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August 30, 2010

When appealing individual’s employment status all parties that may be affected must be named and served

When appealing individual’s employment status all parties that may be affected must be named and served
Five Residents v Liberty CSD, Decisions of the Commissioner of Education, Decision #13861

If a party wishes to have the Commissioner of Education review an issue, it is critical that all parties who might be affected by the Commissioner’s decision be named in the petition. This point was made clear in an appeal filed by five residents of the Liberty Central School District.

A five-year employment contract between Superintendent and the District was to terminate June 30. Prior to June 30, the parties signed a new contract providing for the Superintendents employment for an additional two years.

The resident-appellants challenged the extension of the contract, claiming it violated the “minimum/maximum” term provisions set out in Section 1711(3) of the Education Law.*

The Commissioner dismissed the petition without considering its merits. He commented that the residents had failed to name a necessary party -- the District’s Board of Education. The Commissioner said that “since the board’s agreement with the superintendent would be adversely affected by a decision in favor of the [residents], the board is a necessary party to this appeal.”**

* Section 1711(3) provides, in pertinent part: “a board of education may enter into a contract with such superintendent for a period of not less than three and not more than five years,”

** In addition, the Commissioner said that he would have had dismiss the appeal event if the board had been named in the petition as the issue had become moot as a result of the Superintendent’s having resigned and thus the contract that the residents sought to have annulled was no longer in effect.
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New York Public Personnel Law Blog Editor Harvey Randall served as Principal Attorney, New York State Department of Civil Service; Director of Personnel, SUNY Central Administration; Director of Research, Governor’s Office of Employee Relations; and Staff Judge Advocate General, New York Guard. Consistent with the Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations, the material posted to this blog is presented with the understanding that neither the publisher nor NYPPL and, or, its staff and contributors are providing legal advice to the reader and in the event legal or other expert assistance is needed, the reader is urged to seek such advice from a knowledgeable professional.
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