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Decision No. 18,326

Appeal of PATRICK TINDAL, on behalf of his child, from action of the Board of Education of the Gates-Chili Central School District regarding residency.

Decision No. 18,326

(August 15, 2023)

           Harris Beach, PLLC, attorneys for respondent, Anne M. McGinnis, Esq., of counsel

ROSA., Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals the determination by the Board of Education of the Gates-Chili Central School District (“respondent”) that his child (the “student”) is not a district resident.  The appeal must be dismissed.

Given the disposition of this appeal, a detailed recitation of the facts is unnecessary.  The student previously attended respondent’s schools based upon petitioner’s status as a full-time district employee.  Following a change in petitioner’s employment status and a residency investigation, respondent excluded the student from its schools by letter dated March 30, 2023.  This appeal ensued.  Petitioner’s request for interim relief was granted on April 27, 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).

According to an affidavit from respondent’s residency officer, on July 5, 2023, the student’s mother[1] requested that the student’s records be transferred to a neighboring school district.  Respondent transferred the records as requested and unenrolled the student from its school the following day.  Thus, although the student was entitled to attend respondent’s schools during the pendency of this appeal under the stay order, petitioner and the student’s mother elected to enroll the student elsewhere.  As such, the appeal is academic and must be dismissed as moot (Appeal of C.P. and M.P., 55 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 16,843; Appeal of V.G. and L.G., 51 id., Decision No. 16,328).

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




[1] The record reflects that the student’s mother shares custody of the student with petitioner.