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Manigaulte v. C.W. Post of Long Island University

September 15, 2009

JOHN CARLO MANIGAULTE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
C.W. POST OF LONG ISLAND UNIVERSITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Seybert, District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

On November 25, 2008, Plaintiff John Carlo Manigaulte ("Plaintiff") filed a motion to amend his Complaint for the second time. By Order dated March 16, 2009, the Court denied Plaintiff's motion to appoint counsel and referred Plaintiff's motion to amend the Complaint to Magistrate Judge William D. Wall. Judge Wall submitted his Report and Recommendation ("R&R") on August 17, 2009. For the reasons that follow, the Court ADOPTS the R&R in its entirety. For the reasons that follow, Plaintiff's motion to amend is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff was employed by Long Island University ("LIU") as an adjunct professor from September 1999 through September 2006. (Docket Entry ("DE") 41.) In 2006, Defendant LIU did not renew Plaintiff's appointment, and on November 13, 2006, he filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") alleging discrimination based on disability. (DE 6 at page 29, DE 41.) On March 10, 2008, the EEOC dismissed the complaint. On May 7, 2008, Plaintiff filed his pro se Complaint in this Court, seeking relief pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq. (1994) ("Title VII"), and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. § 12101(e), et seq. ("ADA").

Shortly thereafter, Plaintiff filed motions for appointment of counsel and to proceed in forma pauperis. In an Order dated May 28, 2008, this Court granted Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, denied without prejudice Plaintiff's motion to appoint counsel, dismissed with prejudice Plaintiff's Complaint against the individually named Defendants, and dismissed Plaintiff's Title VII claim against Defendant C.W. Post with leave to amend. On June 30, 2008, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint and renewed his request for counsel in his "Amended Motion for Appointment of Counsel." Subsequently, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint and his Amended Motion for Appointment of Counsel. In an Order dated, September 30, 2008 ("September 2008 Order"), the Court found that Plaintiff sufficiently alleged an ADA claim against Defendant C.W. Post and DENIED his motion to appoint counsel.

On November 25, 2008, Plaintiff filed his latest motion to amend. Plaintiff now seeks to further amend his Amended Complaint to include three additional claims: "[(1)] that LIU's required First Year Composition ("FYC") program openly discriminates against persons with learning disabilities in that two supervisors of the program have refused to even briefly consider the ways in which their "required program" might be modified by them or by others to assist learning-disabled persons, [(2)] that when Plaintiff brought to his supervisors' attention the discriminatory effects of the FYC programs' pedagogical requirements and classroom practices, they retaliated by terminating the Plaintiff's employment, and [(3)] that an employer cannot discharge an employee when such discharge is contrary to a clear mandate of public policy." (DE 28.) This Court referred the motion to Judge Wall, who later issued an R&R.

As part of the R&R, Judge Wall warned that any objections were to be filed with the Clerk of the Court within ten days of service of the R&R. Within the required time-period, Defendant submitted objections to the R&R. That same day, Plaintiff submitted his "Objections and Consents" to the R&R.*fn1

DISCUSSION

I. Standard for Evaluating Reports and Recommendations of Magistrate Judge

"When evaluating the report and recommendation of a magistrate judge, the district court may adopt those portions of the report to which no objections have been made and which are not facially erroneous." Walker v. Vaughan, 216 F. Supp. 2d 290, 291 (S.D.N.Y. 2002) (citation omitted). However, if a party serves and files specific, written objections to a magistrate's report and recommendation within ten days of receiving the recommended disposition, see FED. R. CIV. P. 72(b), the district "court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings and recommendations made by the magistrate judge." 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1)(C); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b). When a party raises an objection to a magistrate judge's report, "the court is required to conduct a de novo review of the contested sections." See Pizarro v. Bartlett, 776 F. Supp. 815, 817 (S.D.N.Y. 1991). However, "[w]hen a party makes only conclusory or general objections, or simply reiterates his original arguments, the Court reviews the Report and Recommendation only for clear error." Barratt, 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3453, at *2 (citations omitted).

II. Rule 15(a): Leave to Amend

A. Factors to be Considered

As a general matter, courts must "read the pleadings of a pro se plaintiff liberally and interpret them to raise the strongest arguments that they suggest." Corcoran v. New York Power Auth., 202 F.3d 530, 536 (2d Cir. 1999) (quotations omitted). Additionally, Rule 15(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides, in pertinent part, that "a party may amend [its] pleading . . . by leave of court," and that "leave shall be freely given when justice so requires." Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a). Notwithstanding these liberal standards, the decision to grant or deny a party's motion for leave to amend "is within the sound discretion of the district court . . . ." Zahra v. Town of Southold, 48 F.3d 674, 685 (2d Cir. 1995) (citing John Hancock Mut. Life Ins. Co. v. Amerford Int'l Corp., 22 F.3d 458, 462 (2d Cir. 1994)). Under Rule 15(a), a court may deny leave to amend when the non-moving party can show "'undue delay, bad faith, futility of the amendment, and . . . prejudice.'" Aetna Cas. & Sur. Co. v. Aniero ...


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