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Gray v. Camden City Board of Education

March 25, 2008

DELORES GRAY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CAMDEN CITY BOARD OF EDUCATION, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

OPINION

This matter has come before the Court on the motion of defendant, Camden City Board of Education, for summary judgment on plaintiff's age discrimination claim under New Jersey's Law Against Discrimination, which is the only remaining claim in the case.*fn1 For the reasons expressed below, defendant's motion will be granted.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, Delores Gray, has been employed by defendant Camden City Board of Education from 1969 until 1972, and then again in 1984 until the present. Plaintiff is currently the In-House Suspension Coordinator at the Cooper B. Hatch Middle School, a position she has held since September 2003.

During her years of employment, plaintiff held many positions, and she claims she applied for many positions that she was not awarded. Plaintiff, born December 31, 1947, alleges that the reason defendant did not hire her for those positions was because of her age. Specifically, plaintiff claims that since 1999, she applied (1) two times for the principal position at Camden High School and once at an elementary school, (2) three times for the vice-principal position at Camden High School and two other schools, (3) once for the Scheduler position at one of Camden's high schools, (4) once for the Health and Human Services Coordinator at Cooper B. Hatch Middle School, and (5) once for Supervisor of Staff Development.

Defendant has filed a motion for summary judgment on plaintiff's age discrimination claim. Plaintiff has opposed defendant's motion.

DISCUSSION

A. Jurisdiction

When plaintiff filed her complaint, it contained both federal and state claims. As a result, this Court had jurisdiction over plaintiff's federal claims under 28 U.S.C. § 1331, and supplemental jurisdiction over plaintiff's state law claims under 28 U.S.C. § 1367. Now that the only claim in the case is based on state law, the Court has chosen to continue exercising its supplemental jurisdiction to resolve the remaining claim. See Growth Horizons, Inc. v. Delaware County, Pa., 983 F.2d 1277, 1284-85 (3d Cir. 1993) (stating that as the statute makes clear, the decision to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over remaining state law claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367 is committed to the discretion of the district court).

B. Summary Judgment Standard

Summary judgment is appropriate where the Court is satisfied that "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, 330 (1986); Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c).

An issue is "genuine" if it is supported by evidence such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict in the nonmoving party's favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A fact is "material" if, under the governing substantive law, a dispute about the fact might affect the outcome of the suit. Id. In considering a motion for summary judgment, a district court may not make credibility determinations or engage in any weighing of the evidence; instead, the non-moving party's evidence "is to be believed and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor." Marino v. Industrial Crating Co., 358 F.3d 241, 247 (3d Cir. 2004)(quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255).

Initially, the moving party has the burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). Once the moving party has met this burden, the nonmoving party must identify, by affidavits or otherwise, specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. Id. Thus, to withstand a properly supported motion for summary judgment, the nonmoving party must identify specific facts and affirmative evidence that contradict those offered by the moving party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 256-57. A party opposing summary judgment must do more than just rest upon mere allegations, general denials, or vague statements. Saldana v. Kmart Corp., 260 F.3d 228, 232 (3d Cir. 2001).

C. Analysis

1. Standard for Age Discrimination Claim ...


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