United States District Court, D. New Jersey
DENNIS J. HERNON, Plaintiff,
JENNIFER WEBB-MCRAE, individually and in her official capacity as Cumberland County Prosecutor, and CUMBERLAND COUNTY PROSECUTORS OFFICE, Defendants.
E. RICHARDSON THE VIGILANTE LAW FIRM On behalf of Plaintiff
MICHAEL BARKER VANESSA ELAINE JAMES BARKER, GELFAND &
JAMES LINWOOD GREENE On behalf of Defendants
L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
before the Court is the motion of Defendants for summary
judgment on Plaintiff's claims that he was discriminated
and retaliated against during his employment with the
Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office
(“CCPO”). For the reasons expressed below,
Defendants' motion will be granted.
Dennis J. Hernon, began working for the Cumberland County
Prosecutor's Office on August 20, 2007 as an Assistant
Prosecutor. For seven years prior to his employment with
CCPO, Plaintiff was a full-time active duty member of the
United States Army. On August 25, 2009, Plaintiff was
commissioned as a First Lieutenant in the Army Reserves. Over
the next twelve years, Plaintiff's employment with CCPO
was interspersed with several military assignments: May 5,
2010 to June 18, 2010; January 2011 to October 2012; July
2013 to June 2014; and August 2016 to August 2017.
alleges that he was discriminated and retaliated against at
CCPO by the Cumberland County Prosecutor, Defendant Jennifer
Webb-McRae, because of his military service. Plaintiff has
asserted claims for violations of the Uniformed Services
Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), 38 U.S.C.
§ 4311(a), and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination
(NJLAD), N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 et seq. Defendants have moved for
summary judgment. Plaintiff has opposed Defendants'
Subject matter jurisdiction
Court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1331 because Plaintiff brings claims arising under
federal law. The Court has supplemental jurisdiction over
Plaintiff's state law claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
Summary judgment standard
judgment is appropriate where the Court is satisfied that the
materials in the record, including depositions, documents,
electronically stored information, affidavits or
declarations, stipulations, admissions, or interrogatory
answers, demonstrate 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(a).
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).
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