Will the DOE, seven years after an arbitration decision, be permitted to appeal the decision?

No. After an arbitration decision rendered in 2007 a teacher was found to have inappropriately touched female students and was suspended, without pay, for six months. The DOE’s feeble attempts to vacate the award to seek the teacher’s termination, alleging, among other things, the death of the originally assigned Justice, was finally determined by the Appellate Division, First Department, which denied the application.

Board of Education of the City School District of the City of New York v Alexis Grullon


Will a Court Entertain a Discovery Request in a 3020-a Proceeding Before a Final Award is Made?

No. Many times when faced with a disciplinary hearing the parties require information from each other to prepare for the case. While the Education Law provides an affirmative obligation to provide such material the guidelines for the issuance of such a discovery order from an arbitrator are not clear.

In this case the School District sought some emails from a teacher. The arbitrator refused to order the teacher to turn them over so the District went to Supreme Court to seek redress.

Justice Donald A. Greenwood ruled that a court order in such a situation was improper since the statute only allowed the court to review final arbitration determinations.

It is important in such cases to make the application on the record to preserve any issue for appeal.

In the Matter of the Application of the Jordan-Elbridge Central School District and the Board of Education thereof, Petitioners, For an Order Pursuant to Article 75 of the CPLR Vacating the Hearing Officer’s Decision, against Anonymous, a Tenured Administrator, Respondent. Sup. Ct., Onondaga County, October 16, 2012. Index No. 2012-3582.