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K.P. v. CORSEY

October 30, 2002

K.P., A MINOR BY HER PARENT AND GUARDIAN, S.C., AND S.C., IN HER OWN RIGHT, PLAINTIFFS,
V.
WILLIAM CORSEY, III, DEPTFORD TOWNSHIP BOARD OF EDUCATION, AND DEPTFORD TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOL, DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Joseph E. Irenas, District Judge

OPINION

Presently before the Court are Plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment and Defendant Deptford Township Board of Education's ("Board of Education") motion for summary judgment.*fn1 For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiffs' motion is denied and Defendant's motion is granted.

I.

Plaintiff K.P. was a minor and a student attending Deptford Township High School at the time the alleged incident relevant to this case took place. In addition, she was a member of the women's track and field team, coached by Defendant William Corsey, III. On March 27, 1999, Plaintiff K.P. has alleged that Defendant Corsey sexually assaulted and harassed her after track practice.

K.P. alleges that, while she was in Corsey's automobile parked behind some bleachers at the school, Corsey told her that he needed to conduct a "fat test." This "fat test" involved K.P. removing her pants and underwear and pulling up her shirt and bra while Corsey made comments regarding her body type and specific areas of her body. In addition, K.P. alleges that Corsey made physical contact with a private area of her body. Following this encounter, Corsey drove K.P. home in his private car. Defendant Corsey has pled guilty to third degree aggravated sexual contact as a result of this incident, while not admitting to all of the facts alleged by K.P.*fn2

Plaintiff K.P. did not immediately report the incident to any school personnel. Instead, she first told a friend and later her boyfriend about the incident. Almost one year after the encounter with Corsey, on March 16, 2000, the Plaintiff told her mother, Plaintiff S.C., about the events of March 27, 1999. The next morning S.C. accompanied her daughter to school and met with Irvin McFarland, vice principal and director of athletics at the school, to complain about the actions of Corsey. McFarland immediately summoned the principal of Deptford High School, Dr. Joseph Canataro, who then proceeded to call in the assistant superintendent of the Deptford Township school district, Marie Louis.

K.P. informed all those present about the incident that had taken place with Corsey the year before. Louis then notified the State of New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services, at which point the Deptford Township Police Department began an investigation. Corsey had already left the school grounds and did not return. He was suspended with pay on March 21, 2000. Upon his indictment the suspension became without pay. When Corsey pled guilty at his criminal trial he was terminated.

On or about March 27, 2002, Plaintiffs filed their Second Amended Complaint against the Defendants alleging violations of 20 U.S.C. § 1681 ("Title IX"), N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 ("New Jersey Law Against Discrimination"), 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and N.J.S.A. 2A:61B-1. The Board of Education has moved for summary judgment on all counts. Plaintiffs have moved for summary judgment on their New Jersey Law Against Discrimination claims.

II.

"[S]ummary judgment is proper `if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.'" Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)).

In deciding a motion for summary judgment, the Court must construe the facts and inferences in a light most favorable to the non-moving party. Pollock v. American Tel. & Tel. Long Lines, 794 F.2d 860, 864 (3d Cir. 1986). The role of the court is not "to weigh the evidence and determine the truth of the matter, but to determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986). "[A] party opposing a properly supported motion for summary judgment may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of his pleading, but . . . must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Id. at 248 (citation omitted).

III.

A.

Plaintiffs and Defendant have asked for summary judgment on the issue of the Board of Education's liability under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination ("NJLAD"). In addition, the Defendant has requested summary judgment in its favor regarding the issue of its liability under Title IX. As the standard for liability under ...


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