56 F.3d 67 (7th Cir. 1995), 94-1357, Rheinstrom by Rheinstrom v. Lincolnwood Bd. of Educ. Dist. 74

Docket Nº:94-1357.
Citation:56 F.3d 67
Party Name:Michael RHEINSTROM, by his next friend and father Richard RHEINSTROM, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. LINCOLNWOOD BOARD OF EDUCATION, DISTRICT 74, Defendant-Appellee.
Case Date:May 10, 1995
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Page 67

56 F.3d 67 (7th Cir. 1995)

Michael RHEINSTROM, by his next friend and father Richard RHEINSTROM, Plaintiff-Appellant,



No. 94-1357.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

May 10, 1995

Submitted April 26, 1995. [*]

Editorial Note:

This opinion appears in the Federal reporter in a table titled "Table of Decisions Without Reported Opinions". (See FI CTA7 Rule 53 regarding use of unpublished opinions)

Rehearing and Suggestion for Rehearing En Banc Denied June 5, 1995.

Appeal from the United States District Court, for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, No. 93 C 0418; William T. Hart, Judge.

N.D.Ill., 843 F.Supp. 1236.


Before CUMMINGS, EASTERBROOK and RIPPLE, Circuit Judges.


This case comes before us as an appeal from a grant of summary judgment and involves parents contesting the proposed placement of their son in a special education program.

In 1991, an individual educational program ("IEP") was developed for Michael Rheinstrom recommending his removal from a self-contained classroom for students with special needs related to behavioral and emotional disorders and his placement in a therapeutic day school. Because Michael's parents disagreed with the recommendation, he remained in the self-contained classroom. In 1992, Michael's program was evaluated and school personnel, believing his program was not successful and did not provide sufficiently intensive services to deal with Michael's special needs, developed an IEP recommending Michael's placement in a therapeutic day school. Michael's parents disagreed with this recommendation and in July 1992, a Level I administrative hearing was held. The Level I hearing officer found that Michael's behavior was regressing, that public school placement did not meet Michael's needs and that placement in a therapeutic day school was appropriate. In December 1992, a Level II administrative hearing was held at the request of Michael's parents. The Level II hearing officer found that Michael's behavior had continued to deteriorate in his current placement and that he was becoming increasingly disruptive to staff and other students. The Level II hearing officer concluded that placement in the therapeutic day care center was appropriate.

Richard Rheinstrom, as Michael's father and on behalf of his son, sought review of the Level I and Level II administrative decisions pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ("IDEA"), 20 U.S.C. § 1415(e), and a monetary damage award pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. § 552a(g). The district court held that the findings of the Level I and Level II hearing officers were supported by the record. The district court granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment and affirmed the determination of the Level II hearing officer. Rheinstrom filed a motion to reconsider based upon newly submitted evidence which the district court denied. Rheinstrom appeals.

Rheinstrom argues that the district court abused its discretion by denying his motion for reconsideration and failing to consider the additional evidence. The IDEA requires that the district court "shall receive the records of the administrative proceedings, shall hear additional evidence at the request of a party, and, basing its decision on the preponderance of the evidence, shall grant such relief as the court determines is appropriate." 20 U.S.C. § 1415(e)(2). Under the IDEA, "a party that wants to avail itself of the opportunity to present evidence in the district court [must] make clear its desire to do so." Hunger v. Leininger, 15 F.3d 664, 669 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, 115 S.Ct. 123 (1994). Here, Rheinstrom did not request that the court consider the additional evidence - a Certificate of Achievement and Honor Roll Certificate both dated November 24, 1993 and Michael's grades for the first quarter of the 1993-1994 school year - until the motion to reconsider and did not attempt to present this evidence to the district court prior to the court's decision granting summary judgment on January 11, 1994. We find no abuse of discretion in the denial of a plaintiff's motion to reconsider based upon newly submitted evidence, where the newly submitted evidence was available prior to entry of judgment. See LB Credit Corp. v. Resolution Trust Corp., No. 94-1610, slip op. at 7 (7th Cir. March 10, 1995) (motion to alter or amend judgement is not appropriately used to present evidence that was available prior to the entry of judgment); Lostumbo v. Bethlehem Steel, Inc., 8 F. 3d 569, 570 (7th...

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