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Decision No. 18,337

Appeal of MELISSA HOGAN, on behalf of her children, from action of the Board of Education of the Pawling Central School District regarding residency.

Decision No. 18,337

(August 23, 2023)

Girvin & Ferlazzo, PC, attorneys for respondent, Kristine A. Lanchantin and Megan A. Carbia, Esqs., of counsel

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

Given the disposition of this appeal, a detailed recitation of the facts is unnecessary.  The students previously attended respondent’s schools as district residents.  Following a residency investigation, respondent excluded the students from its schools by letter dated May 15, 2023.  This appeal ensued.  Petitioner’s request for interim relief was granted on May 26, 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 additional information submitted by respondent, on July 25, 2023, petitioner requested that the students’ records be transferred to a neighboring school district.  Respondent transferred the records as requested and unenrolled the students from its school on August 27, 2023.  Thus, although the students were entitled to attend respondent’s schools during the pendency of this appeal under the stay order, petitioner elected to enroll the students 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.