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Hickey v. New York City Dept. Of Education – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In Hickey v. New York City Dept. Of Education, 17 NY3d 729 (2011) the Supreme Court, New York County, ordered disciplinary records expunged from a teacher's personnel file. That finding was reversed by the Appellate Division, First Department. Thereafter, the matter was certified to the New York Court of Appeals on the limited question of whether that reversal was proper.

The Court of Appeals found that the reversal was proper and set forth a detailed explanation of how it came to that conclusion. It compared several sections of the United Federation of Teachers' CBA with the New York City teachers' CBA and determined that the New York City teachers' union intended to adopt certain procedures "with respect to the placement of written materials in tenured teachers' files." Id., at 733.

The Court of Appeals concluded that the teachers' union knowingly waived certain procedural rights and held that "because the letters at issue are not subject to section 3020-a procedures, petitioners are not entitled to have them expunged."