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School district’s proposed extended school year education plan comported with requirements of IDEA.

Topic: Special Education, Decided by Judge Woodard 
Docket Number: 1454724 , Decision Date: 2014-10-10 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Respondent school district proposed that Petitioner, a child with special needs, receive extended school year (ESY) programming at the rate of 4.5 hours per day, three days per week, and assigned a different lead teacher than was assigned to Petitioner during the regular school year. [..] Read More..

One-year suspension too harsh a penalty for excited utterance regarding the CRCT.

Topic: Educators, Decided by Judge Woodard 
Docket Number: 1458948 , Decision Date: 2014-09-25 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

An educator’s innocent mention of the subject matter of a question on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test to her colleague, who had already finished administering the test, was insufficient to justify the one-year suspension of the educator’s teaching certificate proposed.

Document neither mentioned nor produced until approximately one week before hearing entitled to no evidentiary weight.

Topic: Early Care & Learning, Decided by Judge Woodard 
Docket Number: 1440876 , Decision Date: 2014-08-26 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Petitioner is licensed by Respondent to operate a childcare learning center.  During a site visit, Respondent discovered that Petitioner had not recorded the necessary second check of one of the vehicles after it was used to transport children, and commenced disciplinary action. One week before [..] Read More..

Educator sanctioned for texting colleague about the CRCT.

Topic: Educators, Decided by Judge Woodard 
Docket Number: 1458942 , Decision Date: 2014-09-30 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

After administering the CRCT-M, a modified version of the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test (CRCT), Petitioner, an educator, described the content of the test in text messages to her colleague, who had yet to administer the CRCT.  The Professional Standards Commission (PSC) found that Petitioner’s conduct violated [..] Read More..

Educator sanctioned for intentionally misrepresenting her income on application for free or reduced-price school meals.

Topic: Educators, Decided by Judge Woodard 
Docket Number: 1447932 , Decision Date: 2014-07-17 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The Professional Standards Commission (PSC) proposed to suspend Petitioner’s teaching certificate for one year after an investigation by the Dougherty County School System determined that she misrepresented her income on an application in order to receive reduced-price school lunches for her child.  As Petitioner’s conduct [..] Read More..

Certified nurse aide’s refusal to clean and dress total care patient constituted neglect.

Topic: Nurse Aide Registry, Decided by Judge Woodard 
Docket Number: ***** , Decision Date: 2014-08-06 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

In an incident at a nursing home, Petitioner, a certified nurse aide (CNA), refused to clean and dress a resident, who was totally dependent on staff members to perform activities of daily living, and thereafter used profane and harsh language in the resident’s presence.  Although [..] Read More..

Incurred Medical Expenses must be allowed as a deduction at an amount equal to the Medicaid reimbursement rate.

Topic: Health Law, Decided by Judge Woodard 
Docket Number: ***** , Decision Date: 2014-08-01 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

After Petitioner, a nursing home resident, was approved to receive Medicaid, the Department of Community Health (DCH) was required to deduct the expenses that he incurred at the nursing home three months prior to his Medicaid application, or incurred medical expenses (IMEs), from his share [..] Read More..

Short temper and violent behavior justify continued habilitation as an inpatient.

Topic: Civil Commitment, Decided by Judge Woodard 
Docket Number: ***** , Decision Date: 2014-08-11 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) is authorized to continue habilitation of Respondent, an individual diagnosed with Moderate Mental Retardation, Intermittent Explosive Disorder, and Autism, as an inpatient in its facility.  Respondent’s violent reactions to adversity warrant continued habilitation as an inpatient [..] Read More..

Open criminal charges do not justify continued civil commitment.

Topic: Civil Commitment, Decided by Judge Woodard 
Docket Number: ***** , Decision Date: 2014-05-23 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The speculative consequences of open criminal charges from approximately seventeen years prior cannot legally justify Respondent’s continued civil commitment.  The Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) was ordered to show compliance with a previous order of Judge Lois Oakley and produce evidence of [..] Read More..

Violating WIC rules and regulations results in vendor disqualification.

Topic: Public Health, Decided by Judge Woodard 
Docket Number: 1414463 , Decision Date: 2014-04-24 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Petitioner, Zam Zam International Foods, Inc., formerly an authorized WIC vendor, was disqualified from Georgia WIC, and its vendor agreement terminated, for redeeming WIC vouchers in amounts exceeding its documented inventory of certain WIC-eligible products.  Petitioner also failed to adhere to the Georgia Department of [..] Read More..

Therapies must meet definition of “skilled nursing services” to qualify child for Katie Beckett.

Topic: Health Law, Decided by Judge Woodard 
Docket Number: 1417446 , Decision Date: 2014-03-27 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Petitioner’s need for several different therapies, including music and social skills therapy, was insufficient to demonstrate the Katie Beckett level-of-care requirement, because such therapies are not contemplated in the regulatory definition of “skilled nursing services.”

Physical abuse and corporal punishment justifies emergency closure of facility.

Topic: Early Care & Learning, Decided by Judge Woodard 
Docket Number: 1440536 , Decision Date: 2014-03-14 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Disciplining a child by forcing him to hold a chair above his head for an extended period of time justified the decision of the Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) to order the emergency closure of the child care learning facility.

Transfer of resources penalty improper due to probate court order.

Topic: Medicaid Eligibility, Decided by Judge Woodard 
Docket Number: 1425490 , Decision Date: 2014-03-21 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The Division of Family and Children Services’ (DFCS) was not authorized to impose a transfer-of-resources penalty, because the probate court had already determined that the Medicaid applicant’s conservators had made expenditures solely for his use and benefit and had received the fair market value.

Therapy several times a week insufficient to meet Katie Beckett institutional level of care.

Topic: Health Law, Decided by Judge Woodard 
Docket Number: ******* , Decision Date: 2014-03-07 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Petitioner’s physical limitations were not intense or frequent enough to qualify for the level of care provided in a hospital, skilled nursing facility, or intermediate care facility, as required to be eligible for the Katie Beckett class of assistance.  One unit of skilled occupational and [..] Read More..

Mental illness cannot qualify a person for the SOURCE program.

Topic: Health Law, Decided by Judge Woodard 
Docket Number: ***** , Decision Date: 2014-02-18 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Petitioner was removed from participation in the Service Options Using Resources in Community Environments (SOURCE) program.  While she has several physical ailments, they would not necessitate nursing home care in the absence of SOURCE services.  Her other needs are the result of a mental illness, [..] Read More..

Voluntary payments do not reduce child support arrearage payment rate.

Topic: Child Support, Decided by Judge Woodard 
Docket Number: 1417235 , Decision Date: 2013-12-03 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Petitioner’s child support arrearage repayment rate was not impacted by his voluntary support payments for his other children in the absence of a formal child support order for them.

Child care facility’s transportation violation did not qualify as reckless conduct.

Topic: Early Care & Learning, Decided by Judge Woodard 
Docket Number: 1410761 , Decision Date: 2013-12-05 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) was not authorized to fine a child care facility for a single violation of a transportation rule, where facility’s employees simply failed to sign the passenger checklist, although they did conduct a physical check of the vehicle.  [..] Read More..

Transportation suspension is not necessary for the protection of the public.

Topic: Early Care & Learning, Decided by Judge Woodard 
Docket Number: 1405920 , Decision Date: 2013-12-05 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) was not authorized to impose a twelve-month transportation restriction on a child care center’s license after a bus driver left children on a bus in a parking lot with the engine off and keys in the ignition [..] Read More..

Felony involving physical harm precludes operation of a family day care home.

Topic: Early Care & Learning, Decided by Judge Woodard 
Docket Number: 1407600 , Decision Date: 2013-12-13 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Petitioner who pled guilty to felony aggravated assault and misdemeanor battery may not operate a day care home, because the incident involved physical harm to the victim and showed a propensity for cruel behavior.

Failure to pay child support justifies suspension of licenses.

Topic: Child Support, Decided by Judge Woodard 
Docket Number: ***** , Decision Date: 2013-12-23 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The Division of Child Support Services (CSS) may suspend Petitioner’s licenses, including his state-issued driver’s license, for failure to pay child support.  Petitioner has not voluntarily paid child support since 2009, and his arrearage as of October 31, 2013, was $12,122.84.  Petitioner cannot claim an [..] Read More..

Child care facility fined for rule violation caught on video.

Topic: Early Care & Learning, Decided by Judge Woodard 
Docket Number: 1343727 , Decision Date: 2013-09-11 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Petitioner, a child care facility, was fined by the Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) for a rule violation, caught on video surveillance, that a staff member picked up an infant in a manner that could, and did, cause injury.

Existing child support order can be modified by Superior Court only.

Topic: Child Support, Decided by Judge Woodard 
Docket Number: ****** , Decision Date: 2013-08-09 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

A father was obligated to continue making child support payments even after the child moved into his home, because a preexisting superior court child support order had not been modified.  

Fine for non-compliance with truck permit.

Topic: Overweight Trucks, Decided by Judge Woodard 
Docket Number: 1021581 , Decision Date: 2010-04-02 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The Department of Public Safety properly fined Petitioners, a trucking company and its driver.  Petitioners were operating a trailer with axles’ lengths shorter by a half a foot than their permit allowed, resulting in an uneven distribution of weight.

Crane found to be weight compliant because added load necessary for safe operation.

Topic: Motor Carrier, Decided by Judge Woodard 
Docket Number: 1100399 , Decision Date: 2010-09-09 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The Department of Public Safety’s Motor Carrier Compliance Division (MCCD) improperly invalidated Petitioner’s permit to operate a self-propelled crane and assessed a fine. The weighing officer with MCCD had determined that the vehicle was overweight and out of compliance because the contents of an attached [..] Read More..

Toll violator ordered to pay fees, costs, and penalties.

Topic: Tollway, Decided by Judge Woodard 
Docket Number: 1131170 , Decision Date: 2013-01-05 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA) properly assessed a fine against Petitioner, a limousine company, for 30 toll violations in failing to stop to pay the toll or to use an operational transponder (i.e., a Peach Pass or Cruise Card) on Georgia State Route [..] Read More..

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