Swampscott Prevails in School Residency Case
The party owes the town $12,000, according to an Appeal Court decision announced Friday.
An Appeals Court decision announced Friday found in Swampscott's favor, upholding an earlier ruling that the town was due $12,000 in reimbursement for educating a child who was living in Lynn during the 2010-11 school year.
Judgment in the case of Rosalin Martinez vs Superintendent Lynne Celli and the Swampscott School Committee affirmed a Superior Court decision, according to electronic court records.
Superintendent Celli said this morning that she has contacted the district's attorney in the case, James Toomey, to see what the next step is for the district.
The decision just came out on Friday and officials are still grappling with its implications.
The original case stems from the middle of the 2010-11 school year.
At that time school officials sought to have an elementary school student removed from a Swampscott school because the boy was living in Lynn.
The boy's mother appealed the decision to the superintendent and to the Swampscott School Committee, the superintendent said. Both of those appeals failed and the mother brought the case to court.
The courts allowed the boy to continue his education in Swampscott, temporarily, but it also allowed the town to put a $12,000 lien on the family's Swampscott condo, according to a Salem News article.
In the article Martinez says she and her son slept on an office floor in Lynn
while their Burrill Street condo in Swampscott was being renovated.
And her lawyer argued in court that the she was paying taxes on her Swampscott property at that time.
But the Appeals Court decision on Friday relies on state law and an earlier case which states that residency, not property ownership, determines the district where a child may enroll in school, the article states.
The judge said there was no evidence that the mother and son had lived in the condo prior to September 2011.
Martinez told the Salem News that she came to the United States from Cuba
on a boat in the middle of the night to give her son the chance to get a good
education, and that she is considering her options
on whether to continue to fight the case.
The family received their occupancy permit to live in the Burrill condo in
September of 2011.