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____________________________________________

IN THE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE
AT CHATTANOOGA
_________

L.H., A MINOR STUDENT, ET. AL.,


Plaintiffs,

V.

HAMILTON COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION,


Defendant,
__________

No. 1:14-cv-00126
The Honorable Judge Curtis Collier

MOTION TO ADMIT EVIDENCE FOR REIMBURSEMENT


PER ORDER OF COURT OF APPEALS

COME THE PLAINTIFFS, through counsel, filing this Motion to Admit Evidence for

Reimbursement Per Order of Court of Appeals. They show:

1. On August 20, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit released its

opinion. L.H. v. Hamilton Cty. Dep't of Educ., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 23070, (6th Cir. Aug. 20,

2018). The judgement has been filed in this Court as Doc. 250.

2. On the issue of reimbursement of tuition and expenses incurred at the Montessori School

of Chattanooga (TMS), the Court of Appeals found “the educational program at TMS satisfied

the IDEA and, therefore, L.H.'s parents were entitled to reimbursement.” L.H., at *39-40. The

Court reasoned: “Whether or not the Montessori approach is as "structured" in its own way as

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the public school approach (i.e., the Red Bank CDC) is in its way, the record is clear that L.H.

had a personalized curriculum at TMS and a paraprofessional aide dedicated just to him, such

that he was working at his own pace with frequent repetition, intense one-on-one instruction,

and repeated prompting and reinforcement. Id. at 36. The Court added: “TMS provides a

curriculum tied to the regular state standards. At TMS, L.H. produces a daily journal, has nightly

homework, and receives report cards, all of which facilitate his parents' involvement, and convey

to L.H. that this is a regular school experience. Red Bank CDC has no homework or report cards.

As to L.H.'s need for focused, systematic instruction with individual motivation and feedback,

TMS provides him with an involved, qualified teacher and an individual aide.” Id. at *38-39. 1

3. The amount of reimbursement was not apparent to the Court of Appeals, so it remanded

to this District Court to “admit such additional evidence as it deems necessary and render

judgment in the amount of reimbursement that it finds appropriate under the IDEA.” Id. at 40.

4. Attached hereto as Ex. A is the declaration of D.H., the mother of L.H., who offers the

costs of tuition and aide for the third through the current eighth grade years at the Montessori

School of Chattanooga.

Third, Fourth, Fifth Grades

5. On January 13, 2016, L.H.’s mother testified to the costs for tuition and aide from the

third through the fifth-grade school years: 2013-2014, 2014-2015, and 2015-2016. (Doc. 238,

Page ID# 8618). The checks reflecting those costs are Ex. 27 to the hearing. For third grade, the

cost was $24,272; for fourth grade it was $21,898. For fifth grade, which was still in progress at

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The Sixth Circuit also found that the parent’s views of the progress and satisfaction with
the Montessori School was appropriate: “The district court relied on its credibility assessments
and HCDE's contrary views of L.H.'s progress at TMS to discount TMS's evidence that L.H. had
made appropriate academic progress. But the court did not discuss L.H.'s parents' views about
L.H.'s progress at TMS or their overall satisfaction with it.” Id. at *38-39.

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the time of the hearing, L.H.’s mother estimated the aide would decrease from $14,755 to a cost

of approximately $9,000 through the remainder of the year. Now that that year has been

completed, the amount did decrease from the previous year of $14,755, but the correct amount

for the aide was $10,400, for a total of $18,014 for fifth grade. (See Ex. A hereto, Declaration of

D.H.).

Sixth, Seventh, Eighth Grades

6. After January of 2016, of course, L.H. has completed sixth and seventh grades (2016-

2017, 2017-2018) and is currently enrolled in eighth grade (2018-2019). The total costs for sixth

grade tuition and aide was $14,467. (Id.) The total cost for seventh grade tuition and aide was

$14,743. (Id.). And the total estimated costs for the current year, eighth grade, is $15,218, using

projected aide hours of 15 per week for 36 weeks at $12.75 per hour. (Id.).

7. In summary, for the six years of the Montessori School (3rd through 8th grade), the total

costs are tuition of $46,089 and the aide of $62,523, for a combined total of $108,612. (Id.)

8. Accordingly, unless there is reason for an evidentiary hearing, which Plaintiffs do not

anticipate, Plaintiffs respectfully request the court enter reimbursement for the tuition and aide to

the family in the total amount of $108,612. The family has borne these costs themselves for the

six years since the violations of the IDEA originally took place.

Respectfully submitted,

GILBERT McWHERTER SCOTT & BOBBITT, PLC

/s Justin S. Gilbert
Justin S. Gilbert (TN Bar No. 017079)
200 W. Martin Luther King Blvd.,
Suite 1067
Chattanooga, TN 37402

ATTORNEY FOR PLAINTIFF

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CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I, the undersigned, do hereby certify that a true and exact copy of the foregoing has been
mailed electronically via the Court’s electronic filing system, to all counsel of record, on this the
31st day of August, 2018.

D. Scott Bennett
Mary DeCamp
Bennett & DeCamp, PLLC
Flatiron Building
707 Georgia Ave, Suite 300
Chattanooga, TN 37402

/s/ Justin S. Gilbert______________

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