Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Class action lawsuit against State Ed, E. Ramapo withdrawn 

The public interest law firm that filed a class action lawsuit against several private religious schools, the state education department and the East Ramapo school district, withdrew its complaint on Monday.

It plans to refile the suit, however, within one month.

The lawsuit, filed in November by Advocates for Justice, accused education officials of failing to provide boys at several Hasidic yeshivas with a sound, basic secular education.

It sought to compel the state to enforce existing laws that guarantee private schools provide an education equal to that of public schools. However, it had not served any defendants within the legally required four months of filing.

"We weren't ready to," said Advocates for Justice lawyer Laura Barbieri, who filed the lawsuit and the notice of voluntary dismissal. "We moved to voluntarily dismiss the case without prejudice, which means we can refile. We plan to refile within the month."

Barbieri said that one more plaintiff is being added to the lawsuit.

On April 6, United States District Judge Vincent Briccetti threatened to dismiss the case.

In the original suit, seven plaintiffs charged the state, the school district and four yeshivas with failing to offer adequate secular coursework for boys, and sought to require them to do so as soon as the next school year. It also sought unspecified money damages for former students who, the suit contends, were failed by the state and local administrators entrusted with their education.

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