United States District Court, D. Colorado
J.D., a minor, by and through his parents, CHRIS & KRISTEN D., Appellant-Respondents,
DOUGLAS COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT, Appellee-Complainant.
ORDER ON MOTIONS TO SUBMIT ADDITIONAL
Reid Neureiter United States Magistrate Judge
matter originated with a Complaint by the Appellant, J.D.,
for review of an administrative law judge's
(“ALJ”) decision against the Appellant and in
favor of the Douglas County School District (the
“School District”). J.D. is a minor and a
“child with disability” under the Individuals
with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”). 20
U.S.C. § 1401(3). J.D. and his Parents seek review and
reversal of certain findings and decisions found in an
opinion by the ALJ dated October 1, 2018. A State Complaints
Officer (“SCO”) with the Colorado Department of
Education had found that the School District had violated the
IDEA by preventing J.D.'s parents from meaningfully
participating in the creation and administration of
J.D.'s Individualized Education Program
(“IEP”). But, after a due process hearing, the
presiding ALJ determined that the School District had not
violated the IDEA and vacated the SCO's decision.
Appellants' complaint alleges that the ALJ lacked
jurisdiction and standing to reverse the SCO's decision.
Appellants also argue that they were denied meaningful
participation in the formation of their child, J.D.'s,
November 2017 IEP.
connection with the requested review of the ALJ's
decision, both Parties have sought to supplement the
administrative record with additional material. Appellants
filed a Motion to Supplement Evidence (Dkt. #25) by which
they sought to add two additional pieces of evidence, a May
2018 IEP and an Individual Education Evaluation
(“IEE”), which was testified about but not
admitted into evidence at the hearing before the ALJ.
School District similarly filed a Motion for Leave to Submit
Additional Evidence (Dkt. #26), by which the School District
sought to supplement the record with two letters (closure
letters) that were composed and sent after the administrative
August 13, 2019, I heard argument on the two sides'
respective motions. At that hearing, and for the reasons
stated on the record, I granted the School District's
motion (Dkt. #26) and allowed two closure letters, Dkt. #26-1
and Dkt. #26-2, as supplemental evidence. However, this
admission of Dkt. #26-1 and Dkt. #26-2 was conditioned in the
admission of an additional document, Dkt. #33-1, which
arguably adds context and clarity to the School
District's intent in sending the two closure letters.
respect to Appellants' Motion to Supplement (Dkt. #25),
for reasons stated on the record at the August 13, 2019
hearing, I granted the motion in part by allowing the
admission into evidence of the May 2018 IEP. As to the IEE, I
reserved ruling and took the matter under advisement. This
Order addresses supplementing the record with the IEE.
on the arguments of the Parties and the written submissions
and relevant authorities, I GRANT
Appellants' Motion and allow the administrative record to
be supplemented with the IEE.
Background on the IEE and why it is not part of the
School District had paid for an IEE for J.D. conducted by
Developmental Neuropsychologist Dr. Robin McEvoy. Dr. McEvoy
completed and submitted the testing to all parties by
September 11, 2017. Throughout the IEE, Dr. McEvoy addresses
J.D.'s attention and focus issues and how those issues
directly interfere with his ability to access his education.
There was a November 2017 IEP meeting where the IEE was
was part of the exhibits that the SCO considered in initially
issuing a decision that the School District had violated
J.D.'s parents' rights under the IDEA.
to the due process hearing before the ALJ, the parties
stipulated to a series of exhibits on a Joint Exhibit List,
which the parties agreed could be offered into evidence but
were not stipulated as to admissibility. For whatever reason,
J.D.'s counsel did not include the IEE on the list of
proposed exhibits. There is no evidence or suggestion that
the failure to include to the IEE on the list of proposed
hearing exhibits was done intentionally or in bad faith.
due process hearing before the ALJ, J.D.'s counsel,
attempted more than once to introduce the IEE. The School
District objected, arguing that the IEE had not properly been
disclosed as a hearing exhibit. Dr. McEvoy, the IEE's
author, testified about the IEE itself at the due process
hearing, and was allowed to refresh her recollection about
its contents by referring to the IEE, but the document itself
was not admitted into evidence. The recording of the November
2017 IEP meeting where the IEE was discussed was admitted
into evidence. But I have listened to the recording (provided
on a CD as part of the underlying record), and it is somewhat
garbled, and difficult to hear and understand because the
evaluator was attending by telephone.
Legal Standard for Admission of Additional Evidence beyond