McIntyre v. Eugene School District 4J, No. 19-35186 (9th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff, a former high school student, filed suit alleging disability discrimination by school officials in violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The district court dismissed the complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) and, in the alternative, as barred by the applicable two-year statute of limitations.
The panel applied Fry v. Napoleon Cmty. Sch., 137 S. Ct. 743 (2017), and held that the crux of plaintiff's complaint seeks relief for the disability-based discrimination and harassment she faced at school, and not for the denial of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Therefore, plaintiff need not exhaust the administrative remedies under the IDEA, and the panel reversed the district court's order dismissing her complaint for failure to exhaust. The panel also vacated the district court's order dismissing the complaint as alternatively barred by the statute of limitations and remanded. On remand, the district court should reconsider whether any of plaintiff's claims are barred by the statute of limitations in light of the panel's conclusion that plaintiff does not seek relief for the denial of a FAPE under the IDEA.