Decision No. 14,824
Appeal of RICHARD P. MONAHAN from action of the Board of Education of the Mohawk Central School District regarding a coaching appointment.
Decision No. 14,824
(December 23, 2002)
Ferrara, Fiorenza, Larrison, Barrett & Reitz, P.C., attorneys for respondent, Henry F. Sobota, Esq., of counsel
MILLS, Commissioner.--Petitioner challenges the decision of the Board of Education of the Mohawk Central School District ("respondent") to appoint Joe Stever ("Stever") as the boys" varsity soccer coach for the fall 2002 season. The appeal must be dismissed.
On July 15, 2002, respondent appointed Stever, who is not a certified teacher, as the boys" varsity soccer coach for the fall 2002 season. At the time of his appointment, Stever was in the process of acquiring a temporary coaching license for the 2002-2003 school year. A temporary license was issued to Stever in early August. Stever had also coached the district"s boys" varsity team in the fall of 2001 pursuant to a temporary license. Petitioner, a district resident, commenced this appeal to challenge Stever"s appointment. Petitioner"s request for interim relief was denied on August 15, 2002.
Petitioner contends that the appointment violates "135.4(c)(7)(i)(c) of the Commissioner"s regulations because Gregory A. Eisenhut, a certified teacher with coaching qualifications and experience, also applied for the position. Respondent contends that Stever"s appointment was proper because Eisenhut, the only certified teacher to apply for the position, lacked required coaching and teaching qualifications. Respondent also contends that Stever is a necessary party to this appeal.
At the outset, I note that respondent objects to portions of petitioner"s reply. The purpose of a reply is to respond to new material or affirmative defenses set forth in the answer (8 NYCRR ""275.3 and 275.14). A reply is not meant to buttress allegations in the petition or to add belatedly assertions that should have been in the petition (Appeal of Huber, et al., 41 Ed Dept Rep , Decision No. 14,676; Appeal of Karpoff, et al., 40 id. 459, Decision No. 14,527; Appeal of Krantz, 38 id. 485, Decision No. 14,077). Therefore, while I have reviewed petitioner"s submission, I have not considered those portions of the reply containing new allegations or exhibits that are not responsive to new material or affirmative defenses set forth in the answer.
The appeal must be dismissed for failure to join a necessary party. A party whose rights would be adversely affected by a determination of an appeal in favor of petitioner is a necessary party and must be joined as such (Appeal of Holliday, 40 Ed Dept Rep 534, Decision No. 14,549; Appeal of Heller, 38 id. 335, Decision No. 14,048). Such individual must be clearly named as a respondent in the caption of the petition and served with a copy of the notice of petition and petition to inform the person that he or she should respond to the petition and enter a defense (Appeal of Heller, supra). Since the rescission of Stever"s coaching appointment would clearly affect him, Stever is a necessary party to this proceeding. As such, petitioner was required to serve him with a copy of the notice of petition and petition (8 NYCRR "275.8; Appeal of Heller, supra). His failure to do so requires dismissal of this appeal.
The appeal must also be dismissed as moot. The Commissioner will only consider matters in actual controversy and will not render a decision on a state of facts which no longer exists or which subsequent events have laid to rest (Appeal of Lee, 40 Ed Dept Rep 19, Decision No. 14,407; Appeal of Swanson, 39 id. 312, Decision No. 14,247). Petitioner challenges respondent"s boys varsity soccer coaching appointment for the fall 2002 season. Because the season has ended, the matter is moot.
In light of this disposition, I need not address the parties" remaining contentions.
THE APPEAL IS DISMISSED.
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