Favorable Ruling for Cooper Levenson School Board Client, Judge rules Wildwood can use site in North Wildwood as school

On April 28, 2017 Judge J. Christopher Gibson of the Cape May County Superior Court dismissed the City of North Wildwood’s lawsuit against the Wildwood Board of Education, which tried to prevent the Wildwood Board of Education from continuing to lease the St. Simeon’s Annex in North Wildwood for the Board’s prekindergarten and kindergarten students.  The Board had leased the space since 2002 and approved of the lease in open public meetings.  In 2014 the City filed a Petition of Appeal against the Board with the Commissioner of Education, which the City withdrew on the eve of a dispositive motion hearing.  The City then filed its complaint via a Declaratory Judgment Action in Cape May County Superior Court.  Wildwood Board of Education Attorneys William S. Donio, Esquire, and Kelli A. Prinz, Esquire, of Cooper Levenson argued before the Commissioner that the case properly belonged before the Commissioner and that the City’s actions amounted to forum shopping.   The Commissioner dismissed the City’s complaint with prejudice as litigation before the Superior Court continued.   Attorneys Donio and Prinz cross-moved for summary judgment seeking to dismiss the City’s Superior Court complaint with prejudice.   Judge Gibson found that this matter properly belonged before the Commissioner of Education as an educational question, but notwithstanding that fact, held the Board indeed has the statutory legal authority to lease  property in the adjacent City of  North Wildwood for the purposes for educating its 4, 5, and 6 year old students, thus dismissing the City’s lawsuit completely.

Read more in the story by The Press of Atlantic City

Date Published: May 24, 2017

Written by: Cooper Levenson, P.A.