August 17, 2022

Failure to "join" a necessary party in filing an appeal with the Commissioner of Education a fatal omission

An individual and, or, an entity whose rights would be adversely affected by a determination in favor of a petitioner is a necessary party in filing an appeal with the Commissioner of Education pursuant to §310 of the Education Law and must be named in the petition as such. 

Dismissing this appeal seeking the termination of the superintendent of the school district, Commissioner of Education Betty A. Rosa noted that the petitioner's had failed to notify a necessary party of the filing of the appeal, the superintendent. The Commissioner explained that were the petitioner to prevail, superintendent's right "would be adversely affected" and thus the superintendent "is a necessary party and must be joined as such."

Citing Appeal of Sutton, 57 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 17,331, and other decisions by the Commissioner, Dr. Rosa further explained that such "joinder" requires that the necessary party be clearly named in the caption of the appeal and served with a copy of the notice of petition and [the] petition".

As the petitioner failed to serve the superintendent with the copy of the petition and the superintendent’s contractual rights would be adversely affected by a determination in petitioner’s favor, the Commissioner ruled the petitioner's appeal "must be dismissed."

Click HERE to access the Commissioner's decision posted on the Internet. 

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