Deer Park appealed and the Appellate Division vacated the lower court’s ruling.*
The Appellate Division, agreeing with Deer Park’s contention that the proceeding should have been dismissed on the ground that the Commissioner of Education had primary jurisdiction** over the dispute, explained: “It is within the unique knowledge and expertise of the Commissioner of Education to determine the factual issues of whether the [Moraitis] has tenure in an accepted tenure area, and whether her former position, and any new position which she may seek, are similar in nature.
* The Appellate Division, in considering a procedural defense, noted that “Under the facts of this case, a notice of claim pursuant to Education Law §3813(1) was not required.”
** "The doctrine of primary jurisdiction,” -- where the courts and an administrative agency have concurrent jurisdiction and the dispute involves issues beyond the conventional experience of judges . . . "the court will stay its hand until the agency has applied its expertise to the salient questions" [see Flacke v Onondaga Landfill Sys., 69 NY2d 355].