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Decision No. 18,187

Appeal of ROSEMERY CARDENAS, on behalf of a child, from action of the Board of Education of the Sewanhaka Central School District regarding residency.

Decision No. 18,187

(August 23, 2022)

 Bernadette Gallagher-Gaffney Esq., attorney for respondent

ROSA., Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals the decision of the Board of Education of the Sewanhaka Central High School District (“respondent”) that a child in her care (the “student”) is not a district resident.  The appeal must be dismissed.

Given the disposition of this appeal, a complete recitation of the facts is unnecessary.  In a written decision dated September 8, 2020, respondent concluded that the student was not a district resident entitled to attend respondent’s schools.  This appeal ensued.  Petitioner’s request for interim relief was granted on October 2, 2020.

Petitioner seeks a determination that the student is a resident of the district and is entitled to attend the district’s schools tuition-free.

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). 

Following the initiation of this appeal, respondent informed the Office of Counsel that petitioner voluntarily withdrew the student from its schools, effective April 4, 2022, to attend school in a different state.  Therefore, because petitioner has voluntarily removed the student from the district and no longer seeks the relief sought in this appeal, the appeal must be dismissed as moot.