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Emails Do Not Constitute “Notice” for Purposes of an Administrative Hearing

In the case of Watkins v. Ohio Bd. of Educ., 2023-Ohio-2595, an appellate court held that the department of education and school board had jurisdiction over an administrative hearing to revoke the license of the former special education teacher when the board and department followed all procedures from R.C. 119.

In this case, the former special education teacher argued that the board and department could not conduct the hearing because the board and department failed to schedule a hearing within 15 days of the former special education teacher’s request pursuant to R.C. 119.07. In response, the board and department argued the email the former special education teacher responded to requesting a hearing did not trigger the 15-day deadline pursuant to R.C. 119.07 because an email cannot not serve as statutorily prescribed “notice.” The appellate court agreed with the board and department.

In support of its decision in favor of the Board and Department, the appellate court explained that none of the emails the former special education teacher claimed triggered the 15-day deadline were introduced into evidence at the administrative hearing and thus could not be considered on appeal. The appellate court further explained that, even if the emails had been properly admitted into evidence, “notice,” as used in R.C. 119.07, must be given “by registered mail, return receipt requested,” and therefore an email would not be sufficient to trigger the 15-day deadline.

To read this case, click here.

Authors: Matthew John Markling and the McGown & Markling Team.

Note: This blog entry does not constitute – nor does it contain – legal advice. Legal jurisprudence is like the always-changing Midwestern weather. As a result, this single blog entry cannot substitute for consultation with a McGown & Markling attorney. If legal advice is needed with respect to a specific factual situation, please feel free to contact a McGown & Markling attorney.

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