Fry v. Napoleon

DREDF served as co-counsel in an amicus brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in Fry v. Napoleon on behalf of former Senator Lowell Weicker, Jr. The case involves the Handicapped Children’s Protection Act (HCPA) of 1986, which enables plaintiffs to recover attorneys’ fees from school districts when they prevail in special education cases. The HCPA requires “exhaustion” of state administrative remedies under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for non-IDEA actions “seeking relief that is also available” under the IDEA. The issue in the Fry case is whether the HCPA also requires exhaustion in lawsuits against school districts seeking damages under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act, given that damage remedies are not available under the IDEA.