Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

HOPKINS v. ELIZABETH BOARD OF EDUCATION

August 4, 2005.

LYMAN S. HOPKINS, Plaintiff,
v.
ELIZABETH BOARD OF EDUCATION and ESSEX COUNTY VOCATIONAL SCHOOLS, Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOSEPH GREENAWAY, District Judge

[EDITOR'S NOTE: This case is unpublished as indicated by the issuing court.] OPINION

Defendant Elizabeth Board of Education ("Defendant") seeks a grant of a motion for summary judgment.*fn1 For the reasons explained below, this Court grants Defendant's motion.

BACKGROUND

  Plaintiff, Lyman S. Hopkins ("Plaintiff"), a black man, is a former employee of Defendant Elizabeth Board of Education. (Statement of Undisputed Material Facts, at ¶ 8.) While employed by Defendant, Plaintiff resided in Lodi, New Jersey. (Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J., Deposition of Lyman S. Hopkins, Ex. B., at 31, l.10.) Plaintiff was a middle school Spanish teacher at Hamilton Middle School. (Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J., Ex. A.) Plaintiff's one year contract with Defendant began in September 2000 and expired in June 2001. (Id.) Plaintiff's employment officially ended in June 2001 when Defendant failed to renew his contract. (Statement of Undisputed Material Facts, at ¶ 9.) In October 2001, Plaintiff relocated to Claymont, Delaware. (Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J., Deposition of Lyman S. Hopkins, Ex. B., at 31, l.12.) Plaintiff was unemployed during the 2001-2002 academic year. (Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J., Deposition of Lyman S. Hopkins, Ex. B., at 30, l.6.) He began collecting unemployment in December of 2001. (Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J., Deposition of Lyman S. Hopkins, Ex. B., at 31, ll. 2-5.) In June of 2002, while he resided in Delaware, Plaintiff began the process required to obtain his teacher's certification in the State of Connecticut (Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J., Ex. A.) The application process required Plaintiff to obtain a completed "Statement of Successful Professional Experience" from his former employers. Plaintiff mailed the appropriate form to his former employers, including Defendant, in early July 2002. (Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J., Ex. A.)

  On August 16, 2002, the Connecticut Department of Education reminded Plaintiff of the impending deadline and the fact that they still had not received the necessary forms from the following former employers: Defendant, Newark School District, and Willingboro School District in New Jersey and Wilmington School District and Newark School District in Delaware. (Statement of Undisputed Material Facts, at ¶ 17.) On August 20, 2002, Plaintiff mailed an additional set of forms to his former employers including Defendant. (Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J., Ex. A.)

  On September 13, 2002, Plaintiff began to contact Defendant by phone in order to verify the status of the requested forms. (Id.) As of October 18, 2002, all of Plaintiff's former employers, save Defendant, had submitted the required forms. (Statement of Undisputed Material Facts, at ¶ 20.) Plaintiff continued to contact Defendant and request that Defendant send the forms to the appropriate recipient for approximately two weeks. (Statement of Undisputed Material Facts, at ¶ 22.) On November 4, 2002, the Connecticut Department of Education forwarded a letter to Plaintiff advising him that only a submission fee was outstanding on his application. (Id.) Plaintiff received his certification in May of 2003. (Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J., Ex. A.)

  Plaintiff alleges that he was the sole black male Spanish teacher at Elizabeth School. (Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J., Ex. A.) Plaintiff alleges that Defendant, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, was intentionally dilatory in processing his papers because he is a black male. (Id.) The alleged discriminatory conduct took place following Plaintiff's employment term and lasted from August 15, 2002 to March 27, 2003. (Statement of Undisputed Material Facts, at ¶ 6.) Plaintiff further alleges that Defendant's conduct was responsible for his inability to secure employment in Connecticut. (Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J., Ex. A.)

  LEGAL STANDARD

  1. Summary Judgment

  Summary judgment is appropriate where the moving party establishes that "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that [it] is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." FED. R. CIV. P. 56(c). See Abramson v. William Patterson Coll. of N.J., 260 F.3d 265, 276 (3d Cir. 2001).

  Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c) provides in relevant part:

  [t]he judgment sought shall be rendered forthwith 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. A factual dispute between the parties will not defeat a motion for summary judgment unless it is both genuine and material. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986); Kreschollek v. Southern Stevedoring Co., 223 F.3d 202, 204 (3d Cir. 2000). A factual dispute is genuine if a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the non-movant, and it is material if, under the substantive law, it would affect the outcome of the suit. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. The moving party "cannot simply reallege factually unsupported allegations contained in his pleadings." Clark v. Clabaugh, 20 F.3d 1290, 1294 (3d Cir. 1994). The moving party must show that if the evidentiary material of record were reduced to admissible evidence in court, it would be insufficient to permit the non-moving party to carry its burden of proof. See Celotex v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 318 (1986); Blackburn v. United Parcel Serv., Inc., 179 F.3d 81 (3d Cir. 1999). Once the moving party has carried its burden under Rule 56, "its opponent must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts in question." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986).

  The opposing party must set forth specific facts showing a genuine issue for trial and may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of its pleadings. See Sound Ship Bldg. Co. v. Bethlehem Steel Co., 533 F.2d 96, 99 (3d Cir. 1976), cert. denied, 429 U.S. 860 (1976). At summary judgment, the court*s function is not to weigh the evidence and determine the truth of the matter, but rather to determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249. In doing so, the court must construe the facts and inferences in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. See Wahl v. Rexnord Inc., 624 F.2d 1169, 1181 (3d Cir. 1980); Boyle v. Allegheny Pa., 139 F.3d 386, 393 (3d Cir. 1998). The court must award summary judgment on all claims unless the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.