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Khalil v. Stevens Institute of Technology

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


January 11, 2008

BUTHAINA KHALIL, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
STEVENS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, CHARLES SUFFEL AND STUART TEWKSBURY, DEFENDANTS-RESPONDENTS.

On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Middlesex County, Docket No. L-3038-03.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted December 18, 2007

Before Judges Fuentes, Grall and Chambers.

Plaintiff, Buthaina Khalil, is a former graduate student at Stevens Institute of Technology ("Stevens"), who sought the conference of a doctorate degree in electrical engineering. Plaintiff appeals from the dismissal on summary judgment of her complaint against Stevens, Charles Suffel, the dean of Stevens's Graduate School, and Stuart Tewksbury, the director of Stevens's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and a professor in that department.

Plaintiff alleged that defendants discriminated against her on the basis of her sex, age, religion (Muslim), and national origin (Egyptian), by failing to provide her with a research advisor and thesis committee to supervise her doctoral research and otherwise preventing her from obtaining a doctorate degree, and by rejecting her applications for employment as a teaching assistant and/or research assistant. Plaintiff also asserted claims of breach of contract, consumer fraud, detrimental reliance (promissory estoppel), theft of her intellectual property, and defamation.

After reviewing the record developed before the Law Division, and in light of prevailing legal standards, we affirm substantially for the reasons expressed by Judge Stroumtsos in his memorandum of opinion, and incorporate by reference the findings of fact detailed therein. We add only the following brief remarks.

The Statement of Facts presented to us by plaintiff was substantially unsupported by citations to the record developed before the trial court. As to legal authority, plaintiff's eighty-two-page appellate brief cites only Brill v. Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, 142 N.J. 520, 540 (1995), in support of her numerous legal arguments. Although we recognize that plaintiff is appearing here pro se, she nevertheless remains obligated to present her arguments in conformance with the rules of appellate practice. Her failure to do so has made our review of the issues presented needlessly more difficult.

Finally, we acknowledge that plaintiff has also made allegations of bias against the trial judge and against her two former attorneys. As a result of this alleged bias, plaintiff moved before the Law Division for a change of venue to Morris County. That motion was properly denied by Judge Happas. Notwithstanding plaintiff's perception of unfairness, the record before us reflects that Judge Stroumtsos considered and decided each of the issues presented to him objectively, fairly and professionally.

Affirmed.

20080111

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