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Decision No. 15,713

Appeal of SHARON DANIELS, on behalf of her daughter DAMALII JONES, from action of the Board of Education of the Deer Park Union Free School District regarding residency.

Decision No. 15,713

(January 17, 2008)

Cooper, Sapir & Cohen, P.C., attorneys for respondent, Robert E. Sapir, Esq., of counsel

MILLS, Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals the determination of the Board of Education of the Deer Park Union Free School District (“respondent”) that her daughter, Damalii, is not a district resident.  The appeal must be dismissed.

Petitioner contends that she resides with Damalii in Deer Park, within respondent’s district.  Petitioner seeks a determination that Damalii is a district resident. 

Respondent maintains that the petition should be dismissed as it was not properly served upon respondent.

The appeal must be dismissed because of improper service.  Section 275.8(a) of the Commissioner’s regulations requires that the petition be personally served upon each named respondent.  If a school district is named as a respondent, service upon the school district shall be made personally by delivering a copy of the petition to the district clerk, to any trustee or any member of the board of education, to the superintendent of schools, or to a person in the office of the superintendent who has been designated by the board of education to accept service (8 NYCRR §275.8[a]).  In this case, the record shows that the petition was served on a clerk typist employed in respondent’s office of Pupil Personnel Services who is not an officer of the school district and who has not been designated by respondent to accept service on its behalf.  Since the petition was not personally served on the district clerk, a member of the board of education, the superintendent or a superintendent’s designee, there was no valid service of process and I lack jurisdiction over this appeal (8 NYCRR §275.8[a]; Appeal of A.P., 47 Ed Dept Rep ___, Decision No. 15,675; Appeal of McNeil, 47 id. ___, Decision No. 15,671).

While the appeal must be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, I note that petitioner retains the right to reapply to the district for admission on her daughter’s behalf at any time and to present information for respondent’s consideration (Appeal of McNeil, 47 Ed Dept Rep ___, Decision No. 15,671).