level and since the court can hear additional evidence on the issue at trial, the court has subject matter jurisdiction in this case.
The Monroe School Board also argues that the Woods are barred from bringing the present claims against the School Board by the terms of the Stipulation of Settlement approved by the ALJ. In the Stipulation of Settlement, the Woods agreed that they would not make any further demand for funding of residential placement or for compensatory education of any kind on the Monroe School Board in consideration for the School Board's placement and funding of T.W. at the Pathway School for nine months from April 1, 1991 until January 1, 1992. The Monroe School Board argues that the complaint filed in this court raises the same issues and claims against the School Board as were raised in the Due Process hearing. As a result, the Stipulation of Settlement constitutes a bar to bringing the present action against the School Board since the ALJ found the settlement to be voluntary, to fully dispose of all issues in controversy and to be consistent with the law.
The court's jurisdiction pursuant to 20 U.S.C § 1415(e)(2) is based on the status of the Woods as parties aggrieved by the findings and decision of the ALJ. The court can determine, when presented with evidence on the issue of the educational necessity of residential placement, if the ALJ's finding-that the settlement disposes of all issues in controversy and was consistent with the law-was factually and legally justifiable. See Shirk v. District of Columbia, 756 F.Supp. 31, 33 (D.D.C. 1991); Koester v. Wellsville-Middletown School District, 960 F.2d 69, 71-72 (8th Cir. 1992) (trial court should rule on the legal issues presented by plaintiff's claims where resolution of those claims was necessary to resolve issues not addressed in settlement agreement). If at trial the court determines that residential placement for T.W. is educationally necessary, the Monroe School Board may be required to pay for the total coats of such placement. See N.J.A.C. 6:28-7.4(b)(4). Although the Woods voluntary agreed to forgo T.W.'s a rights via-a-via the Monroe School Board, the School Board still has a duty to comply with the IDEA and New Jersey law and to provide T.W. with a free appropriate public education. Jackson v. Franklin County School Board, 806 F.2d 623, 630 (5th Cir. 1986). Consequently, the Stipulation of Settlement does not bar the present action against the Monroe School Board.
As a final argument for dismissal, the Monroe School Board argues that since the only claim for relief against it is for punitive damages, the complaint must be dismissed since the Supreme Court held in City of Newport v. Fact Concerts, Inc., 453 U.S. 247, 101 S. Ct. 2748, 69 L. Ed. 2d 616 (1981) that a municipality is immune from punitive damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Id. at 2762. The complaint was filed pursuant to the IDEA as well as Section 1983. Because 20 U.S.C. § 1415(e)(2) of the IDEA permits the court to "grant such relief as [it] determines is appropriate," Burlington School Committee v. Massachusetts Department of Education, 471 U.S. 359, 105 S. Ct. 1996, 2002-2203, 85 L. Ed. 2d 385, (1985),
the Monroe School Board will not be dismissed from this case.
For the foregoing reasons, the motion of the plaintiffs Donald and Diane Woods for default judgment and for partial summary judgment, the cross motion of the defendants NJDOE, DYFS and DDD for summary judgment and the cross motion of the defendant Monroe Township Board of Education to dismiss shall be denied. An appropriate order will be entered.
STANLEY S. BROTMAN
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated: June 17, 1992
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following court-provided text does not appear at this cite in 796 F. Supp. 767.
ORDER - June 19, 1992 Filed and Entered
This matter having come before the court on the motion of the plaintiffs Donald and Diane Woods for default judgment and for partial summary judgment, on the cross motion of the defendants New Jersey Department of Education, New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities and Division of Youth and Family Services for summary judgment and on the cross motion of the Monroe Township Board of Education to dismiss;
Having considered the submissions of the parties; and
For the reasons stated in the court's Opinion of this date;
IT IS on this 17th day of June, 1992 hereby
ORDERED that the motion of the plaintiffs Donald and Diane Woods for default judgment and for partial summary judgment is DENIED; and
FURTHER ORDERED that the cross motion of the defendants New Jersey Department of Education, New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities and Division of Youth and Family Services for summary judgment is DENIED; and
FURTHER ORDERED that the cross motion of the defendant Monroe Township Board of Education to dismiss is DENIED.
STANLEY S. BROTMAN
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE