NOTICE OF PROPOSED SETTLEMENT OF CLASS ACTION CONCERNING STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES AND THE PARENTS OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES IN THE ROCHESTER CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
If you are, were, or will be a student with disabilities or a parent of students with disabilities in the Rochester City School District (the District) between July 16, 2017 and the present, you should read this notice.
A settlement in a federal court lawsuit, N.N. et. al. v. Rochester City School District et. al, No. 6:19-cv-06526-DGL, may affect your legal rights. The plaintiffs in N.N. claimed that the District failed to provide a free and appropriate public education to students with disabilities and failed to provide their parents a meaningful opportunity to participate in the education of their children as required by law. The Court has not made any final decisions about the claims in the lawsuit. The parties have agreed to a settlement in the case, which must be approved by the Court.
You can see the entire proposed settlement on the websites of the legal organization that represents the plaintiff classes: the Empire Justice Center, whose web address is www.empirejustice.org. The proposed settlement is also posted on the District website at www.rcsdk12.org.
The basic terms of the settlement are:
RIGHT TO OBJECT
Any class member has the right to object to the proposed settlement as not fair, reasonable, and adequate, by appearing and stating his/her/they objections at the virtual hearing, by video conference or toll-free conference line as set forth below, individually or by counsel. The Final Approval Hearing shall take place virtually by Zoom technology on February 4th, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. at the United States District Court for the Western District of New York, before the Honorable David G. Larimer, to determine whether the proposed Class Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate, and whether it should be finally approved by the Court.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the General Orders previously issued by the United States District Court for the Western District of New York, limiting in-person appearances in the Courthouse and providing for the conduct of civil proceedings on a video conferencing, or if one is not available, a toll-free conference line, instructions will be posted on the Court’s website in advance of the Final Approval Hearing for members of the Classes, as well as the public, to listen to the proceedings through videoconferencing or telephonic means. Members of the Classes, public and media accessing these videoconference and telephone conference facilities will be able to listen to the proceedings but may not participate in them.
Any member of the Classes may participate in the Final Approval Hearing and show cause why the proposed Settlement should or should not be approved as fair, reasonable and adequate or why judgment should or should not be entered. No person shall be able to participate and be heard at the Final Approval Hearing or entitled to contest the Settlement or if approved, the judgment to be entered upon the Settlement, unless the person has filed a written notice with the Clerk of the United States District Court for the Western District of New York, electronically through the ECF system or sent such notice by first-class mail, marked “N.N. Settlement” so as to be received no later than 7 days before the February 4th, 2021 Final Approval Hearing, setting forth any objection to the Settlement and advising of their intention to participate in the Final Approval Hearing. Written notice provided by first-class mail shall be sent to the following address:
Clerk of the Unite States District Court for the Western District of New York
Kenneth B. Keating Federal Bldg. and U.S. Courthouse
100 State Street
Rochester, NY 14614
Attendance at the Final Approval Hearing (through videoconference or the toll-free conference line) is not required, but persons wishing to participate and be heard must submit their intention to participate in the hearing in writing as set forth above and must call the Clerk’s Office to obtain further information about how they can be heard at (585) 613-4000.