The opinion of the court was delivered by: Motley, Judge
Plaintiff Keith Hamilton brings this action under the Americans with
Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.; the
Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 701-798; the Due Process and Equal
Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment (through
42 U.S.C. § 1983); and New York state contract law.
Before the court is defendants' motion for summary judgment pursuant to
Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For the reasons stated
in this opinion, summary judgment is granted to defendants as to all the
federal claims. As for the state law cause of action, the court declines
to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over that claim, and it is
therefore dismissed without prejudice.
Plaintiff Keith Hamilton suffers from dyslexia, a neurobiological
learning disability that can substantially interfere with an otherwise
normally intelligent person's ability to acquire speech, reading, or
other cognitive skills. The parties do not dispute that dyslexia is a
disability under the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act. While Mr. Hamilton
was enrolled in the engineering program at defendant City College of the
City University of New York, one of his math instructors, defendant
Phi-Sheng Ding, allegedly failed to reasonably accommodate Mr. Hamilton's
disability. Besides the College and Professor Ding, the other named
defendants are Professor J. Barshay (chair of the Department of
Mathematics) and Professor Alberto Guzman (assistant chair of the
Department). Plaintiff has apparently joined Professors Barshay and
Guzman in this action under a theory of respondeat superior.
The complaint does not list specific causes action. It merely states:
"Defendant's [sic] actions violate the ADA, 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et
seq.; the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 701-798 (1985); the Due
Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment of the
Constitution of the United States; and 42 U.S.C. § 1983." Compl.
¶ 23. Paragraph 24 of the Complaint adds an allegation that City
College "breached its contractual agreement to provide reasonable
accommodations for students," thereby "violat[ing] . . . state contract
law." Mr. Hamilton seeks $3 million in general damages and pain and
suffering as well as $10 million in punitive damages for willful and
1. Extra time on exams (double time is recommended).
2. Use of a calculator when needed.
3. Use of a dictionary and/or a computer (word
processer [sic]) for written work.
4. Flexibility about assignment deadlines.
Id. The letter went on to state that "Mr. Hamilton understands that
he/she is expected to complete all assignments and meet the regular
standards for passing the course." Id. The letter also refers Mr.
Hamilton's professors to a manual prepared by the Office, "Reasonable
Accommodations: A Faculty Guide to Teaching College Students with
Disabilities." See Ding Aff. Ex. B. That manual states, in pertinent
part, "[t]he objective of [special accommodations or ...