Buchholtz v. Iowa Dept. of Public Instruction, No. 65829

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtMcCORMICK
Citation315 N.W.2d 789
Parties2 Ed. Law Rep. 848 Daryl BUCHHOLTZ, Appellant, v. IOWA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION, Rockwell-Swaledale Community SchoolDistrict, Northern Trails Area Education Agency, Appellees.
Decision Date17 February 1982
Docket NumberNo. 65829

Page 789

315 N.W.2d 789
2 Ed. Law Rep. 848
Daryl BUCHHOLTZ, Appellant,
v.
IOWA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION, Rockwell-Swaledale Community SchoolDistrict, Northern Trails Area Education Agency, Appellees.
No. 65829.
Supreme Court of Iowa.
Feb. 17, 1982.

Page 790

John G. Sorenson of Boyle, Schuler, Stanton, Grabinski & Sorensen, Clear Lake, for appellant.

Thomas J. Miller, Atty. Gen., and Howard O. Hagen, Asst. Atty. Gen., for appellee Iowa Dept. of Public Instruction.

Gilbert K. Bovard of Laird, Burlington, Bovard, Heiny, McManigal & Walters, Mason City, for appellees Rockwell-Swaledale Community School Dist. and Northern Trails Area Ed. Agency.

Considered by UHLENHOPP, P. J., and McCORMICK, ALLBEE, LARSON, and SCHULTZ, JJ.

McCORMICK, Justice.

Petitioner Daryl Buchholtz challenges a district court decision on judicial review affirming a decision of the state board of public instruction concerning the special education placement of his son Michael. The appeal involves questions of district court jurisdiction and the merits of the agency decision. We find that the district court had jurisdiction and did not err in affirming the agency. Therefore we affirm the district court.

The jurisdictional issue was raised by motion to dismiss filed during the pendency of this appeal by respondent Iowa Department of Public Instruction. The department alleged that the district court did not acquire

Page 791

jurisdiction of the petition for further review because neither the state board of public instruction nor superintendent of public instruction was named as respondent or mailed a copy of the petition. We ordered the motion submitted with the appeal.

On the merits of the appeal, petitioner alleges the agency applied the wrong standard in determining what constitutes an appropriate educational program for a child with a learning disability and made a decision which is unsupported by substantial evidence and is unreasonable, arbitrary or capricious. Because petitioner believes the program of a neighboring school district does meet the requisite standard, he seeks an order requiring his home district to pay tuition for Michael's attendance in the neighboring district or an order changing district boundaries to put his home in that district.

Petitioner and his family reside on a farm in defendant Rockwell-Swaledale School District. The farm borders the Meservey-Thornton Community School District. Both districts are served by defendant Northern Trails Area Education Agency (AEA). The family moved to Minnesota in 1974 and back to the Rockwell-Swaledale District in 1975. Michael attended first, second and third grade in that district during the 1975-76, 1976-77, and 1977-78 school years.

Michael experienced learning difficulties and was placed in a remedial reading program in September 1976, with the permission of his parents. When the problem worsened, he was tested by the AEA in January and February 1978. Michael was diagnosed as having a learning disability affecting his reading and perception skills despite average or above average intelligence. Upon recommendation of the AEA learning disability consultant, and with the consent of his parents, Michael was placed in a resource room for learning disabled children in March 1978. He stayed there for the last ten weeks of the school year.

At the time Michael was placed in the resource room, the school and AEA staff recommended that he be retained in third grade and attend the resource room during the following school year. School officials advised his parents they did not believe Michael needed tutoring during the summer.

The parents wished to have Michael tutored to see if he could make sufficient progress to be placed in fourth grade in the fall. They eventually arranged for tutoring by a learning disability teacher in the Meservey-Thornton district. When Michael made progress during summer tutoring, petitioner commenced his efforts to have the Rockwell-Swaledale district boundaries changed or, alternatively, to have the district pay Michael's tuition in the neighboring district. The parents enrolled Michael as a tuition student in the fourth grade of the Meservey-Thornton school in the fall. Throughout the subsequent proceedings, Michael has attended the Meservey-Thornton school, has advanced with his class, and has continued to do well.

After the Rockwell-Swaledale school board denied petitioner's alternative requests, he pursued an appeal to the state board of public instruction under section 290.2, The Code. After hearing, the board affirmed the district's decision. Petitioner subsequently obtained judicial review. He now challenges the district court's adverse decision in that action.

I. The jurisdictional issue. In moving to dismiss the appeal, the department contends the district court did not acquire jurisdiction of the petition for judicial review because of petitioner's failure to comply with the jurisdictional prerequisites in section 17A.19(2), The Code 1977. This case is unaffected by the 1981 amendment of that provision. See 1981 Session, 69th G.A., ch. 24. The petitioner is required to name the agency whose action is challenged as a respondent. § 17A.19(4). At the time material here, petitioner was required to mail copies of his petition to all parties within ten days after its filing. § 17A.19(2), The Code 1977. A failure of substantial compliance with this requirement precludes the district court from acquiring jurisdiction of the case. Cowell v.

Page 792

All-American, Inc., 308 N.W.2d 92, 94 (Iowa 1981).

The department asserts the agency decision was made by the Iowa State Board of Public Instruction and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Petitioner did not name either the board or superintendent as respondents, nor did he mail them copies of the petition. Instead he designated the Iowa Department of Public Instruction as respondent and mailed it a copy of the petition. The board, superintendent, and department are each agencies within the meaning of the IAPA. See § 17A.2. Moreover, they are each charged...

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21 practice notes
  • Conklin, In re, Nos. 89-2220
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • October 23, 1991
    ...the EHA and to enable the state to take advantage of the funding provided by the Act, see Buchholtz v. Iowa Dep't of Pub. Instruction, 315 N.W.2d 789, 793 (Iowa 1982) ("The [state] statutes are intended to make state and local educational programs eligible for federal funding under the [EHA......
  • Cooksey v. Cargill Meat Solutions Corp., No. 11–1630.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • May 17, 2013
    ...actual notice of the proceeding and no prejudice occurred. Id. at 648. Similarly, in Buchholtz v. Iowa Department of Public Instruction, 315 N.W.2d 789, 792–93 (Iowa 1982), we held that naming the department of public instruction instead of the board of public instruction did not defeat jur......
  • State of S.D. Water Management Bd. Approving Water Permit No. 1791-2, Matter of, No. 14296
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • June 27, 1984
    ...preserved for appeal. Application of Am. State Bank, Pierre, 254 N.W.2d 151 (S.D.1977). Accord, Buchholtz v. Iowa Dept. of Public Instr., 315 N.W.2d 789 (Iowa 1982); Amoco Production Co. v. N.D. Indus. Com'n., 307 N.W.2d 839 (N.D.1981); B. Schwartz, Administrative Law Sec. 206 (1976). Page ......
  • Doe By and Through Doe v. Board of Educ. of Tullahoma City Schools, No. 92-5996
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • November 5, 1993
    ...Special Education statute creates a higher standard than the federal minimum). But see Buchholtz v. Iowa Dep't of Pub. Instruction, 315 N.W.2d 789 (Iowa 1982) (holding that the Iowa Special Education statute specifically did not require a higher standard than the federal 3 While we note tha......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
21 cases
  • Conklin, In re, Nos. 89-2220
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • October 23, 1991
    ...the EHA and to enable the state to take advantage of the funding provided by the Act, see Buchholtz v. Iowa Dep't of Pub. Instruction, 315 N.W.2d 789, 793 (Iowa 1982) ("The [state] statutes are intended to make state and local educational programs eligible for federal funding under the......
  • Cooksey v. Cargill Meat Solutions Corp., No. 11–1630.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • May 17, 2013
    ...actual notice of the proceeding and no prejudice occurred. Id. at 648. Similarly, in Buchholtz v. Iowa Department of Public Instruction, 315 N.W.2d 789, 792–93 (Iowa 1982), we held that naming the department of public instruction instead of the board of public instruction did not defeat jur......
  • State of S.D. Water Management Bd. Approving Water Permit No. 1791-2, Matter of, No. 14296
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • June 27, 1984
    ...preserved for appeal. Application of Am. State Bank, Pierre, 254 N.W.2d 151 (S.D.1977). Accord, Buchholtz v. Iowa Dept. of Public Instr., 315 N.W.2d 789 (Iowa 1982); Amoco Production Co. v. N.D. Indus. Com'n., 307 N.W.2d 839 (N.D.1981); B. Schwartz, Administrative Law Sec. 206 (1976). Page ......
  • Doe By and Through Doe v. Board of Educ. of Tullahoma City Schools, No. 92-5996
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • November 5, 1993
    ...Special Education statute creates a higher standard than the federal minimum). But see Buchholtz v. Iowa Dep't of Pub. Instruction, 315 N.W.2d 789 (Iowa 1982) (holding that the Iowa Special Education statute specifically did not require a higher standard than the federal 3 While we note tha......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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