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Decision No. 15,614

Appeal of MARTIN SOLOMON from action of the Board of Education of the Hicksville Union Free School District regarding a nominating petition and school board election.

Decision No. 15,614

(July 17, 2007)

Guercio & Guercio, attorneys for respondent, Gregory J. Guercio, Esq., of counsel

AHEARN, Acting Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals the decision of the Board of Education of the Hicksville Union Free School District (“respondent”) rejecting his nominating petition for a seat on the board.  The appeal must be dismissed.

On April 30, 2007, respondent rejected petitioner’s nominating petition claiming that it did not comply with Education Law §2018.  This appeal ensued.  Petitioner’s request for interim relief was denied on May 14, 2007.

Petitioner contends that his nominating petition satisfied the requirements of the law and requests that I order a new election with his name on the ballot.

Respondent denies petitioner’s allegations and contends, among other things, that the petition should be dismissed for failure to join a necessary party.

The petition 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 a petitioner is a necessary party and must be joined as such (Appeal of Samuel, 45 Ed Dept Rep 418, Decision No. 15,371; Appeal of Meringolo, 45 id. 128, Decision No. 15,281; Appeal of Kelly, 45 id. 38, Decision No. 15,253).  Joinder requires that an individual be clearly named as a respondent in the caption and served with a copy of the notice of petition and petition to inform the individual that he or she should respond to the petition and enter a defense (Appeal of Samuel, 45 Ed Dept Rep 418, Decision No. 15,371; Appeal of Meringolo, 45 id. 128, Decision No. 15,281; Appeal of Kelly, 45 id. 38, Decision No. 15,253).  Section 275.8(d) of the Commissioner’s regulations provides in pertinent part:  "If an appeal involves the validity of a school district meeting or election ... a copy of the petition must be served upon the trustee or board of trustees or board of education as the case may be, and upon each person whose right to hold office is disputed and such person must be joined as a respondent" (emphasis added). Petitioner did not serve the successful candidate, Alesia Sommers, with a copy of his petition nor did he name her as a respondent in the petition.  The appeal must, therefore, be dismissed for failure to join a necessary party.

In light of this disposition, I need not address the parties’ remaining contentions.

THE APPEAL IS DISMISSED.    

END OF FILE