IN THE MATTER OF JESODE Docket No. 94-15-ST
HATORAH, Student Financial
Respondent. Assistance Proceeding
B. Wolff, Esq., Office of the General Counsel, for the Office of
Student Financial Assistance Programs, United States Department of
Before: Judge Richard F. O'Hair
On December 30, 1993, the Office of Student Financial Assistance
Programs (SFAP) of
the U.S. Department of Education (Department) issued a Notice of Intent to Terminate and Fine
against Jesode Hatorah. SFAP sought to terminate the eligibility of Jesode Hatorah to participate
in the student financial assistance programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education
Act of 1965, as amended (HEA). 20 U.S.C. § 1070 et seq. and 42 U.S.C. §
2751 et seq. SFAP also sought to fine the school in the amount of $1,137,500.
In In re Bliss College, Docket No. 93-15-ST, U.S. Dep't of
Educ. (Decision of the Secretary) (February 23, 1994), the Secretary vacated as moot the initial
decision of the
administrative law judge in a termination and fine action because the institution had permanently
closed. In his initial decision, the judge terminated Bliss' participation in Title IV programs, but
did not impose a fine. The Secretary vacated the initial decision, noting that "a case is
when a determination is sought on a matter which, when rendered, cannot have any practical
effect on the existing controversy." Bliss at 1 (quoting Leonhart v.
McCormick, 395 F. Supp. 1073, 1077 (1975)).
Following Bliss, subsequent decisions have dismissed
termination and fine actions when the school had closed, even though SFAP was seeking a fine
as well as termination. In the Matter of Fischer Technical Institute, Docket No.
92-141-ST, U.S. Dep't of Educ. (March 1, 1994); In the Matter of Draughon Business
College, Docket No. 92-94-ST, U.S. Dep't of Educ. (March 4, 1994); In the Matter of
Spencer College, Docket No. 93-27-ST, U.S. Dep't of Educ. (March 9, 1994).
The present case is factually very similar to Bliss and its
progeny. In the present proceeding, SFAP is seeking both termination and a reduced fine of
$1,125,000. As SFAP notes
at footnote 2 of its initial brief, however, Jesode Hatorah has closed (see In the Matter of
Jesode Hatorah, Docket No. 94-54-ST, U.S. Dep't of Educ. (July 26, 1994) (Order granting
Consent Motion for Dismissal on Mootness Grounds)). Therefore, in accordance with
Bliss, I find the present proceeding to be moot. Accordingly, it is ORDERED that the
proceeding is dismissed as moot.
Judge Richard F. O'Hair
Issued: December 6, 1994
S E R V I C E
A copy of the attached initial decision was sent by CERTIFIED MAIL, RETURN RECEIPT
REQUESTED to the following:
Richard A. Finkel, Esq.
Meissner, Kleinberg & Finkel
275 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016
Russell B. Wolff, Esq.
Office of the General Counsel
U.S. Department of Education
600 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20202-2110