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Decision No. 14,927

Appeal of T.D. on behalf of his son, N.C., from action of the Board of Education of the City School District of the City of Ithaca regarding residency.


Decision No. 14,927


(August 13, 2003)


True, Walsh & Miller, LLP, attorneys for petitioner, Adam R. Schaye, Esq., of counsel


Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC, attorneys for respondent, Jonathan B. Fellows, Esq., of counsel


CATE, Acting Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals the determination of the Board of Education of the City School District of the City of Ithaca ("respondent") that his son, N.C., is not a district resident.  The appeal must be dismissed.

Petitioner alleges that he and N.C. reside on Forest Home Drive, within respondent"s school district.  N.C. has attended Ithaca High School since the fall of 2000.

By letter dated August 28, 2002, respondent"s Director of Human Resources and Labor Relations ("director") notified petitioner that respondent"s superintendent had determined that N.C. was not a district resident.  This appeal ensued. Petitioner"s request for interim relief became moot when respondent admitted N.C. to school pending the outcome of this appeal.

Petitioner claims that he and N.C. are district residents.  He maintains that he and his wife are pursuing a legal separation and that they share informal joint custody of N.C.  He claims that their separation is amicable, that his move to Forest Home Drive was a gradual process, and that he no longer resides at the marital residence, outside the district.  He states that when the director conducted the residency investigation he was observing a transition period.  To support his residency claim, petitioner submits numerous documents reflecting the Forest Home Drive address that were not previously provided to respondent.

Respondent contends that it properly determined that petitioner and N.C. are not district residents.  Respondent states that petitioner has failed to establish a joint custody agreement and, in its absence, the traditional residency factors should apply.  Respondent also contends that petitioner has failed to submit adequate proof of residency.

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 Baronti, 42 Ed Dept Rep ___, Decision No. 14,802; Appeal of Schrader 42 id. ___, Decision No. 14,771).  When petitioner requested interim relief, respondent permitted N.C. to attend school pending the outcome of this appeal.  In response to a request from my Office of Counsel, respondent reports that N.C. has graduated from high school and petitioner has not refuted this information.  Accordingly, petitioner"s appeal is moot (Appeal of Baronti, supra; Appeal of Schrader, supra).