CR17E-1000604

ESSEX COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION

Representation at mediation to advocate for revised IEP with vocational training

CF is a 16-yr-old 10th-grader who is eligible for special education and related services under the classification of Specific Learning Disability. Her current IEP does not contain appropriate transition services or vocational training for the 2017-18 school year. The IEP also fails to discuss CF’s abilities or list any short-term goals. CF’s mother, CR, is seeking a revised IEP to include full- or part-time vocational training for the 11th grade as well as detailed transition short-term goals, and re-evaluations.  CR is looking for an attorney to represent her in mediation.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

QS17E-1000538

PASSAIC COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION

Negotiation with district regarding classification and placement

NM is a 5-yr-old Kindergartener who has been diagnosed with ADHD and “destructive behavior,” but not yet deemed eligible for special education services.  NM’s mother, QS, lost her job in November at least in part because of repeated calls (2 to 3 times per week) to pick up her son.  Recently, the district told QS to keep her son home because Kindergarten is not mandatory; however, she continued to bring him to school.  Additionally, the school nurse has been attempting to get NM’s psychiatrist to provide him stronger drugs, with which QS does not agree.  In late April, QS was told that her son could not return until he had a psychiatric clearance.  Despite all of this, and despite QS’s request in March, the district has never evaluated NM.  QS is seeking a determination that her son is eligible for special education services and the development of an IEP with an appropriate placement and positive behavior interventions and supports.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

UNDER REVIEW

MS17E-1000575

WARREN COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION

Negotiation with district regarding evaluations, IEP, comp. ed., and placement

MS is a 17-yr-old 11th-grader who has been diagnosed with ADHD, ODD, and Bipolar disorder.  When she transferred to the district a year and a half ago, the district failed to complete any evaluations.  Despite having no behavior problems previously, MS has been suspended multiple times this year.  In early May, MS’s parents received an IEP in which the placement originally discussed (partial day instruction with a personal aide and in-home instruction for science for the remainder of the year, and in-district from September 2017 to January 2018) was crossed out, and handwritten over it was: “home instruction pending an out-of-district placement.”  This placement was not discussed at the meeting and MS’s parents do not agree with it.  MS’s parents are seeking independent evaluations, development of an appropriate IEP with necessary supports and services, compensatory behavioral services, and either an appropriate in-district program, or if not, an out-of-district program.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

EC17E-1000440

Essex County - Special Education

Negotiation with school district or representation at due process hearing

MC is a 13-yr-old student who has been diagnosed with autism.  Although enrolled in an autism program, he is not making adequate progress in independent living and communication skills and engages in repetitive self-injurious behavior that is not adequately addressed at school.  The district agreed to do a functional behavioral assessment (FBA) but it was completed by someone who did not have the appropriate qualifications.  The district also agreed to increase his speech therapy, but MC’s grandmother and legal guardian, EC, does not believe these services are being provided.  MC’s behavior has also not been addressed.  EC requested an independent educational evaluation (IEE), but the district denied the request and filed for due process. Mediation is tentatively scheduled for June 6th. EC is seeking representation at the mediation to obtain an IEE and, if necessary, appropriate intensive ABA-based program out of district.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

UNDER REVIEW

CT17E-1000165

HUDSON COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION

Negotiation with school district in obtaining evaluations, out-of-district placement, and compensatory services, and, if necessary, representation at due process hearing

GD is a 14-yr-old 8th-grader who has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Anorexia Nervosa. He has been hospitalized several times at psychiatric wards, most recently in November 2016. His father, who had custody of GD from age 5 to 11, was abusive. His maternal aunt, CT, is now his legal guardian. Since 2016, GD’s doctors have written letters recommending that he be placed in a therapeutic school to address his emotional, behavioral, and academic needs.  However, the school district continues to maintain his placement in a self-contained class in-district.  CT is seeking re-evaluation of GD (and independent evaluations if necessary), an appropriate placement in a therapeutic out-of-district school, and compensatory services for the time GD was denied a free appropriate public education by being placed in-district.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

ER17E-1000439

HUDSON COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION

Negotiation with school district or representation at due process hearing

JV is an 11-yr-old 6th-grader who has been diagnosed with autism and placed in a special education class in the district’s autism program.  Since the start of the 2016-17 school year, he has experienced a dramatic regression in his behavior in the classroom (screaming, yelling, hitting himself and others, crawling on the floor, etc.), which is inconsistent with his behavior in the past or in any other setting.  His teacher has no experienced with children with autism and claims she cannot handle him.  JV is anxious and afraid to go to school.  In January 2017, JV’s mother, ER, submitted a written request for an independent functional behavioral assessment (FBA) and an out-of-district placement.  The district denied both requests.  ER filed a due process petition; a settlement conference in March 2017 was unsuccessful.  ER is seeking representation at a due process hearing, currently scheduled for August 25, 2017, to advocate for an independent FBA and out-of-district placement offering an appropriate ABA-based program.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

UNDER REVIEW

NF17E-1000160

ESSEX COUNTY - WILL DRAFTING

NF is 45-years-old and disabled. NF has one son, and is worried about not having her wishes documented in the event her health worsens. NF has no assets, and a about $3000 worth of debt. NF is seeking to have an attorney draft her will, along with medical care directives and power of attorney documents. 

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

UNDER REVIEW

WW16E-1001450

ocean county - divorce

Negotiation and litigation. Outstanding discovery. 

Parties have gone through ESP and economic mediation.  Parties have been unable to settle their issues.  Matter is scheduled for economic mediation on June 20th and a pre-trial conference is scheduled on June 26th. 

This case is before Judge Cunningham in Ocean County Family Court.  Economic mediation is scheduled on June 20th and a pre-trial conference is scheduled on June 26th.  WW is a disabled veteran and a victim of domestic violence.  Parties married in 1998 and she has two minor children with her husband, CW.  Over the course of their 18 year marriage, WW was physically abused by CW.  CW has exhibited violent behaviors in front of the children. CW left the marital home and moved to another state after an incident where he physically harmed one of their children.  Then in 2012, the marital home was almost destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.  Since the home was inhabitable, WW and her children had to live in temporary housing for several years.  The home had significant repairs and in some areas was completely rebuilt.  WW was able to secure grants and used her own funds to rebuild the marital home.  As construction was completed, WW and her children were able to move back into the marital home.  WW is seeking alimony, equitable distribution of marital debts and assets, and child support.  CW has been the primary wage earner for the family while WW stayed home to care for their children.  WW has not worked in the last 13 years and she is the children’s primary caretaker.  CW is currently represented by counsel.  WW needs representation in the entire divorce matter or in the alternative, representation at economic mediation only. 

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

MH17E-1000196

middlesex county - contractor dispute

Representation in Law Division trial against contractor. Trial – 10/23/17

MH, a senior citizen, hired a contractor to repair her Sandy-damaged home.  She paid him in full, but much of the work was never completed and the work that was has failed several inspections.  The approximate total of damages is $49,500.  MH made multiple written and verbal requests for the contractor to finish the work or correct what was done improperly, but he refused.  MH hired a new contractor to fix the mistakes and finish the remaining work.  She then filed a lawsuit against the original contractor in Chancery Court; the case was recently transferred to the Law Division.  A trial has been scheduled for October 2017.  MH is seeking representation in the lawsuit.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

AB15E-1009510

MERCER COUNTY - military DISCHARGE UPGRADE

Representation in Discharge Status Upgrade application

AB joined the Army in 2010.  She served until 2013, when she was separated.  She received a general under honorable status based upon a pattern of misconduct.  AB believes that she was targeted by her commanding officers in retaliation for reporting certain activity in her unit, including her rape, and that several minor incidents were inflated in order to have her removed.  She is seeking assistance in filing an application for a discharge upgrade.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

JT16E-1000963

BERGEN COUNTY - MILITARY DISCHARGE UPGRADE

Review of military records and consultation

JT served in the Marines for nearly three years without incident.  While on guard one day, he witnessed a suicide.  After this event, JT began having mental health issues and ultimately self medicated with illegal drugs.  He tested positive during a routine drug test and was discharged OTH.  JT has been diagnosed with PTSD as a result of his experience.  He hopes to upgrade his discharge status to access VA benefits.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

under review