United States District Court, D. New Jersey
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
G. SHERIDAN, U.S.D.J.
matter comes before this Court on Defendants' motion to
dismiss Plaintiffs second amended complaint. [ECF No. 24].
and Procedural History
case returns to the Court for the third time. Plaintiff filed
his original complaint on May 8, 2017. After screening the
initial complaint, the Court granted Plaintiffs application
for in forma pauperis, and allowed him to submit a
new complaint that complied with Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). (ECF No.
5). An amended complaint was then filed on September 6, 2017,
after Plaintiffs motion to reopen the case was denied. [ECF
No. 12]. Defendant then filed a motion to dismiss the amended
complaint on September 27, 2017 which was granted by this
Court on November 7, 2017. [ECF No. 19]. Plaintiff was again
allowed to amend his complaint. He filed a second amended
complaint on December 4, 2017. On January 2, 2018, Defendant
filed a motion to dismiss this second amended complaint which
is now before this Court. [ECF No. 24].
Hopkins alleges that his complaint sets forth a plausible
cause of action because he obtained documents from the
Trenton Board of Education showing disparate treatment. Some
of these documents are attached to the Complaint; but having
reviewed them, I do not see their relevance.
Lyman S. Hopkins alleges disparate treatment by Defendant
Trenton Board of Education, based on its failure to hire him
as a Spanish teacher. Plaintiff, a New Jersey-certified
Spanish teacher, is a sixty-year old African American man,
who has been physically disabled since 2010. (Amend. Compl.
at ¶ 10). On February 19, 2016, Plaintiff applied for a
position as a Spanish teacher at "Trenton
P.S." (hereinafter Trenton Public Schools)
and was later interviewed on March 10, 2016. (Id. at
¶ 26-28). Plaintiff arrived to the interview carrying a
laptop computer, canvas bag with teaching materials,
utilizing a cane to assist walking. (Id. ¶ 33).
During his interview with Defendants Madeline Roman and
Michael Pettola, it was explained to Plaintiff that he should
consider a substitute teacher position with Trenton Public
School - a position he did not want. (Id. at ¶
33). Thereafter, Plaintiff received a post-interview e-mail
from Defendant that stated:
this letter is to inform you that you were not selected for
the position. Please do not allow this determination to
preclude you from applying for open positions for which you
qualify. We sincerely regret that the great volume of
applications we receive makes it impossible for us to provide
you with a more personal response. Again, thank you for your
interest in the Trenton Public School District and we wish
you success with your future endeavors.
(Id. at ¶ 35).
August 1, 2016, Plaintiff again submitted an application for
another position as a Spanish teacher at Trenton Public
Schools and received an interview on August 3, 2016.
(Id. at ¶ 37). According to the Complaint,
"[a]bout 100 percent of several school district logo
attired personnel at August 2016 Trenton Public School Job
Fair reception tables are Black." (Id. at
¶ 41). However, Plaintiff claims there were no
"Black interviewers" at any of the candidate
interview tables. (Id. at ¶ 42). During his
interview with Defendant Sandra Iturbides, Trenton Public
School World Languages Supervisor, it was again suggested
that he consider a substitute teacher position with Trenton
Public School. (Id. at ¶¶ 45-46).
Plaintiff mentions that after the August 2016 interview, he
was sitting outside of "Trenton P.S. Board Room"
making a phone call regarding another interview when
"Sandra Iturbides and the technology person walk[ed]
past Plaintiff walking away from the room before
noontime." ((Id. ¶ 48). According to the
Complaint, Plaintiff never received any subsequent
communications from Defendant regarding his application.
(Id. ¶ 49). Plaintiff makes note of a
recruiting company called "Source4Teachers" and its
involvement in recruiting substitute teachers for Defendant.
(Id. ¶¶ 51-52). Plaintiff also alleges
that he was interviewed for several other New Jersey school
district Spanish teacher positions between March and
September 2016 and this is the only one where he was
counseled to seek a substitute teacher position.
in the second amended complaint brings the following causes
of action against Trenton Board of Education, Michael Pettola
and Sandra Iturbides, in their official and individual
capacity: (1) Violation of the Americans with Disabilities
Act; (2) violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act; (3)
violation of Fourteenth Amendment due process and equal
protection under 42 U.S.C. § 1983; (4) violation of the
Civil Rights Act of 1991 § 105; and (5) violation of the
Age Discrimination in Employment Act. In the second amended
complaint, Plaintiff has added facts; but some of them are
not sensible. For example, he states the following facts:
68. The resultant work-hour limitations brought on by the
Affordable Care Act is evidence the substitute agency closely
regulates substitute teachers.
69. Plaintiff pleads 'equitable tolling' due to the
70. Defendant resorts to a proscribed hiring custom.
71. Plaintiff Edgewater Park, N.J. storage unit suffers heavy
wall damage shortly after his becoming a Trenton resident.
72. Defendant March 2016 invitation for Plaintiff to reapply.
73. Plaintiff involvement in other Spanish teacher interviews
between the dates of the Defendant 2016 interviews. (Exhibit
74. Plaintiff 1992 automobile experiences mechanical failure
May 2016 requiring towing and several days repair. (Exhibit
75. Plaintiff early July 2016 need to address City of Trenton
(at Trenton City Hall) housing ordinance issues (Trenton
Municipal Code § 132-75 Facilities and fixtures) due to
ongoing unkempt co-tenant, Ms. J. French. (Exhibit 30)
76. Plaintiff July 8, 2016 at Trenton residence vehicle
hit-and-run issues, Trenton police case number 16-008161.
77. Plaintiff preparation for an Italian language teacher
endorsement exam that takes place July 16, 2016 in White
Plains, NY. (Exhibit 31)
78. Trenton landlord false accusations while supporting
Plaintiff co-tenant Ms. J. French who collects one half
utility payment from Plaintiff while accepting full energy
assistance for PSE&G bills. (Exhibit 32)
79. Plaintiff recollection Trenton landlord getting upset
stating, 'Plaintiff cannot even be a substitute
(Compl. ¶¶ 68-79). Plaintiff also mentions that he
filed an EEOC charge on October 21, 2016. (Id.
¶ 86). The majority of the new facts provided consist of
conclusory statements, the relevancy of which is difficult to
discern. For example, in paragraphs 139 to 152, Plaintiff
comments on the racial, ethnic, and educational background of
the faculty at the Trenton Puoblic Schools drawing
conclusions on Trenton Board of Education's hiring
policies which are based on his interpretation of personal
research and some ...