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Saba v. Middlesex County Board of Social Services

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

March 29, 2018

MERAT M. SABA, Plaintiff,
v.
MIDDLESEX COUNTY BOARD OF SOCIAL SERVICES and CWA LOCAL 1082, Defendants.

          OPINION

          HON. BRIAN R. MARTINOTTI UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before this Court is pro se Plaintiff Merat Saba's (“Saba”) Motion and Letter Request to Reopen his case. (ECF Nos. 43, 47.) Defendant Middlesex County Board of Social Services' (“MCBSS”) and Defendant CWA Local 1082's (“CWA”) (together with MCBSS, “Defendants”) oppose the Motion. (ECF Nos. 44, 45.) Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 78(b), the Court did not hear oral argument. For the reasons set forth below and for good cause shown, Saba's Motion is DENIED.

         I. Background

         The underlying facts and procedural background are set forth at length in the Court's June 30, 2017 Opinion (ECF No. 35), in which the Court granted Defendants' Motions to Dismiss. In the interest of judicial economy, the Court refers the parties to that Opinion for a full recitation of the factual background of this dispute and discusses only relevant portions of the record below.

         On June 30, 2017, the Court: (1) dismissed with prejudice all claims against CWA, due to Saba's failure to exhaust administrative remedies; (2) dismissed with prejudice the claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Titled VII”) based on race, alleged against MCBSS, due to Saba's failure to exhaust administrative remedies; and (3) dismissed without prejudice the remaining Title VII claims against MCBSS, as well as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (“ADEA”) and American with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”) claims, for failure to state a claim. (ECF Nos. 35, 36.) The Court did not include an order allowing Saba to amend his Complaint.

         As to the claims dismissed without prejudice, the Court found the “Complaint does not ‘contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to “state a claim for relief [under Title VII, the ADEA, or the ADA] that is plausible on its face.”'” (ECF No. 35 at 10 (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Bell Atl. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007))).) Specifically, the Court found:

In sum and substance, Plaintiff's Complaint alleges he was not promoted and eventually terminated because he worked too hard and was smarter and more experienced than his superiors. These allegations do not state a cause of action for discrimination. The only allegations of employment discrimination are in the Form Complaint, where he checked boxes which, when read together, allege Defendants discriminated against Plaintiff on the basis of race (Persian), religion (Islam), national origin (Iran), age (62), and disability (Polio) in violation of Title VII, the ADEA, and the ADA when they terminated his employment, failed to promote him, and retaliated against him. (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff does not provide any factual allegations, either in the Form Complaint or Supplemental Letter, to support these claims. To the contrary, Plaintiff's Complaint alleges his termination was “pre arranged [sic] and a set up” after several less-qualified coworkers were promoted. (ECF No. 1-1.)

(ECF No. 35 at 9-10.)

         On July 17, 2017, Saba filed a Notice of Appeal, which was docketed with the Third Circuit on July 21, 2017, as Appeals Docket No. 17-2565, seeking an appeal of the Court's June 30, 2017 Order. (ECF Nos. 37, 39.) On July 17, 2017, Saba filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal (ECF No. 38), which this Court denied without prejudice on July 28, 2017, because the application's affidavit was not signed (ECF No. 40.) On July 31, 2017, Saba refiled his application (ECF No. 41), which this Court denied on August 2, 2017, based on Saba's ability to pay (ECF No. 42). On August 17, 2017, he paid the filing fee for his appeal.

         Less than two weeks later, on August 28, 2017, while the appeal was pending, Saba filed a Motion to Reopen. (ECF No. 43.)[1] Saba argues his case should be reopened because he does not understand the legal system and needs more time to find an attorney. (ECF No. 43-1 at 2.) He would like to “appear before a judge in order to clear any and all misunderstanding [sic] of this complaint and how [sic] justice system allows criminal activities to be continued by failing to address them and take decisive actions to stop them forever.” (Id. at 3.) He states, “It is my conclusion view point the merit of letter to court [sic] and copies to defense attorneys has [sic] misunderstood, ignored or considered as extraneous and irrelevant” (id. at 2), although it is not clear what letter he is referencing.

         Additionally, Saba renews his request to have “[t]he entire complaint . . . prosecuted by federal prosecutor [sic] office” because “criminal acts” “have taken place and still happening to [him] from inception of [his] employment with the [MCBSS] and after passing away of [his] wife.” (Id. at 2.) However, he states he is “unable to share [the criminal acts] without legal representation.” (Id.) Defendants oppose reopening the case, arguing Saba's Motion “does not provide any basis that would warrant the reconsideration of this Court's decision or relief from the Order dismissing [Saba's] Complaint.” (MCBSS Opp. (ECF No. 44); accord CWA Opp. (ECF No. 45).)

         On October 13, 2017, the Court of Appeals dismissed Saba's appeal for lack of appellate jurisdiction, finding Saba had not demonstrated clear intent to stand on the complaint, and therefore, the order was not final and appealable with the meaning of Rule 54(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (ECF No. 46.)

         On March 2, 2018, Saba filed a letter request asking the Court to reopen his case “as soon as possible to resolve the complaint.” (ECF No. 47.)

         The Court construes Saba's Motion to seek reconsideration of or relief from the June 30, 2017 Order. Alternatively, the Court construes it as a motion to ...


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