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Moffatt Thomas Wins Dismissal of Case Challenging School Fees

On May 24, 2013, Judge Richard Greenwood dismissed claims against 65 Idaho school districts in a lawsuit seeking a ruling that approximately $2 million in fees charged to students did not comply with an Idaho Constitution requirement of “free public schools” and should be returned.  Four of those school districts were represented by Mark Prusynski and Jetta Hatch Mathews of Moffatt Thomas.  The lawsuit was brought by Dr. Russell Joki, a grandparent of a Meridian School District student, initially against all the school districts in Idaho.  He asked Judge Greenwood to certify the case as a class action, allowing him to represent all the students in the state who paid fees to school districts for a wide variety of classes or activities.

Judge Greenwood decided that the plaintiffs did not meet the requirements of a class action.  He granted motions to dismiss all of the school districts except the Meridian School District, because Dr. Joki and the other plaintiffs did not pay fees to any other school district and, therefore, had no right to sue the other school districts.  Dr. Joki’s claim for return of the fees he paid to Meridian School District was not dismissed.

The State of Idaho was dismissed from the case after an earlier hearing.  Dr. Joki’s motion for reconsideration of that decision is pending.