A Capehart Scatchard Blog

Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev

Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. concentrates her practice on the representation of boards of education and charter schools in all areas of school law including: labor and employment, special education, Section 504, student discipline, FERPA, Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act, student residency, civil rights, tenure, OPRA, and OPMA. In connection with these representations, she is experienced in handling matters before State and Federal courts, including the Office of Administrative Law. Ms. Dev is an experienced special education litigator and defends school districts in due process hearings from inception through trial. In addition, she has handled matters before governmental agencies, including the U.S. Office for Civil Rights and New Jersey Division on Civil Rights. Ms. Dev routinely conducts training and seminars, drafts policies and manuals, and provides strategic advice to school administrators regarding school law issues. Ms. Dev was recently recognized as one of South Jersey’s Awesome Attorneys as published by South Jersey Magazine. She is licensed to practice law in New Jersey, the District Court for the District of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

District Court Affirms Failure to Strictly Implement “Door-to-Door” Transportation Did Not Violate IDEA

By: Becky Batista, Law Clerk Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. On March 17, 2022, the U.S. District Court of New Jersey affirmed the ruling of an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) in S.W. v. Elizabeth Board of Education that “transportation to and from the corner bus stop rather than from the disabled child’s home did not rise to the level of a denial of a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”), did not significantly impede the parents’ opportunity to participate relative to his education and did not cause a deprivation of educational benefits.” In S.W., the parents of a disabled student sought […]

Share

Continue Reading »

Court Approves Settlement Agreement Involving Incarcerated Disabled Students and NJDOC and NJDOE

By: Becky Batista, Law Clerk Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. On March 3, 2022, the U.S. District Court of New Jersey approved a settlement agreement between a class of incarcerated students with disabilities and the New Jersey Department of Corrections (“DOC”) and New Jersey Department of Education (“DOE”) in Adam X. v. New Jersey Department of Corrections. The plaintiffs filed a civil rights class action lawsuit on behalf of incarcerated disabled students in DOC adult prisons. These students were eligible for special education. They alleged that the DOC and DOE failed to provide special education or related services and equal […]

Share

Continue Reading »

Third Circuit Clarifies that Decisions Approving Voluntary Special Education Settlements are Appealable Under IDEA

By: Becky Batista, Law Clerk Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) permits any aggrieved party of an administrative finding to file an appeal in federal district court. Typically, an administrative finding is a final decision by an Administrative Law Judge on the substance and merits of an underlying due process petition brought by parents of a special education student against a public school district. On March 16, 2022, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued a precedential opinion in G.W. v. Ringwood Board of Education clarifying that the entry of a “Decision Approving Settlement” […]

Share

Continue Reading »

N.J. Supreme Court Rules that OPRA Requires Disclosure of Settlement Agreements with Public Employees

By: Becky Batista, Law Clerk Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. On March 7, 2022, the New Jersey Supreme Court reversed a decision by the Appellate Division in Libertarians and Transparent Government v. Cumberland County and determined that a settlement agreement between a former corrections officer and his employer, Defendant Cumberland County (“County”) is subject to disclosure under the Open Public Records Act (“OPRA”). Plaintiff sought a settlement agreement wherein the former County corrections officer admitted to “improper fraternization” with two female inmates and bringing contraband into the jail. Plaintiff requested this agreement and specific information about the officer’s separation of […]

Share

Continue Reading »

Seventh Circuit Holds University’s Mandatory COVID Vaccination Policy Does Not Violate Constitutional Rights

By on August 4, 2021 in Students with 0 Comments

By: Gitika Kapoor, Law ClerkEditor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq On August 2, 2021, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Klaassen v. Trustees of Indiana University held that Indiana University, a public educational institution, may continue its policy to require students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to return to campus for the fall semester. The Court held that the vaccine requirement does not violate a student’s substantive due process rights under Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Indiana University’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate offers two exemptions: medical and religious. In light of safety concerns arising from the risk […]

Share

Continue Reading »

Court Affirms Failing to Collaborate Gives Reason to Deny Tuition Reimbursement Under the IDEA

By: Sean P. Dugan, Law ClerkEditor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. On June 8, 2021, the U.S. District Court of New Jersey affirmed the ruling of an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) in I.G. et al. v. Linden City Board of Education that the parents of a student with a disability who unilaterally placed their child in a private school were not entitled to tuition reimbursement. In Linden City, the parents of the student sought reimbursement for the private school tuition. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”), a parent who does not believe that their child is being provided a […]

Share

Continue Reading »

Court Denies Discovery of Access to Multiple School Buildings, Holding That the Request was Irrelevant and Disproportional to the Case

By on July 21, 2021 in Other with 0 Comments

By: Kristen M. Doyle, Law ClerkEditor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. In a decision dated June 1, 2021, the U.S. District Court of New Jersey held in Esposito v. Ridgewood Board of Education that Plaintiffs failed to show that the broad discovery they wished to obtain was relevant to the subject matter of the lawsuit. The Court denied Plaintiffs’ requests to access and photograph the interior of various school buildings because they were not related to Plaintiffs’ constitutional claims and were disproportional to the case. The claim stemmed from an incident on January 8, 2019, at an elementary school when the […]

Share

Continue Reading »

First Amendment: U.S. Supreme Court Narrows the Right of Schools to Discipline Off Campus Speech

By on July 6, 2021 in Students with 0 Comments

By: Gitika Kapoor, Law ClerkEditor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. The Supreme Court of United States ruled on June 23, 2021 that a Pennsylvania public school district violated a student’s First Amendment rights by punishing her for posting a vulgar message on social media while off-campus and off school hours. In reaching this decision in Mahanoy Area School District v. Levy, the Court considered that the speech was made off campus and did not involve school infrastructure. Moreover, it did not cause substantial disruption because while it upset a few students and was a topic of discussion for a few days, […]

Share

Continue Reading »

USDOE Issues Notice of Interpretation on Title IX’s Prohibition on Sex Discrimination

By on June 29, 2021 in Students with 0 Comments

By: Sean P. Dugan, Law ClerkEditor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. On June 16, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) issued a notice of interpretation that it will enforce Title IX’s prohibition on discrimination on the basis of sex to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and discrimination based on gender identity. The USDOE based its interpretation on the Bostock v. Clayton County case, which the United States Supreme Court decided on June 15, 2020. In Bostock, the Court looked at three cases, two cases where employees were fired after they revealed that they are homosexual, and one where an […]

Share

Continue Reading »

NJ Supreme Court Holds That Supervisor’s Two Uses of Offensive Slurs are Sufficient Support Hostile Work Environment Claim

By on June 24, 2021 in Labor & Employment with 0 Comments

By: Kristen M. Doyle, Law ClerkEditor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. In a case decided on June 16, 2021, the New Jersey Supreme Court held in Armando Rios Jr. v. Meda Pharmaceutical, Inc. that a supervisor’s use of two offensive slurs was severe and pervasive enough to support a hostile work environment claim for a jury to decide under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”). The facts on the summary judgment record established that defendant Meda Pharmaceutical, Inc. (“Meda”) hired Rios, a Hispanic male, in May 2015 as the company’s Director of Brand Marketing. Rios alleged that one month after […]

Share

Continue Reading »

Top