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CAMACHO v. BRANDON

October 15, 1999

MARTIN CAMACHO, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SYMRA D. BRANDON, INDIVIDUALLY, GORDON BURROWS, INDIVIDUALLY, JOHN SPENCER, INDIVIDUALLY, AND THE CITY OF YONKERS, NEW YORK, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: William C. Conner, Senior District Judge.

OPINION AND ORDER

In an Opinion and Order dated July 16, 1999, we denied in part and granted in part defendants' joint motion for summary judgment dismissing the action pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56. We assume familiarity with that opinion.

BACKGROUND

By way of brief summary, Martin Camacho ("plaintiff") was a full-time Senior Aide to the City Council for the City of Yonkers. Plaintiff performed work for all of the city council members, but, because plaintiff spoke Spanish, he worked mainly for Councilman Fernando Fuentes, an Hispanic councilman who represented a predominantly Hispanic district. Plaintiff alleges that the individual defendants (Councilwoman Symra D. Brandon, Councilman Gordon Burrows and Mayor John Spencer) were involved in a political dispute with Fuentes. Plaintiff further alleges that defendants repeatedly threatened him that if Fuentes continued to speak and vote in opposition to their political objectives, they would fire plaintiff. Because Fuentes is a duly elected councilman and cannot be fired, plaintiff claims that defendants sought to influence Fuentes by threatening to fire plaintiff, a strategem designed to take advantage of the fact that Fuentes relied on plaintiff's work and was personally friendly with him. Plaintiff claims that to punish Fuentes for voting against them, the defendants eventually acted on their threat, firing plaintiff a mere twelve hours after a disputed vote in which Fuentes clashed with the individual defendants.

DISCUSSION

I. Defendants' Failure to Adhere to the Local Rules of This
  Court

We again note that, in violation of the Court's local rules, the defendants failed to file any Rule 56.1 Statement in support of their original motion. Local Civil Rule 56.1 states in relevant part:

  (a) Upon any motion for summary judgment pursuant to
  Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
  there shall be annexed to the notice of motion a
  separate, short and concise statement of the material
  facts as to which the moving party contends there is
  no genuine issue to be tried. Failure to submit such
  a statement may constitute grounds for denial of the
  motion.

Local Rule 56.1(a).

"It is well established that if a party fails to object or respond to the factual assertions in an opposing party's 3(g) [now 56.1] Statement, those factual assertions will be deemed true." Titan Indem. Co. v. Triborough Bridge & Tunnel Auth., Inc., 135 F.3d 831, 835 (2d Cir. 1998); see also Fernandez v. DeLeno, ___ F. Supp.2d ___, ___ (S.D.N.Y. 1999). For this reason alone, the motion for reconsideration should be denied.

Defendants attempted to cure their error by submitting a Rule 56.1 Statement in conjunction with their motion for reconsideration. Any attempt to submit a Rule 56.1 Statement at this juncture, after the Court issued a lengthy opinion on their original motion, comes too late. Local Rule 56.1 would be utterly useless if, after failing to comply with the local rules, and failing to prevail on their motion, the erring parties could cure their mistake by submitting the Statement as part of a motion for reconsideration.

Defendants also have failed to comply with the spirit of Local Civil Rule 6.3, which requires a party seeking to move for reconsideration to serve its motion within ten days after the docketing of the court's determination of the original motion. Although the Court's Opinion and Order was dated July 16, 1999, and each of the defendants received the opinion on that date, because it was not filed until July 19, we will treat the ten-day period technically as having begun on July 19. Thus, defendants were required to serve their motion for reconsideration by Monday, August 2.*fn2 However, defendants apparently took no action until they delivered a letter to this Court on Thursday, July 29 requesting permission for a pre-motion conference in order to move for reconsideration. This left only two working days for the Court to schedule the conference, and for defendants to prepare and serve their motion. Service of the ...


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