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STRINE v. MARION CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT

August 18, 2003

STEVE STRINE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MARION CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT, SODUS CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT, DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: David Larimer, Chief Judge, District

DECISION AND ORDER

Plaintiff, Steve Strine, appearing pro se, commenced this discrimination action on January 22, 2003, against two defendants: Marion Central Schools ("Marion") and Sodus Central Schools ("Sodus"). Marion has moved to dismiss the complaint, or in the alternative for summary judgment, under Rules 12 and 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Sodus has moved to dismiss the complaint under Rules 12(b) and 8(a)(2), or in the alternative for a more definite statement under Rule 12(e).

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff's form complaint provides very little information about the nature of plaintiff's claim. He alleges that he was first employed by defendants (he does not specify which one) in [ Page 2]

January 2000, and that the first alleged discriminatory act occurred on October 19, 2000. He states that "many [discriminatory acts] have happened since [then] — 11/15/2000, 10/17/02, 10/21/02 just to mention a few." Complaint ¶ 6.

The complaint alleges that the type of discriminatory action alleged by plaintiff is the failure to employ him. Plaintiff also alleges "false accusations against [him] — defamation of character, loss of work." Complaint ¶ 13.

In the portion of the complaint where plaintiff was asked to check whether his claim is brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq.; or the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.; however, plaintiff failed to check anything. Similarly, when asked to check whether he alleged that defendants' conduct was discriminatory with respect to his race, sex, age, or other categories, plaintiff checked none of those. Under a heading instructing plaintiff to state the facts of his case, plaintiff wrote nothing.

About the only items shedding any light onto the nature of plaintiff's claims are certain documents attached to the complaint. The first of these is a copy of his right-to-sue letter from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). In the letter, the EEOC investigator stated, "You have stated that you believe you were discriminated against because of your age/65 in that you were never interviewed for a substitute teacher position." Presumably, then, plaintiff is alleging age discrimination in this action as well.

The right-to-sue letter also indicates that plaintiff's administrative charge was brought only against Sodus. The caption of the letter refers to plaintiff's charge as "Steve Strine v. Sodus Central [ Page 3]

School District." It also refers throughout to "Respondent," i.e., the singular form of the word. And, as one of the reasons for the EEOC's conclusion that no violation had occurred, the letter states that plaintiff's "former employer, Marion Central School District, maintains that [plaintiff] was discharged from [his] job" due to certain misconduct. Although this suggests that the EEOC may have been in contact with Marion during its investigation, or that it may have reviewed documents relating to plaintiff's former employment at Marion, it does not indicate that Marion was named as a respondent in plaintiff's charge.

Plaintiff has also submitted some correspondence between him and defendants. In brief, these indicate that plaintiff left his employment at Marion in July 2000, and that shortly thereafter he applied to be listed as substitute teacher with Sodus. As the right-to-sue letter indicates, however, plaintiff was apparently never interviewed or offered a position at Sodus. An October 2002 letter to plaintiff from the principal of Sodus High School states that the principal was "not interested in interviewing [plaintiff] or recommending that [he] substitute teach in the High School." The principal declined to state his reasons for that decision.

DISCUSSION

I. Marion's Motion

Marion moves for summary judgment*fn1 on the ground that plaintiff never ...


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