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William Smith v. St. John's University

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK


July 6, 2011

WILLIAM SMITH, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ST. JOHN'S UNIVERSITY, DENISE VENCAK-TONER, IN HER INDIVIDUAL AND OFFICIAL CAPACITY,
THOMAS LAWRENCE, IN HIS INDIVIDUAL AND OFFICIAL CAPACITY, CYNTHIA PICO-SIMPSON,*FN1 IN HER INDIVIDUAL AND OFFICIAL CAPACITY, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: John Gleeson, United States District Judge:

ORDER

In this action plaintiff William Smith alleges race-based discrimination against his employer, defendant St. John's University (the "School"), and three of its employees, defendants Denise Vencak-Toner, Thomas Lawrence, and Cynthia Fico-Simpson (together, "defendants"), in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VI"), 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq.; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.; 42 U.S.C. § 1981; and the New York State Human Rights Law ("NYSHRL"), N.Y. Exec. L. § 296 et seq.

Defendants have moved to dismiss Smith's Title VI claim, arguing that federal money is not implicated in Smith's employment and that therefore Title VI does not apply to him. Defendants further argue that the Title VII claim cannot be brought against individual defendants, but only against the School itself. Finally, defendants argue that the NYSHRL claim is time-barred. Plaintiff opposed the motion, and I heard oral argument on July 1, 2011. For the reasons discussed on the record at oral argument and memorialized below, the motion is denied.

First, as stipulated by the parties on the record at oral argument, in order to cure the pleading deficiency in the Title VI claim, Paragraph 80 of the complaint is deemed amended to read as follows: "Defendant ST. JOHN'S receives federal financial assistance directly related to plaintiff's employment." Second, Plaintiff has clarified in his papers and on the record that his claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., is brought only against St. John's University and not against individual defendants. Third, Plaintiff has withdrawn his claims under the New York State Human Rights Law, N.Y. Exec. L. § 296 et seq.

Thus the motion to dismiss the state claim is granted on consent. The motion to dismiss the federal claims as against the individual defendants is denied as moot. The motion to dismiss the Title VI claims as against the School is denied.

So ordered.

John Gleeson, U.S.D.J.


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