Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Ohio Supreme Court Allows Parents to Sue School Without Lawyer

"Sandee Winkelman calls her experience with her Ohio school district "horrific" and accuses officials of "bullying" her over who should pay for the special education their autistic son receives.

But Winkelman and her husband, Jeff, won a round Monday when the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in their favor regarding a legal sticking point in their lawsuit against their local school board.

The justices concluded federal law includes an exception permitting the Winkelmans to represent themselves without a lawyer in their ongoing lawsuit. They had argued they could not afford a lawyer and better understand their child's special needs.

"The parents enjoy enforceable rights at the administrative stage," wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy, "and it would be inconsistent with the statutory scheme to bar them from continuing to assert those rights in federal court." He added the parents can sue for their child's needs "on their own behalf.""

By Bill Mears, CNN Link to Article (last visited 6-3-07 NVS)

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