Many times, especially in cases which come up after the original allocation of parental rights between parents, the issue is school placement. There are many factors which come into play in school placement considerations. Here are a few:
Preparing the Evidence For The Case In School Placement
One of the factors will be the types of evidence you may have in favor of your position. Evidence might come from school records, teachers, counselors or even state rating reports regarding school districts or individual schools within districts. Your attorney may even decide to use an expert witness regarding the comparison of schools.
Timing The Case
One other factor relating to “school placement” cases is one of consideration of timing or when the case is filed and how long it will take to get to court and get an enforceable decision. The matter of evidence and witnesses is usually a controllable one. However, in relation to timing, questions arise as to when to file and how to get into trial in time to get a decision before the next school year, if possible, so that there is not a question of removing or transferring a student during a school year.
It is almost impossible to predict though when a case will finally be over since if it is tried, for instance, to a Magistrate, a party can challenge the Magistrate’s decision by filing a challenge after the decision is issued. If a challenge is made, it will be considered by the judge but before the judge can consider it, the challenging party must provide a transcript of the proceedings which occurred before the Magistrate. It may take some time for the reporter to prepare a transcript, after the challenging party has paid for the transcript. After the transcript is issued, the parties and their attorneys have time to review it before filing their final form of any objections.
After a challenge is made and a transcript has been obtained, a court will then hear arguments concerning a party’s challenge to the Magistrate’s decision. It may be some time after that before the court issues a decision. When the court issues a decision, either of the parties may challenge that decision by filing an appeal. If an appeal is filed, then we are at the point, again, where a transcript has to be ordered (from the hearing where the Magistrate’s decision was challenged) and that new transcript is provided (along with the original one from the original Magistrate’s hearing) and the rest of the file, so that the Court of Appeals can see what all has transpired.
If an appeal has been filed, the parties are given time again, after the provision of the transcript, to write their arguments and submit them to the Court of Appeals. After the arguments are submitted in writing, there are oral arguments scheduled before the judges at the Court of Appeals, and then after those oral arguments, the judges will probably take some time before they can create a written decision regarding the matter/issues appealed.
It is possible also, that after all of the above, the Court of Appeals may not even decide the original issue before it but may “remand” or send the whole case back down to the lower court in order to take more evidence and do a “new” or “amended” type of decision. If that happens, and a new decision is made, then the parties are back in a position where they can appeal that new decision and the process of ordering out the newest transcript and the whole file with the newest paperwork begins again as the parties are on their way back up to the Court of Appeals.
Thinking about all of this will lead you to the conclusion that it is wise to try to plan or anticipate the timing of a case where school placement is at issue but it will also reveal to you that no one (including your attorney) can predict when a case might “finally” be decided.
Consulting With An Attorney
Choosing an attorney who is familiar with school placement issues in cases, and who is also familiar with the Magistrates and judges in the court system where your case will be heard, is very important. Planning ahead for school-related issues is also very important. You don’t need to wait until the last minute to talk with an attorney about potential school-related issues. Planning ahead of time is possible and wise, and may guide you in certain decisions you have to make.