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Decision No. 18,280

Appeal of N.G., on behalf of her child, from action of the Board of Education of the Saugerties Central School District regarding immunization.

Decision No. 18,280

(May 24, 2023)

Thomas, Drohan, Waxman, Petigrow, & Mayle, LLP, attorneys for respondent, Allison E. Smith, Esq., of counsel

ROSA., Commissioner.--Petitioner challenges the determination of the Board of Education of the Saugerties Central School District (“respondent”) that her child (the “student”) is not entitled to a medical exemption from the immunization requirements of Public Health Law (“PHL”) § 2164.  The appeal must be dismissed.

At all times relevant to this appeal, the student attended respondent’s schools.  In September 2022, respondent notified petitioner that the student lacked a required vaccination.  On or about February 8, 2023, petitioner submitted a request for a medical exemption from this vaccination on behalf of the student.[1]  By letter dated February 23, 2023, respondent denied the request.  This appeal ensued. Petitioner’s request for interim relief was denied on March 10, 2023.

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).  The record reflects that, after this appeal was commenced, the student received the required immunization and was permitted to return to school.  Thus, no further meaningful relief remains to be awarded and the appeal must be dismissed (see Appeal of M.R.W., 61 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 18,050; Appeal of D.T., 60 id., Decision No. 17,998; Appeal of J.J., 59 id., Decision No. 17,817).




[1] Initially, petitioner submitted such a request on or about November 29, 2022 signed by a family nurse practitioner.  Pursuant to Department of Health regulations, medical exemption request forms must be signed by “a physician licensed to practice medicine in New York State” (10 NYCRR 66-1.3 [c]).