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Decision No. 18,284

Appeal of JACOB RAZIYEV, on behalf of his children, from action of the Board of Education of the Great Neck Union Free School District regarding residency.

Decision No. 18,284

(May 24, 2023)

Garfunkel Wild, P.C., attorneys for petitioner, Michael J. Keane, Jr., Esq., of counsel

Frazer & Feldman, LLP, attorneys for respondent, Rory G. Schnurr, Esq., of counsel

ROSA., Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals a determination of the Board of Education of the Great Neck Union Free School District (“respondent”) that her children (the “students”) are not district residents entitled to attend respondent’s schools tuition free.  The appeal must be dismissed.

The students have attended respondent’s schools as district residents since 2015.  By letter dated August 30, 2019, respondent determined that the students were not district residents and, therefore, were not entitled to attend the district’s schools.  This appeal ensued.

The appeal must be dismissed for want of prosecution.  A civil lawsuit may be dismissed “[w]here a party unreasonably neglects to proceed generally in an action or otherwise delays in the prosecution thereof ...” (CPLR 3216 [a]).  This principle also applies to appeals to the Commissioner of Education (see generally Appeal of Moss, 60 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 18,006 [applying judicial principles of preclusion]; Appeal of Tobin, 30 id. 315, Decision No. 12,477 [same]).  In or around March 2020, the parties informed the Office of Counsel that they intended to settle the appeal and did not wish to submit further pleadings.  The applicable deadlines to submit pleadings have long past, and counsel for petitioner has not responded to requests for the status of this matter.  Accordingly, the Office of Counsel informed the parties that they must indicate by April 18, 2023 whether they desired a decision in this matter.  Having received no such request, the appeal is dismissed for want of prosecution (see Patterson v St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hosp., 45 AD3d 273, 274 [2d Dept 2007] [dismissal for want of prosecution affirmed where party was “utterly inactive” in response to discovery demands for two years and failed to offer any “excuse whatsoever for the inactivity”]).