Somberg et al v. Utica Community Schools
ORDER accepting first status report and setting deadline for next status report for 7/31/2018. Signed by District Judge Robert H. Cleland. (LWag)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
JEANNINE L. SOMBERG et al.,
Case No. 13-11810
UTICA COMMUNITY SCHOOLS,
ORDER ACCEPTING FIRST STATUS REPORT
On December 27, 2017, the court issued an order implementing a compensatory
education plan for Plaintiff Dylan Somberg. Pursuant to this and previous orders of the
court, Special Master Cynthia Raymo was required to submit periodic status reports
detailing Dylan’s progress under the plan. The first plan has been submitted and
circulated to the parties. The court will file the report separately under seal, to maintain
the record while also protecting Dylan’s sensitive health information and privacy
Having reviewed the status report, the court finds that the compensatory
education plan is not, at this point, in need of any modification. The court bears in mind
that an award of compensatory education is an equitable remedy granted by the court.
Bd. of Educ. of Fayette Cty., Ky. v. L.M., 478 F.3d 307, 316 (6th Cir. 2007). The goal is
not perfection, as perfection in this context is illusory, but rather the goal is to obtain
“relief designed to ensure that the student is appropriately educated within the meaning
of the IDEA.” Id. (quoting Parents of Student W. v. Puyallup Sch. Dist., No. 3, 31 F.3d
1489, 1497 (9th Cir. 1994)). The Special Master has identified some logistical “kinks” in
the current plan, but the court is satisfied that the plan is working reasonably well and is
“based on the child’s needs, taking into account the child’s strengths, preferences, and
interests.” 34 C.F.R. § 300.43(a)(2). The court will not revisit the plan every time a
minor issue arises. While the Special Master notes areas for improvement, the only
specific request from her relates to amending the plan to allow for reimbursement of
transportation costs for tutoring on weekends, as opposed to tutoring on weekdays.
The court is not persuaded, at this point, that weekend tutoring, at the substantially
increased transportation costs, was necessary. In the absence of compelling reasons
to the contrary, Plaintiff should be able to arrange for tutoring during normal business
IT IS ORDERED that the first status report is ACCEPTED. The next status
report shall be submitted to the court by July 31, 2018.
S/Robert H. Cleland
ROBERT H. CLELAND
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated: May 3, 2018
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing document was mailed to counsel of record
on this date, May 3, 2018, by electronic and/or ordinary mail.
Case Manager and Deputy Clerk
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