Woodlake Unified School District | AR 1312.5 Community Relations
In order to allow the District to focus its investigatory resources on complaints it receives from the public, parents and students, the District has developed a procedure for handling complaints from persons who file numerous complaints at the District, arising out of the same set of facts, without providing any significant new information that might affect the District's initial decision. Accordingly, the Superintendent or designee shall have discretion to designate a person who has filed more than three complaints at the District, related to the same set of facts within a one-year time period, and who is abusing the District's complaint procedures process as a "vexatious complainant." A person may be designated a "vexatious complainant" if he or she files separate complaints related to the same set of facts against different people at the District.
The "vexatious complainant" designation is reserved for exceptional circumstances after the District has already issued a final decision regarding the substance of the complainant's original complaint. This designation is discretionary and may be rescinded at the Superintendent or designee's discretion.
After a complainant receives the designation of vexatious complainant, the Superintendent or designee will send him or her a letter explaining the designation and shall include a copy of this policy for the complainant's reference. After the Superintendent or designee designates a person as a "vexatious complainant," the Superintendent or designee, and not the District's Governing Board, may respond to all future complaints regarding the same set of facts, from the complainant, by acknowledging receipt of the new complaint and stating the District previously issued a final decision to the complainant based on the same set of facts, and as a result, no new investigation or decision will be issued again by the District (e.g,. the duplicative complaint will not be processed by the District). When a complainant has been designated a "vexatious complainant," he or she may not appeal to the District's Governing Board the Superintendent or designee's decision not to process the complaint.
A "vexatious complainant" who has not filed any repetitive or harassing complaints for at least one calendar year, from the date of submission of his or her last complaint, may submit a written request to the Superintendent or designee that his or her designation as a "vexatious complainant" be removed. The Superintendent or designee will make a final determination regarding any requests regarding removal of "vexatious complainant" status.
The designation of "vexatious complaint" shall not prevent the complainant from filing, and the District from investigating and responding substantively to, complaints arising out of a different set of facts unrelated to the vexatious complainant's repetitive filing. It should be noted that a person who states he or she is unsatisfied with the District's response to a complaint or who raises criticisms of the District's investigation process would not be classified as a vexatious complainant.
This policy is not intended to inhibit any person's rights under state and federal law, from filing a lawsuit or from filing a complaint with any administrative agency. Further, nothing in this policy and administrative regulation limits a person's ability to address the Governing Board, during public comment, on matters within the jurisdiction of the Board.
Regulation WOODLAKE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
approved: February 8, 2017 Woodlake, California