The opinion of the court was delivered by: FREDA WOLFSON, Magistrate Judge
[EDITOR'S NOTE: This case is unpublished as indicated by the issuing court.] MEMORANDUM OPINION
Presently before the Court is a motion to dismiss pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6), or in the alternative, a
motion for summary judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(b)
brought by Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey ("Rutgers"
or "Defendant") on the Complaint of Michael Okpor, pro se
("Plaintiff"). Plaintiff seeks relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("§
1983"), alleging that Defendant's School of Business violated his
procedural due process rights, breached an express contract and
violated an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. On
February 14, 2005, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint to
include a civil rights violation under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 ("§
1981").*fn1 The Court has considered the parties' papers
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 78, and for the reasons stated below, the Plaintiff's Complaint
is dismissed in its entirety with prejudice.
Plaintiff was a student at Defendant's undergraduate School of
Business from fall 1997 until his final dismissal in January,
2002. While attending Rutgers, Plaintiff failed numerous classes,
yet consistently requested make-up examinations and late
withdrawals from his courses. After the fall 2001 semester,
Plaintiff's grade-point average fell below the required 2.0
minimum for the second time, which resulted in Plaintiff's
second, and final, dismissal from Rutgers. Plaintiff asserts in
his initial Complaint that (1) Defendant violated his procedural
due process rights by failing to abide by its own guidelines for
withdrawal from classes, (2) Plaintiff had an express contract
with Defendant, which Defendant breached by dismissing Plaintiff,
and (3) Defendant violated an implied covenant of good faith and
fair dealing in its contractual relationship with Plaintiff. In
his Amended Complaint, without asserting any additional facts,
Plaintiff alleges that Defendant "violated the equal protection
clause of the fourteenth amendment, [T]itle VI of the [C]ivil
[R]ights Act of 1964 and 42 U.S.C. § 1981." Pl. Am. Compl. at 2.
Plaintiff commenced an action in the Chancery Division of the
Superior Court of New Jersey on or about January 21, 2004.*fn2 See Sponzilli Cert. Ex.
A. In his complaint, Plaintiff sought an order compelling Rutgers
to allow Plaintiff to retake all the courses that he had failed
and to change all of his grades from "F" (fail) to "W"
(withdrawal). Id. On March 22, 2004, the state court denied
Plaintiff's application for injunctive relief against Defendant.
See Sponzilli Cert. Ex. B.
On March 30, 2004, Rutgers filed and served its answer to
Plaintiff's complaint in the state court action. See Sponzilli
Cert. Ex. C. On or about March 30, 2004, Plaintiff filed an
amended complaint alleging that his "unfair academic dismissal"
from Rutgers was "a direct and proximate result of the negligence
of the [D]efendant's staff members," and that consequently,
Plaintiff "suffered grievous financial loss, anxiety, and
depression." Sponzilli Cert. Ex. D. Despite allegations of
negligence in his amended complaint, Plaintiff never filed a
Notice of Tort Claim with Rutgers, as required by N.J.S.A.
59:1-1, et seq. See Denner Cert. Ex. 4, ¶¶ 4, 5.
On November 16, 2004, Plaintiff filed a second amended
complaint in state court, incorporating his previous claims and
adding allegations of breach of contract, breach of covenant of
good faith and fair dealing, and a claim under New Jersey's
Consumer Fraud Statute, N.J.S.A. 56:8-2.*fn3 See Sponzilli
Cert. Ex. H. According to Plaintiff, he had an express contract
with Rutgers because Plaintiff's payment of tuition fees
constituted consideration for Defendant providing an education
and a degree. Id. Plaintiff alleged that Defendant breached
this contract by dismissing him from the University. Id.
Plaintiff further claimed that the "contract" contained an
implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, which Defendant also
breached by expelling him. Id. Lastly, Plaintiff alleged that
Defendant's breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair
dealing constituted an unconscionable business practice in
violation of New Jersey's Consumer Fraud Statute. Id.
On November 17, 2004, Defendant filed a motion for summary
judgment in state court. While Defendant asserts that "Plaintiff
moved for permission to amend [his complaint] a second time,"
Def. Br. at 8, it is not entirely clear from the record whether
Plaintiff made such motion prior to filing his second amended
complaint on November 16, 2004. According to Defendant,
Plaintiff's motion to amend his complaint was consolidated with
Defendant's motion for summary judgment. See Def. Br. at 8.
After hearing oral argument on December 17, 2004, the state court
denied Plaintiff's motion requesting leave to amend his complaint
for a second time, granted Defendant's motion for summary
judgment and dismissed with prejudice all of Plaintiff's claims.
See Sponzilli Cert. Ex. G, I. The state court based its
dismissal of Plaintiff's claims on Plaintiff's failure to file
the 90-day Notice of Tort Claim as required by the Tort Claims
Act and failure to file a complaint within the applicable
two-year statute of limitations period. See 12/17/04 Tr. (Pl.
Opp. Ex. 1) at 53-55. The state court also found that the
dismissal of Plaintiff's complaint rendered Plaintiff's motion to
amend his complaint moot.*fn4 See id. at 56.
On January 21, 2005, the state court heard oral argument on
Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration of its decision dismissing
Plaintiff's claims. While that motion was still pending,
Plaintiff filed the instant action in this Court on January 10,
2005, asserting the same allegations and seeking the same relief as made in his state court complaint.
See Pl. Compl. Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration was
ultimately denied by the state court on January 27, 2005. See
Sponzilli Cert. Ex. J.
On February 14, 2005, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint in
this action asserting violations of § 1981. See Pl. Am. Compl.
On May 9, 2005, Plaintiff requested that this Court dismiss his §
1983 action without prejudice pending his appeal in the state
court. See Pl. 4/27/05 Resp. to Def. Mot. Summ. J. ("Pl. Resp.
#1"), ¶ 16.
On May 19, 2005, Plaintiff filed a second response to
Defendant's motion, alleging that Defendant also violated
42 U.S.C. § 1985 and § 1986.*fn5 See Pl. 5/19/05 Resp. to
Def. Mot. Summ. J. ("Pl. Br. #2"), ¶ 15. Plaintiff alleges that
Defendant racially discriminated against him because he is
African-American, and denied him the right to complete his
courses. Id. ¶¶ 2, 4. Plaintiff also claims that Defendant's
School of Business and Academic Dean Samuel Rabinowitz conspired
to deprive Plaintiff of the right to complete his courses because
of Plaintiff's race. See Pl. Br. #2, ¶ 4.
B. Plaintiff's academic history
Plaintiff transferred to Rutgers University School of Business
from Camden Community College in the fall of 1997. See Denner
Cert. Ex. 1, ¶ 5. From 1997 through his final dismissal from
Rutgers in 2002, Plaintiff asked for eleven grade changes and
repeatedly requested late withdrawals from courses and make-up
examinations due to his ...