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Decision No. 14,896

Appeal of LYUDMILA KENNEDY from action of the Board of Education of the Clarkstown Central School District regarding residency.


(June 24, 2003) 

Lexow, Berbit & Associates, P.C., attorneys for respondent, Warren E. Berbit, Esq., of counsel  

MILLS, Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals the determination of the Board of Education of the Clarkstown Central School District ("respondent") that her daughter is not a district resident.  The appeal must be dismissed.

 Petitioner's husband owns a real estate office within respondent's district and a house within the neighboring East Ramapo Central School District.  Petitioner attempted to register her daughter in the eleventh grade at respondent's high school for the 2002-2003 school year using her husband's office address. By letter dated June 26, 2002, respondent's assistant superintendent for business, who has been designated to make residency determinations, advised petitioner that he would not authorize her daughter's registration.  However, based upon conversations in which petitioner asserted that she had separated from her husband and was residing on the second floor of the office building with her daughter, the assistant superintendent permitted petitioner"s daughter to register pending further investigation.    

In the fall of 2002, respondent employed an investigator to conduct surveillance at the address it alleged to be petitioner"s residence in the neighboring district. The investigator observed petitioner and her daughter leaving the residence on the mornings of September 5, 6, and 10, 2002. On one occasion petitioner dropped her daughter off at school and returned to that address.  By letter dated September 12, 2002, the assistant business administrator, who also has been designated to make residency determinations, advised petitioner that her daughter was not a district resident and would be excluded from respondent's high school effective September 20, 2002. This appeal ensued. Respondent agreed to extend the exclusion date until October 25, 2002.  Petitioner's request for interim relief was denied on October 28, 2002.

Petitioner asserts that she and her daughter reside on the second floor of her husband"s real estate office in respondent's district.  Respondent contends that the petition was not served properly, that the appeal is moot, and that petitioner failed to prove that she and her daughter reside in the district.

The appeal must be dismissed as moot. The Commissioner will only decide 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 R.C., 42 Ed Dept Rep ___, Decision No. 14,789; Appeal of Tyk, 42 id. ___, Decision No. 14,759; Appeal of Gaul, et al., 40 id. 105, Decision No. 14,432).  Respondent asserts that, after her request for interim relief was denied, petitioner enrolled her daughter in the East Ramapo Central School District and represented to that district that she resides within it.  Petitioner does not dispute this.  Thus, the instant appeal has been rendered moot.