Wrightslaw l No Child Left Behind l IDEA 2004 l Fetaweb l Yellow Pages for Kids l Harbor House Law Press

  Home > Topics > Damages: Doe v. Withers Case

The Special Ed Advocate
It's Unique ... and Free!

Enter your email address below:


2016 Training Programs

Feb 25 - San Jose, CA

Feb 29 - NYC Metro Area

Mar 4 - Edinburg, TX

Mar 9 - Private

April 9 - Ft. Worth, TX

April 22 - Wheeling, WV

April 28 - Augusta, ME

May 4-5 - Bowie, MD

May 21- Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Full Schedule

Be a Hero ...

 Jason at Ft. Benning
... to a Hero
Learn more


Topics from A-Z
Free Newsletter
Seminars & Training
Yellow Pages for Kids
Press Room

Books & Training

Wrightslaw Storesecure store lock
  Advocate's Store
  Student Bookstore
  Exam Copies
Training Center
Bulk Discounts
New! Military Discounts
Mail & Fax Orders

Advocacy Library

Doing Your Homework
Ask the Advocate
Newsletter Archives
Summer School Series
Success Stories

Law Library

IDEA 2004
No Child Left Behind
McKinney-Vento Homeless
Section 504
Fed Court Complaints


American Indian
Assistive Technology
Autism Spectrum
Behavior & Discipline
College/Continuing Ed
Due Process
Early Intervention (Part C)
Future Planning
High-Stakes Tests
Homeless Children
IDEA 2004
Identification & Child Find
Juvenile Justice
Law School & Clinics
Letters & Paper Trails
Military / DOD
No Child Left Behind
NCLB Directories
NCLB Law & Regs
Parental Protections
PE and Adapted PE
Privacy & Records
Procedural Safeguards
Progress Monitoring
Related Services
Research Based Instruction
Response to Intervention (RTI)
School Report Cards
Section 504
Teachers & Principals
Twice Exceptional (2e)
VA Special Education

Resources & Directories

Advocate's Bookstore
Advocacy Resources
  Disability Groups
  State DOEs
  State PTIs
Free Flyers
Free Pubs
Free Newsletters
Legal & Advocacy
   Legal Terms
   Assessment Terms
Best School Websites


Damages  Against Teacher Who Refused to Implement IEP:
Doe v. Withers

Print this page

Why did you put Doe v. Withers on your site? What is the relevance of a case that's 15 years old?

Pete responds: Your point is well taken.

Doe v. Withers is a 1992 case that was decided in part under United States Code Section 1983. (Thus the 15 year confusion.)

During the past month, several people have sent emails, and are looking for information about the case.

Doe v. Withers is not posted on the Internet. I have discussed Doe v. Withers in articles on the Wrightslaw site. Several years ago, I wrote an analysis of Doe v. Withers for the Attention Deficit Disorder Forum on CompuServ.

Practically speaking, Doe v. Withers is little more than a simple jury trial in a civil case that is unreported in the State or Federal Court Reporters. But Doe v. Withers is also a landmark case.

Because it was jury verdict in a civil trial and was not appealed, Doe v. Withers is not reported in the usual publications that publish caselaw decisions - usually cases on appeal.

Why is this case so significant?

Doe v. Withers was the first special education jury trial and the first special education dollar damages case.

Doe v. Withers is also significant because the child's history teacher (who was a member of the state General Assembly at the time) refused to follow the child's IEP, despite being told to do so by several school officials including the principal, special ed director, and special ed teacher.

Several school staff were not defendants in the civil suit because there was documentation that they told the history teacher to follow the IEP. Later, other defendants were dismissed because they also told Withers to follow the IEP.

Complaint in Doe v. Withers

Jury Order in Doe v. Withers

This case paved the way for subsequent special ed damage cases, including W. B. v. Matula, a landmark case from the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and Witte v. Clark County, a recent case from the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Your e-mail tells me that we need to do a better job of providing background about the cases we post.

We appreciate your questions. I'm sure other readers had the same questions but did not write.

Last revised: 03/31/09

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon The Special Ed Advocate: It's Free!


Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright
About the Book

Wrightslaw: All About IEPs
About the Book

Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments
About the Book

Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board
About the DVD Video


Copyright © 1998-2016, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright. All rights reserved.

Contact Us | Press Mission l Our Awards l Privacy Policy l Disclaimer l Site Map

Wrightslaw Store
Free Shipping
for Orders over

The Advocate's Store

Get Help!

Wrightslaw on FacebookWrightslaw on TwitterWrightslaw YouTube Channel 


Wrightslaw Books
Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright
Student Discounts

Military Discounts

The Advocate's Store

Wrightslaw Multimedia Training

Understanding Your Child's
Test Scores (1.5 hrs)

Wrightslaw Special: $14.95

Special Education Law & Advocacy Training
(6.5 hrs)

Wrightslaw Special: $49.95