Supreme Court Review 2016/2017 TERM
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 23, 2017
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Issue:  Handicapped Children’s Protection Act of 1986 (HCPA), 20 U.S.C. § 1415( l )

Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools

15-497

QUESTION(S) PRESENTED

The Handicapped Children’s Protection Act of 1986 (HCPA),  20  U.S.C.  §  1415(l),  requires  exhaustion  of state  administrative  remedies  under  the  Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for non-IDEA actions “seeking relief that is also available under” the IDEA.  The question presented, on which the circuits have persistently disagreed, is: Whether the HCPA commands exhaustion in a suit,   brought   under   the   Americans   with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act, that seeks damages—a remedy that is not available under the IDEA.

DECISION

Decided February 22, 2017 HOLDING

Exhaustion of the IDEA’s administrative procedures is unnecessary where the gravamen of the plaintiff’s suit is something other than the denial of the IDEA’s core guarantee of a FAPE. This case is remanded to the Court of Appeals for a proper analysis of whether the gravamen of E. F.’s complaint charges, and seeks relief for, the denial of a FAPE.

KAGAN, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS, C. J., and KENNEDY, GINSBURG, BREYER, and SOTOMAYOR, JJ., joined. ALITO, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment, in which THOMAS, J., joined.

Text of Opinion
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PROCEEDING BELOW

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
Decided June 12, 2015
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