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Decision No. 18,101

Appeal of MARIA MIZHIRUMBAY, on behalf of her children, from action of the Board of Education of the Nanuet Union Free School District regarding residency.

Decision No. 18,101

(March 28, 2022)

Mario L. Spagnuolo, Esq., attorney for respondent

ROSA., Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals the determination of the Board of Education of the Nanuet Union Free School District (“respondent”) that her children (“the students”) are not residents of the district.  The appeal must be dismissed.

During the 2021-2022 school year, the students attended respondent’s schools as district residents.  By letter dated October 6, 2021, respondent informed petitioner of its “understanding” that petitioner and the students did not reside within the district.  Petitioner was invited to submit additional documentation to establish the students’ residency.  By letter dated October 26, 2021, respondent determined that the students were not district residents and would no longer be able to attend respondent’s schools as of November 5, 2021.  This appeal ensued.

Petitioner contends that she resides in the district with the students.  She requests a determination that the students are district residents entitled to attend its schools without payment of tuition.

Respondent argues that the appeal is moot because the students have been reenrolled in the district based on new information provided by petitioner.

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 that no longer exists due to the passage of time or a change in circumstances (Appeal of Sutton, 57 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 17,331; Appeal of a Student with a Disability, 48 id. 532, Decision No. 15,940; Appeal of M.M., 48 id. 527, Decision No. 15,937; see Matter of Hearst Corp. v Clyne, 50 NY2d 707, 714 [1980]).  Where the Commissioner can no longer award a petitioner meaningful relief on his or her claims, no live controversy remains and the appeal must be dismissed (Appeal of R.B., 57 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 17,394; Appeal of N.C., 40 id. 445, Decision No. 14,522).

In an affidavit, respondent’s registrar indicates that petitioner provided respondent with an affidavit from petitioner’s landlord dated October 29, 2021.  The landlord’s affidavit indicated that the students resided at an address within respondent’s district.  Respondent thereafter requested additional information from the landlord, which it received on November 4, 2021.  Based on this evidence, respondent determined that the students were district residents and could continue to attend its schools without payment of tuition.  Therefore, there is no live controversy between the parties and the appeal must be dismissed.

In light of this disposition, I need not address the parties’ remaining arguments.