Legal Question in Education Law in California

I am a non-custodial parent that lives out of the state of CA. I have a judicial order from 2012 issued by the courts in CA that I have the right to ANY and ALL of my childs records to include their school records.

I asked back in February 2013 to get a copy of a doctors note that excused my minor child. The principal got back to me 2 days later via email and said that she spoke with her Child Welfare Director and that the Child Welfare Director informed her that she can not release that information to me. I was told that the Educational Director stated I can not have access to the Doctors Note because I do not have "Full Educational Rights."

I then followed up with a email to remind the principa I have a judical order. The princpal has known I had this judical order since September of 2012. I informed the principal there are laws governing my rights to access my childs school records.

The same day I sent her the email with the laws the principal sent me an email saying she will be sending me the doctors excuse I was requesting.

I then asked the principal to review my child's school records and get copies of ANY and ALL of my child's school records not limited to but to include attendance records, all doctors notes, recommendations for summer school etc. The school policy states that they are to respond and provide access within 5 days to any person with authorization request for access to student records. Which the principal did not follow.

There are also school district policies that this principal should be following but has continually broke them and has lied to me which I can provide proof of the lies in all the emails I have.

I want to know what I can do legally so my rights are not going to be violated any longer. Keep in mind I live out of state and am requesting these records because there are inaccurate record keeping going on regarding my childs attendance.

I would like to speak with an attorney that is willing to take my concerns serious.

Asked on 4/10/13, 3:56 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Andrew Harrell W. Andrew Harrell, Attorney at Law

The fact that you are the non-custodial parent is irrelevant. You still have parental rights, including access to education files necessary for the proper upbringing of your child. Jurisdiction remains in California. You need to have an attorney file a motion in the county (family court) having jurisdiction, ordering the school administrator(s) to comply with your request. If an order is granted (which it surely would be), failure by the administrator to produce the records would be in contempt. The school would likely be liable for attorney's fees and costs if you were required to secure a court order. Probably the first thing a lawyer would do would contact the school board's legal counsel and remind them of the law. I can't see this type of issue going to court.

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Answered on 4/10/13, 7:49 pm

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