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Meditz v. City of Newark

April 15, 2010

RE: MEDITZ
v.
CITY OF NEWARK



The opinion of the court was delivered by: William J. Martini Judge

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR . FEDERAL BLDG. & U.S. COURT HOUSE 50 WALNUT STREET, P.O. BOX 419 NEWAR K, NJ 07101-0419 (973) 645-6340

LETTER OPINION

Dear Parties:

This matter comes before the Court on Defendant City of Newark's motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff Gregory Meditz opposes this motion. There was no oral argument. Fed. R. Civ. P. 78. For the reasons stated below, Defendant's motion is GRANTED.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Gregory Meditz is a white male currently residing in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Pl.'s Third Am. Compl., ¶¶ 1, 29. In April, 2007, he applied for the position of Housing Development Analyst with Defendant City of Newark, a New Jersey municipality.*fn1 Id. at ¶ 6. The job posting stated that the position was only open to Newark residents. Id. at Ex. A. The City of Newark requires that non-uniformed municipal employees of the City be bona fide residents pursuant to Newark Ordinance 2:24-1.1 ("the Ordinance").*fn2 Id. at ¶ 18, Ex. D. In July, 2007, Plaintiff received notice that he was ineligible for the position because he failed to meet the residency requirement. Id. at ¶ 10, Ex. C.

On June 12, 2008, Plaintiff commenced suit against the City of Newark in New Jersey District Court, alleging that Newark's Ordinance violates Title VII of "[t]he Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination [('NJ LAD')] N.J.S.A. § 10:5-1 et seq., the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution, and Article I, paragraph I of the New Jersey Constitution." Id. at ¶ 2. In addition, Plaintiff alleges Defendant violated New Jersey's Open Public Records Act, N.J.S.A. § 47:1A-1 et seq., and the common law right of access to public records, for failure to provide Plaintiff with certain record requests.*fn3 Id.

Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages, costs of suit, imposition of a civil penalty against Defendant, and other equitable and legal relief allowed pursuant to common law or statute. Pl.'s Third Am. Compl. Defendant filed its motion for summary judgment on November 9, 2009. Plaintiff filed a response opposing the motion on February 17, 2010. Defendant filed a reply brief to Plaintiff's response on February 25, 2010.*fn4

II. DISCUSSION

Before the Court now is Defendant City of Newark's motion for summary judgment.

A. Summary Judgment Standard

Summary judgment is appropriate where the moving party is able to demonstrate that there is no genuine dispute as to any material facts and that judgment is appropriate as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). When evaluating a summary judgment motion, a court must view all evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 89 L.Ed.2d 538 (1986); Goodman v. Mead Johnson & Co., 534 F.2d 566, 573 (3d Cir.1976). For claims of discrimination under both Title VII and the NJ LAD,

Accordingly, Plaintiff's claims stemming from lack of access to Newark's records are dismissed moot.

Defendant's motion for summary judgment is decided by this Court using a three-step burden-shifting ...


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