The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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February 19, 2013

School settles truancy fine suit for $265K

LEBANON — A central Pennsylvania school district has approved a $265,000 settlement in a lawsuit filed over excessive fines imposed in truancy cases.

A federal judge in November ruled the Lebanon School District had improperly fined parents. State law limits such truancy fines to $300, but some of the district’s fines exceeded $1,000. The judge found the district levied 935 fines that exceeded the cap from 2004 to 2009.

Part of the settlement involves reimbursing the plaintiffs’ lawyers, which amounted to $147,000. The district also agreed Monday to refund any fines it collected above the $300 per citation maximum. The agreement doesn’t require the district to admit any wrongdoing.

An attorney for the plaintiffs says he’s pleased with the settlement, which now moves to federal court for approval.

 

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