Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act


Individuals with Disabilities Education Act


7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Case Name: A. B. v. Brownsburg Community School Corporation

Case No.: 22-1277

Officials: Sykes, Chief Judge, and Rovner and Jackson-Akiwumi, Circuit Judges.

Focus: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

C.B., a minor, grapples with generalized anxiety disorder, depression, and ADHD. During the 2017-2018 school year, the Brownsburg School Corporation identified C.B. as eligible for accommodations under the Rehabilitation Act. In 2019, a concerning incident occurred when C.B. brought a shotgun shell to school, along with a device that raised concerns about its potential to discharge the shell. In response, Brownsburg recommended expulsion, leading to a series of conferences and administrative hearings.

By April 2020, Brownsburg proposed paying for an independent education evaluation of C.B. and revisiting C.B.’s eligibility for an individualized education plan under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). C.B.’s parents agreed to certain compromises but with the condition that Brownsburg cover all attorney’s fees. In July, Brownsburg showed willingness to contribute to the fees, but C.B.’s parents rejected this offer and reverted to their initial demands. Brownsburg, claiming extensive efforts to resolve the case without the need for an administrative hearing, sought to dismiss the proceedings. In response, the parents requested factual findings regarding attorney’s fees and recognition as the “prevailing party.” Ultimately, the hearing officer adopted the concessions made by both parties regarding services for C.B. and dismissed the petitions.

Subsequently, C.B.’s parents sued seeking attorney’s fees under the IDEA (20 U.S.C. 1415(i)(3)(B)(i)(I)). The district court granted Brownsburg summary judgment. However, the Seventh Circuit Court reversed this decision, determining that the parents could be considered the “prevailing party” and thus eligible for fees. It was clarified that Brownsburg’s commitment to provide all student-related remedies as specified in C.B.’s parents’ due process request only became binding when the hearing officer issued a formal finding.

Reversed and remanded

Decided 09/05/23

Full Text


Should Justice Protasiewicz recuse herself on gerrymandering cases that go before the Wisconsin Supreme Court?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Legal News

See All Legal News

WLJ People

Sea all WLJ People

Opinion Digests