Failure to name necessary parties required the dismissal of an appeal to the Commissioner of Education
Decisions of the Commissioner of Education, Decision No. 16,607
This appeal concerned the school district’s alleged failure to recall an individual whose name appeared on the relevant preferred eligible list who claimed to have greater seniority that those reinstated from the preferred list.
It is instructive in that it again illustrates the critical need to join necessary parties, a party whose rights would be adversely affected by a determination of an appeal in favor of a Petitioner.
Further, joinder requires that an individual be clearly named as a respondent in the caption and served with a copy of the notice of petition and petition to inform the individual that he or she should respond to the petition and enter a defense.
In this instance, said the Commissioner, if the Petitioner’s request for relief were granted, the rights of the three duly certified teachers earlier appointed, each of whom allegedly had less seniority in the relevant tenure area than Petitioner, could be adversely affected, thus making those teachers necessary parties to this action.
As Petitioner failed to name and serve these individuals, the Commissioner dismissed Petitioner’s appeal.
The Commissioner also noted that that Petitioner had named the superintendent in the petition. However, there was no evidence in the record that the superintendent was personally served and thus Petitioner’s claims against the superintendent were also be dismissed for lack of personal service.
As to Petitioner request attorney fees and reimbursement for the costs and disbursements of this proceeding, the Commissioner noted that there was no statutory authority to award monetary damages, costs or reimbursements in an appeal pursuant to Education Law §310.