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Dianna Stepp and Michael Stepp, On Behalf of M.S v. the Mid-West School District

April 11, 2013

DIANNA STEPP AND MICHAEL STEPP, ON BEHALF OF M.S., PLAINTIFFS
v.
THE MID-WEST SCHOOL DISTRICT, DEFENDANT DIANNA STEPP AND MICHAEL STEPP, ON BEHALF OF M.S.,
PLAINTIFFS
v.
THE MID-WEST SCHOOL DISTRICT, DEFENDANT



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Thomas M. Blewitt United States Magistrate Judge

(Judge Brann)

: (Magistrate Judge Blewitt)

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

I. Background.

1. Civil Action No. 4:CV-12-2290

On November 18, 2012, Plaintiffs, Dianna and Michael Stepp, on behalf of M.S., a minor student, filed a Complaint, through counsel, pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act "(IDEA"), 20 U.S.C. §1400, et seq. (Doc. 1). Plaintiffs are appealing the August 20, 2012 decision of a Special Education Hearing Officer that student M.S., who was found eligible for special education services in June 2011, was not eligible for an Independent Educational Evaluation paid for by Defendant Midd-West School District under the IDEA. Defendant was served with Plaintiff's Complaint and filed its Answer with Affirmative Defenses. (Doc. 4).

2. Civil Action No. 4:CV-12-2348

On November 23, 2012, Plaintiffs, Dianna and Michael Stepp, on behalf of M.S., a minor student, filed a Complaint, through counsel, pursuant to the IDEA, 20 U.S.C. §1400, et seq. (Doc. 1). Plaintiffs are appealing the August 25, 2012 decision of a Special Education Hearing Officer that student M.S., who was found eligible for special education services in June 2011, was only eligible for four hours of compensatory education from Defendant Midd-West School District for the 2011-2012 school year. Defendant was served with Plaintiff's Complaint and filed its Answer with Affirmative Defenses on March 13, 2013. (Doc. 4).

On March 25, 2013, we conducted a Case Management Conference during which the parties indicated that the consolidation of Plaintiffs' Civil Action No. 4:CV-12-2290 case into their Civil Action No. 4:CV-12-2348 case was prudent since both cases dealt with common questions of law and fact, and since consolidation would avoid unnecessary costs, delay and confusion. (Docs. 5 & 6).

On April 4, 2013, Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Consolidate their Civil Action No. 4:CV-12-2290 case into their Civil Action No. 4:CV-12-2348 case. (Doc. 7). On April 10, 2013, Defendant filed a Response to Plaintiffs' Motion to Consolidate and indicated that if fully concurred with Plaintiffs' Motion. (Doc. 8).

As such, we now issue this Report and Recommendation in which we recommend that Plaintiffs' Motion to Consolidate their Civil Action No. 4:CV-12-2290 case into their Civil Action No. 4:CV-12-2348 case be granted.

II. Discussion.

1. Consolidation of Civil Action No. 4:CV-12-2290 into Civil Action No. 4:CV-12-2348 Rule 42(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure states that: When actions involving a common question of law or fact are pending before the court, it may order a joint hearing or trial of any or all the matters in issue in the actions consolidated; and it may make such orders concerning proceedings therein as may tend to avoid unnecessary costs or delay.

Plaintiffs' two Complaints filed in cases in Civil Action No. 4:CV-12-2290 and Civil Action No. 4:CV-12-2348 have been reviewed, and as detailed above, we agree with the parties and find that they involve common questions of law and fact regarding the August 2012 decisions of a Special Education Hearing Officer with respect to student M.S. violated the IDEA. Defendant in both of Plaintiffs' cases is the same. In fact, as ...


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