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NORRISTOWN AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT v. A.V. (07/22/85)

decided: July 22, 1985.

NORRISTOWN AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT, APPELLANT
v.
A.V., A MINOR, BY AND THROUGH HIS PARENTS AND NATURAL GUARDIANS, V.V. AND A.V., APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County in case of A.V., a minor, by and through his parents and natural guardians, V.V. and A.V. v. The Norristown Area School District, No. 83-13446.

COUNSEL

Philip R. Detwiler, with him, John F. Walsh, Philip R. Detwiler & Associates, for appellant.

Richard W. Rogers, Rogers, King & Cole, for appellees.

Judges Rogers, MacPhail and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 90 Pa. Commw. Page 509]

Norristown Area School District (Appellant) appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County which enjoined Appellant from preventing A.V.'s*fn1 attendance in school and

[ 90 Pa. Commw. Page 510]

    directing Appellant to enroll or re-enroll A.V. for classes.

This case begins with events that occurred on February 25, 1983 when A.V., a seventh grade student, allegedly was discovered stealing money from two teachers. The student was immediately given a three-day suspension and a principal's hearing was scheduled for June 1. The student and his parents attended that hearing. The student was given an additional seven-day suspension by the principal and was informed that the principal would recommend expulsion. At the parents' request, Appellant conducted a formal hearing*fn2 as a result of which Appellant voted on June 27, 1983 to expel the student. On July 27, 1983, Appellant, pursuant to the request of the student's counsel, formally notified the student and the student's parents of its decision.

On August 11, 1983,*fn3 an appeal was filed with the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County under the provisions of the Local Agency Law (Law), 2 Pa. C.S. § 752. The petition for review to the trial court alleged that the Appellant's adjudication was invalid because the hearing conducted was infirm in that it denied the student his constitutional right to due process of law. The petition for review also averred that the adjudication itself was infirm because it did not conform with the requirements of the Law, 2 Pa. C.S. § 555. On September 14, 1983, Appellant filed an answer with new matter. Appellant's answer admitted several defects in the hearing and in the adjudication. The new matter set forth that

[ 90 Pa. Commw. Page 511]

Appellant had conducted another hearing on September 6, 1983 after notice to the student, the student's parents and counsel. It is further averred in the new matter that although the student, the student's parents and counsel failed to appear, Appellant again voted to expel the student and then formally notified all parties of its action.

On October 5, 1983, the trial court called a conference of counsel for the litigants to discuss the case. At or about the same time,*fn4 the student, by his parents, filed a petition to enjoin Appellant from preventing the student from attending class. ...


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