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Decision No. 13,471

Appeal of a STUDENT WITH A DISABILITY, by his parent, from action of the Board of Education of the Iroquois Central School District and the Impartial Hearing Officer regarding an impartial hearing.

Decision No. 13,471

(August 29, 1995)

Bouvier, O'Connor, Esqs. attorneys for respondent, Arthur H. Ackerhalt, Esq., of counsel

SHELDON, Acting Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals respondent's alleged interference with an impartial hearing concerning his son. The appeal must be dismissed.

Petitioner is the parent of a student with a disability who resides in the Iroquois Central School District. In preparation for an impartial hearing to determine whether respondent would pay for an independent evaluation of his son, petitioner requested copies of all educational records regarding two of his sons, only one of whom was the subject of the hearing. The other child named in petitioner's letter of February 6, 1995 also attends respondent's schools. By letter dated February 9, 1995, respondent stated that both sons' special education records had previously been provided to petitioner, but that he could arrange an appointment to personally review and identify any portion of the records to be copied. Petitioner responded in a letter dated February 12, 1995 that his schedule did not permit review of the records at the school and requested that the hearing be rescheduled.

On February 15, 1995, the parties appeared before the hearing officer and respondent produced the complete educational records of both sons for petitioner's review. At that time, the parties resolved their dispute by agreeing to the conditions under which respondent would pay for an independent evaluation of petitioner's son. Testimony was then taken from only one witness, the school psychologist, for the limited purpose of implementing the terms of settlement. The settlement agreement was made on the record and, although the hearing officer retained jurisdiction, no hearing was held.

Petitioner seeks a finding that his right to prepare for the impartial hearing was impaired by respondent's failure to provide copies of his sons' records and by the hearing officer's failure to reschedule the hearing.

Respondent correctly contends that the issues raised by petitioner relating to the release of records and adjournment of the hearing are moot because no hearing was ever held. As indicated in the record, the parties reached agreement without proceeding to the impartial hearing for which petitioner was preparing. Consequently, petitioner is seeking an opinion regarding the effect certain actions may have had on his preparation for a hearing that never occurred. Since no case or controversy remains, the case is moot. The Commissioner does not issue purely advisory opinions pursuant to Education Law '310 (Appeal of a Child with a Handicapping Condition, 32 Ed Dept Rep 8; Appeal of Children with Handicapping Conditions, 31 id. 21; Application of a Child with a Handicapping Condition, 30 id. 262; Application of a Child with a Handicapping Condidtion, 30 id. 53).