."
time of the May 2012 IEP meeting, all parties involved
understood that the "public school campus" offered
by the Department was Kalani High School. However, neither
Rachel's IEP nor the prior written notice of the proposed
changes formally identified the ...