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Decision No. 16,637

Appeal of ROYA SHAMSDIBSA on behalf of her son HANNAN SAHEBGHADAM, from action of the Board of Education of the Mineola Union Free School District, regarding residency.

Decision No. 16,637

(August 7, 2014)

Harris Beach, P.L.L.C., attorneys for respondent Mineola Union Free School District, Susan E. Fine, Esq., of counsel

KING, JR., Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals the determination of the Board of Education of the Mineola Union Free School District (“respondent”) that her son, Hannan Sahebghadam, is not a district resident.  The appeal must be dismissed.

Petitioner maintains that she and her son, Hannan, reside in Williston Park, New York, within respondent’s district.  Petitioner presented her son for admission in the district on March 11, 2014.

By letter dated March 24, 2014, respondent notified petitioner that, based on the information provided by petitioner to the district, petitioner’s son was not a district resident and could not be admitted.  The letter further notified petitioner of the opportunity to present additional information regarding her son’s residency by March 27, 2014.  On March 25, 2014, petitioner presented additional information to respondent.  By letter dated March 27, 2014, respondent notified petitioner that such evidence was insufficient to establish residency and that her son would not be permitted to enroll in school in the district.  This appeal ensued and petitioner’s request for interim relief was granted.

Petitioner contends that she and her son are district residents and, consequently, that Hannan is entitled to attend school there without payment of tuition.  Respondent contends that the appeal should be dismissed as untimely, for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, improper verification, and defective notice. Respondent also asserts that Hannan is not a district resident and is present in the district solely to take advantage of its schools.  Respondent maintains that its residency determination is, in all respects, proper.

The appeal must be dismissed on procedural grounds.  Section 275.5 of the Commissioner's regulations requires that all pleadings in an appeal to the Commissioner be verified.  When a petition is not properly verified, the appeal must be dismissed (Appeal of D.P., 46 Ed Dept Rep 516, Decision No. 15,580; Appeal of C.S., 46 id. 260, Decision 15,501).

The record reflects that the affidavit of verification submitted with the petition is signed by Hannan Sahebghadam, the student, and not by petitioner, in violation of §275.5 of Commissioner’s regulations.  Therefore, the appeal must be dismissed for improper verification.

In light of this disposition, I need not address the parties’ remaining contentions.  While the appeal must be dismissed, I note that petitioner retains the right to reapply to the district for admission on her son’s behalf and to present information or documentation for the district’s consideration.

THE APPEAL IS DISMISSED.

END OF FILE