A Capehart Scatchard Blog

Tag: Appellate Division

Non-Renewal Recommendation in Summative Evaluation Does Not Comply With Written Notice Requirement

By on June 28, 2022 in Labor & Employment with 0 Comments

By: Angela Reading, Law Clerk Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. In New Jersey, spring brings critical deadlines related to renewal decisions for teachers. N.J.S.A. 18A:27-10 mandates that by May 15 of each year, the chief school administrator provide non-tenured teachers with either a new employment contract or written notice of non-renewal of the employee’s contract. If a non-tenured teacher does not receive an employment contract or written notice by the May 15 deadline, under N.J.S.A. 18A:27-11, the employee is presumed to have received an offer of employment for the upcoming school year under the same terms and conditions of employment. […]

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Appellate Division Affirms Dismissal of NJLAD Claim for Sexual Assault on a School Bus

By on June 20, 2022 in Students with 0 Comments

By: Becky Batista, Law Clerk Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. On June 13, 2022, the New Jersey Appellate Division issued a published decision on an issue of first impression in C.V. v. Waterford Township Board of Education, where the Court addressed whether the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”) applies to claims arising from a sexual predator’s abuse against a young schoolgirl where such conduct was committed on a school bus. Based on the undisputed facts of this case, the Appellate Division concluded that the LAD did not apply because there was no evidence that gender motivated the assault. This […]

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Appellate Division Affirms Denial of School District’s Application for Emergency Aid

By on June 14, 2022 in Other with 0 Comments

By: Erika Vasant, Law Clerk Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. On April 18, 2022 the New Jersey Appellate Division decided the case of In the Matter of the Request for 2019-2020 Emergency Aid Submitted by the Board of Education of the North Warren Regional School District, where the court addressed the New Jersey Department of Education’s (“DOE”) decision to deny a school board’s application for emergency aid for roof repairs. The Appellate Division affirmed the Commissioner of Education’s decision that the DOE did not act unreasonably in denying the request. The North Warren Regional School District (“District”) operated only one […]

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Appellate Division Rules School Boards Must Notify Tenured Teachers of Job Consequences Prior to Voluntary Transfer to Part-Time Positions

By: Becky Batista, Law Clerk Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. On June 6, 2022, the New Jersey Appellate Division issued a published decision in Parsells v. Board of Education of Somerville in which it decided that school boards have a duty to notify full-time teachers, in advance, of adverse job consequences before they are appointed to part-time teaching positions, even when the teacher voluntarily seeks the part-time position. In reaching this decision, the Appellate Division reviewed the holding of the New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision in Bridgewater-Raritan Education Association v. Board of Education of Bridgewater-Raritan School District. This case concerned […]

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Settlement Agreements of IDEA Cases in the OAL Are Disclosable Under OPRA

By: Angela Reading, Law Clerk Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. On May 18, 2022, the New Jersey Appellate Division issued a published decision in the case of C.E. v. Elizabeth Public School District, in which the Court held that settlement agreements resolving Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) disputes that have been docketed in the Office of Administrative Law (“OAL”) and final decisions incorporating or pertaining to those settlement agreements are subject to disclosure under New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act (“OPRA”).   Prior to this decision, boards of education typically deemed all special education settlement agreements as confidential student […]

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Boards of Education Prohibited from Discussing Tenure Charges During Public Session

By on January 22, 2021 in Labor & Employment with 0 Comments

On January 21, 2021, the New Jersey Appellate Division issued a published decision in Simadiris v. Paterson Public School District in which it decided whether a board of education’s decision to certify tenure charges against an employee during private session violated that employee’s right to request such consideration in public. In short, the Appellate Division agreed with the school district and ruled that a board of education was prohibited from discussing the tenure charges during public session. Tenure charges were brought against an employee of the Paterson Board of Education (“Board”). The employee’s attorney received notice two days before a […]

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Attorney’s Fees Not Available Under OPMA

By on December 16, 2020 in Open Public Meetings Act with 0 Comments

Plaintiff John Paff filed a lawsuit in the Law Division of the New Jersey Superior Court against the Trenton Board of Education (“Board”) alleging, in part, that the Board violated the Open Public Meetings Act (“OPMA”) and the New Jersey Civil Rights Act (“NJCRA”) because the Board did not reference the payment of a merit bonus to the Superintendent on its agenda for a public meeting. Plaintiff argued that if he prevailed on this issue, he would be entitled to attorney’s fees under OPMA. While the Superior Court found that the Board violated OPMA by failing to provide the public […]

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Appellate Division Affirms Electronic Voting by BOE

On October 30, 2020, the New Jersey Appellate Division in Schwartz v. Princeton Board of Education issued an unpublished decision affirming that a board of education may utilize an electronic voting system so long as all of the other requirements of the Open Public Meetings Act (“OPMA”) are met. In other words, electronic voting by board of education members is not a per se violation of OPMA. Plaintiffs, members of the public, filed a lawsuit against the Princeton Board of Education (“Board”) alleging that its vote on a specific agenda item at its June 12, 2018 public meeting violated OPMA. […]

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N.J. Supreme Court Reverses; Refuses to Allow “Tyranny of Labels” to Compromise Analysis in Tenure Case

By on February 5, 2020 in Labor & Employment with 0 Comments

Last week, the New Jersey Supreme Court decided a teacher tenure case which it warned served as a cautionary tale that “demonstrates the ability of labels to cloud an analysis.”  Melnyk v. Bd. of Educ. of Delsea Reg’l High Sch. Dist., 241 N.J. 31 (2020).  The Delsea Regional School District (“District”) had employed the petitioner, Paula Melnyk, as a tenured special education teacher since 1991.  In 2002, the district began also employing Melnyk to work evenings as a teacher in its after-hours alternative program, in addition to her position as a special education teacher during the regular school day.  Melnyk […]

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N.J. Supreme Court Rules on Student Records Issue – Part 2

Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. In last week’s article, we discussed the New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision in L.R. v. Camden City Public School District, focusing on the Court’s decision to extend the protections for student records under the New Jersey Pupil Records Act (“NJPRA”) to include redacted records. In its decision in L.R., the Court also affirmed the Appellate Division’s holding that a requestor could gain access to student records if they fell within one of the categories of “authorized” individuals and entities identified in N.J.A.C. 6A:32-7.5(e)(1) through (16). Specifically, the Appellate Division suggested, that the requestors could seek […]

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