Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Cristobal v. County of Middlesex

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

May 11, 2018

CHRISTINE CRISTOBAL, Plaintiff,
v.
COUNTY OF MIDDLESEX, MIDDLESEX COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT, MILDRED SCOTT, KEVIN B. HARRIS, JOHN DOES 1-10, AND JOHN DOE CORPORATIONS 1-10, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          HON. TONIANNE J. BONGIOVANNI, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This matter comes before the Court upon Plaintiff Christine Cristobal's (“Plaintiff”) Motion to Compel Compliance with a Subpoena against non-party New Jersey Civil Service Commission (“Commission”) (Docket Entry No. 20). The Commission opposes Plaintiff's motion and filed a Cross-Motion to Quash the Subpoena (Docket Entry No. 23). The Court has fully reviewed and considered all arguments made in support of and in opposition to Plaintiff's motion and the Commission's Cross-Motion. The Court considers the motions without oral argument pursuant to L.Civ.R. 78.1(b). For the reasons set forth more fully below, Plaintiff's motion is DENIED and the Commission's motion is GRANTED.

         I. Background and Procedural History

         This case arises from Plaintiff's termination from her job as a Sheriff's Officer for Middlesex County as a result of a Functional Capacity Evaluation by Kinematic Consultants, Inc. Plaintiff states that defendants utilized the “Sheriff's Department essential job functions listing” to evaluate at least four other Middlesex County Sheriff's Officers to determine whether they could return to full duty work after illness or injury. (Pl.'s Br. in Supp. of Mot. at 2). Plaintiff further states that three of the four employees who were disqualified from returning to full duty work were women, therefore, it appears the standards set forth in the “Sheriff's Department essential job functions listing” have a disparate impact on women. (Id.).

         On June 30, 2016 Plaintiff filed a complaint against Defendants County of Middlesex, Mildred Scott, Middlesex County Sheriff's Department, and Kevin B. Harris in the Superior Court of the State of New Jersey, Middlesex County alleging violations of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 (“NJLAD”) and the New Jersey Civil Rights Act, N.J.S.A. 10:6-1 to 2. Defendants Mildred Scott, Middlesex County Sheriff's Department, and Kevin B. Harris filed a notice of removal on July 25, 2016[1]. An initial scheduling conference was held and a scheduling order was entered on September 12, 2016. (Docket Entry No. 8). During the course of discovery, Plaintiff served a subpoena on the Commission requesting information as to other Sheriff's Officers disqualified from employment pursuant to N.J.A.C. 4A:2-2.3(a)(3).

         Plaintiff filed a motion on November 10, 2017 seeking to enforce the subpoena served on the Commission (Docket Entry No. 20). The Commission filed a motion to quash the subpoena on December 4, 2017. (Docket Entry No. 23).

         II. Analysis

         The subpoena at issue in this motion was served upon the Commission on July 19, 2017. The subpoena seeks to obtain information as to other Sheriff's Officers disqualified from employment pursuant to N.J.A.C. 4A:2-2.3(a)(3) which was the regulation used to terminate Plaintiff's employment. (Pl.'s Br. in Supp. of Mot. at 2). Specifically, the subpoena seeks the testimony and production of:

1) Preliminary Notices of Disciplinary Action charging NJAC 4A:2-2.3(a)(3) - Inability to perform Job Duties issued by Middlesex County and/or Middlesex County Sheriff's Office; and
2) Final Notices of Disciplinary Action charging NJAC 4A: 2-2.3(a)(3) - Middlesex County.

(See Docket Entry No. 20-2)

         Plaintiff does not present any argument in support of her motion to compel compliance with the subpoena, but merely cites to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 45 and 26(b), the latter of which permits discovery of any non-privileged material “relevant to the claim or defense of any party. (Id. at 3).[2]

         Pamela Ullman (“Ms. Ullman”), Deputy Attorney General in the Division of Law, Department of Law and Public Safety, State of New Jersey submitted a certification stating that she has been assigned the responsibility of handling the subpoena on behalf of the Commission and its Custodian of Records. (Ullman Certification ¶1). Ms. Ullman states in the email attachment to her certification that the Commission files cannot be searched to list them by disciplinary action. (Ms. Ullman's 10/26/17 email to Donald Burke; Docket Entry No. 23-7). Ms. Ullman explains the process that the Commission would have to go through to obtain the requested information:

“The [Commission] does not maintain a central repository of PNDAs [Preliminary Notice of Disciplinary Action] and FNDAs [Final Notice of Disciplinary Action] that have been submitted by appointing authorities. These records, when they are received from the agencies, are added to the employee's personnel file in the Electronic Document Image Tracking System (EDITS) system. A single employee EDITS file can include any number of pages, depending on the employee's length of service and the number of personnel actions in the employee's history. The subpoena is not limited to a particular individual, County department and/or time frame. According to CAMPS records, there are over 2, 000 active Middlesex County employees, and over 8, 000 inactive County employees since 2004. In order to determine if PNDAs or FNDAs exist for these employees, staff would need to run a CAMPS report of approximately 10, 000 employees and then I believe they can run a search for those which have disciplinary action involved. They would then have to manually enter each of these employees' names into EDITS, and then search through each employee's EDITS file to determine whether a PNDA or FNDA exists because EDITS cannot be electronically queried to ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.