Posts tagged "Champa"

Champa v. Weston Public Schools, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-176-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030;   SJC-11838   MICHAEL CHAMPA  vs.  WESTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS & others.[1]       Middlesex.     September 9, 2015. – October 23, 2015. Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ. Public Records.  Municipal Corporations, Public record.  School and School Committee, Public record, Special education.  Education, Special educational needs.  Individuals With Disabilities Education Act.  Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.  Privacy.  Contract, Settlement agreement.      Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on November 14, 2012.   The case was heard by Angel Kelley Brown, J., on motions for judgment on the pleadings, and entry of final judgment was ordered by her.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Doris R. MacKenzie Ehrens for the defendants. Peter F. Carr, II, for the plaintiff. Mary Ellen Sowyrda, pro se, amicus curiae, was present but did not argue. The following submitted briefs for amici curiae: Maura Healey, Attorney General, & Peter Sacks, State Solicitor, for Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Stephen J. Finnegan for Massachusetts Association of School Committees, Inc. Amy M. Rogers, Catherine L. Lyons, & Melissa A. Curran for Lyons & Rogers, LLC. Robert E. McDonnell, Charles L. Solomont, Caitlin M. Snydacker, Peter G. Byrne, Matthew R. Segal, & Jessie J. Rossman for American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts.     BOTSFORD, J.  In this case, the question presented is whether settlement agreements between a public school and the parents of a public school student who requires special education services are “public records” or exempt from disclosure.  We conclude that the settlement agreements, regarding placement of students in out-of-district private educational institutions, are exempt from the definition of “public records” in G. L. c. 4, § 7, Twenty-sixth.  The agreements qualify as “education records” under 20 U.S.C. § 1232g (2012 & Supp. II 2014), known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and as such, fit within exemption (a) of the definition of “public records,” G. L. c. 4, § 7, Twenty-sixth (a) (exemption [a]).  The settlement agreements also contain information that relates to specifically named individuals, the disclosure of which may qualify as an “unwarranted invasion of personal privacy,” and therefore fit within exemption (c), G. L. c. 4, § 7, Twenty-sixth (c) (exemption [c]).  We further conclude, however, that the settlement agreements may be redacted to […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 23, 2015 at 4:01 pm

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