United States Supreme Court Opens the Door for Special Education Students’ Right to Bypass Due Process Hearings When Also Suing School District for Money Damages Under ADA: Perez v. Sturgis Public Schools, 598 U.S. ___(2023)


In a unanimous ruling issued on March 21, 2023, the United States Supreme Court decided in favor of a 27-year-old deaf student who sued his Michigan school district, claiming he was denied the services of a qualified interpreter for years, and was misled by teachers and administrators about his progress in school. The student, Miguel Perez, only sought monetary damages. The Court held that he was free to sue the district for money damages due to discrimination under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Court found that he did not have to “exhaust his administrative remedies,” prior to bringing such an action for damages. The doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies in a case involving the rights of a disabled student requires a litigant to file and complete a due process hearing before an agency like the Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA) on all claims stemming from a school district’s requirement to provide a student with a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).


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Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP Receives Favorable Decision for Town of Dracut

  On April 11, 2023, MHTL Attorneys Peter Mello and Madison Harris-Parks represented the Town of Dracut, and successfully obtained a preliminary injunction order requiring, among other things, that the Defendant homeowners cease renting out their pool to the public. The case, Town of Dracut by and Through Its Building Inspector vs. Nason, Gilbert et al., was initiated by the Town after the Defendants failed to comply with the Town’s associated underlying zoning enforcement order. The Town requested the injunction Read More

Legal Updates


The option for public bodies in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to hold public meetings remotely or in a hybrid fashion, which came into play at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been extended by the General Court for another two years, until March 31, 2025. The Governor signed the legislation, which will be codified at Chapter 2 of the Acts of 2023, on March 29, 2023. Because of the inclusion of an emergency preamble, the law goes into effect immediately.

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