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HAMILTON v. NEW YORK STATE DEPT. OF MENTAL HYGIENE

December 5, 1994

HOPE J. HAMILTON, Plaintiff,
v.
NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HYGIENE, COMMISSIONER OF MENTAL HEALTH & COMMISSIONER OF MENTAL RETARDATION & DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES, NEW YORK STATE OFFICE OF MENTAL HEALTH, COMMISSIONER OF MENTAL HEALTH, NEW YORK STATE OFFICE OF MENTAL RETARDATION & DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES, COMMISSIONER OF MENTAL RETARDATION & DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES, BUFFALO PSYCHIATRIC CENTER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF BUFFALO PSYCHIATRIC CENTER, ROBERT A. COFFEY, HOWARD SAGER, STEVEN M. COBB, NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL SERVICE, PRESIDENT OF STATE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, NEW YORK STATE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF AUDIT & CONTROL, NEW YORK STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM, and, NEW YORK STATE COMPTROLLER, Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: LESLIE G. FOSCHIO

 JURISDICTION

 BACKGROUND

 Plaintiff, Hope J. Hamilton, filed this action on February 6, 1992, alleging four causes of action based on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., ("Title VII"); the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq., ("ADEA"); 42 U.S.C. § 1983; and the New York State Human Rights Law, Executive Law § 296. Specifically, Plaintiff claims that her employment position with Defendant Buffalo Psychiatric Center was eliminated, and that she was demoted and placed in a lesser position at the West Seneca Developmental Center, because of her age and gender.

 On April 6, 1992, Defendants New York State Department of Civil Service, New York State Civil Service Commission, President of New York State Department of Civil Service, New York State Department of Audit and Control, New York State Comptroller, New York State Employees' Retirement System, New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, and Commissioner of New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities filed a motion to dismiss the complaint against them, and/or for summary judgment, on the ground that the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted as none of these Defendants had any personal involvement with regard to the disputed employment practices at issue in this case. Rather, Defendants contend that these particular Defendants, designated by Plaintiff as "remedial defendants," were only named as parties to this action for the purpose of enforcing any possible judgment if Plaintiff is successful in her lawsuit, and that, as such, they are not necessary parties as any judgment would be enforced without their presence.

 On July 23, 1992, Plaintiff filed a response to Defendants' motion, claiming that these Defendants were necessary parties as there was no guarantee that, if Plaintiff is successful, these Defendants would enforce a judgment requiring Plaintiff's reinstatement to her former position, and for back pay and benefits.

 Oral argument on the motion was heard on September 3, 1992.

 For the reasons as set forth below, Defendants' motion to dismiss, and/or, for summary judgment, should be GRANTED.

 FACTS

 Plaintiff began her employment with Defendant Buffalo Psychiatric Center ("BPC") on May 19, 1982. *fn1" At the time of the commencement of her employment, Plaintiff, a female, was sixty-one years of age. On November 17, 1983, Plaintiff was appointed to the position of Senior Mechanical Stores Clerk, which was classified as a Grade 9 position.

 On February 10, 1986, Defendant Steven M. Cobb became Plaintiff's supervisor. According to Plaintiff, Cobb began discriminating against her in various ways, including harassing her and subjecting her to excessive criticism which was not directed towards the younger male employees, making unfounded complaints concerning Plaintiff's work, insulting Plaintiff in her presence, assigning Plaintiff to menial tasks and refusing to allow her to assume job responsibilities which coincided with her position, requiring Plaintiff to lift heavy objects without assistance, and giving performance evaluations which were false and malicious. Plaintiff complained repeatedly, through personal conferences, and by the filing of grievances, to Defendants N.Y.S. Department of Mental Hygiene, N.Y.S. Office of Mental Health, and the BPC, through the BPC's affirmative action administrator and through Defendants Robert Coffey, the Director of BPC's Facility Administrative Services, and Howard Sager, the BPC Plant Superintendent. However, Plaintiff claims that these Defendants did nothing to alleviate the situation, and failed to take any action relative to her grievances.

 In April, 1989, the BPC determined that it was necessary to layoff thirty employees from the BPC, and instructed management to recommend employees for termination. According to Plaintiff, Cobb recommended that Plaintiff be terminated from her employment. Thereafter, on July 3, 1990, Plaintiff's position was targeted for layoff. On December 26, 1990, BPC circulated a memorandum regarding a Retirement Incentive Program, and notified the employees targeted for layoff that retirement applications were to be filed on January 20, 1991, with retirement to be effective on February 20, 1991. Plaintiff did not file a retirement application. Thereafter, on January 30, 1991, Plaintiff was notified that her employment with BPC was to be terminated as of February 20, 1991.

 On February 21, 1991, Plaintiff was transferred to the position of Stores Clerk 1 at the West Seneca Developmental Center, a facility operated by the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities. This position carried a Grade level of 6, with a ...


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