Thursday, August 11, 2011

Including the names of all “necessary parties” in an action is critical


Including the names of all “necessary parties” in an action is critical
Matter of Wheeler, CEd Decision 14,581

This ruling by the Commissioner of Education demonstrates the importance of naming all of the necessary parties in a proceeding before the Commissioner.

An elementary school principal announced that she was going to retire. Adirondack Central School Superintendent Marjorie Kelly transferred the principal then serving at another elementary school, Forestport, to fill the resulting vacancy. Kelly next appointed Ann Bush, a speech teacher, as principal at Forestport. Bush was simultaneously assigned to be the speech teacher, part-time, at Forestport.

Richard Wheeler, President of the Adirondack Central School Administrators' Association, objected to Bush's appointment as a principal with part-time teaching responsibilities rather than as a full-time principal. Wheeler's argument: the district created a new position of “Teaching Principal” at Forestport when it appointed Bush, thereby violating Section 100.2(a) of the Commissioner's regulations [8 NYCRR 100.2(a)].*

The Commissioner said he had to dismiss the appeal because Wheeler failed “to join a necessary party” -- Ann Bush. The Commissioner pointed out that a party whose rights would be adversely affected if the appeal was sustained must be clearly named as a respondent in the caption of the petition and “served with a copy of the notice of petition and petition, to inform the person that he or she should respond to the petition and enter a defense.”

Significantly, the Commissioner rejected the Association's contention that Bush was a party to the appeal because she was a member of the Association.

Were Wheeler to prevail in his appeal, said the Commissioner, Bush's employment as principal at Forestport would “clearly be affected.” Thus Bush is a necessary party to the proceeding and the failure to name her constituted a fatal procedural error.

* 4 NYCRR 100.2 “requires a board of education to employ and assign a full-time principal to each school under its supervision” unless the Commissioner approves a “variance.” 

Handbooks focusing on State and Municipal Public Personnel Law continue to be available for purchase via the links provided below:

The Discipline Book at http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/

Challenging Adverse Personnel Decisions at http://nypplarchives.blogspot.com

The Disability Benefits E-book: at http://section207.blogspot.com/

Layoff, Preferred Lists at http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/

Caution:

Subsequent court and administrative rulings, or changes to laws, rules and regulations may have modified or clarified or vacated or reversed the decisions summarized here. Accordingly, these summaries should be Shepardized® or otherwise checked to make certain that the most recent information is being considered by the reader.

THE MATERIAL ON THIS WEBSITE IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. CHANGES IN LAWS, RULES, REGULATIONS AND NEW COURT AND ADMINISTRATIVE DECISIONS MAY AFFECT THE ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS LAWBLOG. THE MATERIAL PRESENTED IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE AND THE USE OF ANY MATERIAL POSTED ON THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.

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 in this blog is presented with the understanding that the publisher is not providing legal advice to the reader and in the event legal or other expert assistance is needed, the reader should seek such advice from a competent professional.

Items published in NYPPL may not be used for commercial purposes without prior written permission to copy and distribute such material. Send your request via e-mail to publications@nycap.rr.com

Copyright© 1987 - 2017 by the Public Employment Law Press.



___________________



N.B. From time to time a political ad or endorsement may appear in the sidebar of this Blog. NYPPL does not have any control over such posting.

_____________________

.