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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. 

thomas February 04, 2013 at 04:48 PM
I hope they have to pay legal fees too.
NahantJean February 05, 2013 at 03:59 PM
Wow--how unfortunate. I'm sure Swampscott paid a hell of lot more than $12,000 in attorneys' fees to deny this grammar school kid a decent education. What is worse, the mother was paying Swampscott taxes! I hope the School Committee is happy now. What a disgrace.
bigblue February 05, 2013 at 08:40 PM
nahant should be paying more for swampscott schools also or they can go to lynn
NaemhOisin February 05, 2013 at 10:20 PM
I agree with you NahantJean-I do not understand how this happened if she had a residence here, even though it was being renovated, she was still a legal resident, no? Maybe I need to read this article again; I am sure I missed something
Masagi Yokota February 06, 2013 at 01:37 PM
The message here is if your a Cuban refuggee, trying to better yourself. Stay out of this town; we don't want you. Celli is protecting the borders from urban creep from both sides.No place for Hate community? I don't think so. How about a fundraiser to keep them here? Any takers?
NahantJean February 07, 2013 at 01:37 PM
Would love to help, Masagi! Great idea!
bigblue February 07, 2013 at 07:58 PM
sounds great hands are out one more time

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