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Jason S. Planck v. Schenectady County

June 1, 2012

JASON S. PLANCK, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SCHENECTADY COUNTY, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Glenn T. Suddaby, United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM-DECISION and ORDER

Currently pending before the Court, in this pro se civil rights action filed by Jason S. Planck ("Plaintiff") against Schenectady County and fifteen of its legislators ("Defendants"), are the following four motions: (1) Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration of the Court's Decision and Order of February 29, 2012, denying his motion for a temporary restraining order (Dkt. No. 10); (2) Plaintiff's motion for a report from the Court regarding the status of his motion for reconsideration (Dkt. No. 30); (3) Plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction (Dkt. No. 4); and (4) Defendants' cross-motion to dismiss Plaintiffs' Complaint (Dkt. No. 17). For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiffs' three motions are denied; and Defendants' cross-motion is granted.

I. RELEVANT BACKGROUND

A. Plaintiff's Claims

Generally, when construed with the utmost of special liberality, Plaintiff's Complaint asserts three civil rights claims against Defendants--one claim asserting a violation of Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and two claims asserting violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act--arising from Schenectady County's ("the County") approval of a project labor agreement (to construct a new nursing home) that permits the hiring of only unionized construction workers, thus discriminating against qualified nonunionized construction workers with disabilities. (See generally Dkt. No. 1.) Because this Decision and Order is intended primarily for the review of the parties, and because Defendants (in their memorandum of law) accurately describe the claims and factual allegations asserted in Plaintiff's Complaint, the Court will not describe those claims and factual allegations in detail in this Decision and Order. Rather, the Court will refer the reader to pages 1 through 3 of Defendants' memorandum of law and paragraphs 2 through 4, and 7 through 44, of Plaintiff's Complaint. (Dkt. No. 17, Attach. 11, at 6-8 [attaching pages "1" through "3" of Defs.' Memo. of Law]; Dkt. No. 1, at ¶¶ 2-4, 7-44.)

B. Briefing on the Parties' Motions

Because the parties have demonstrated in their memoranda of law an adequate understanding of the legal arguments asserted in each other's motions, the Court need not, and does not, describe in detail those arguments in this Decision and Order. Rather, the Court will simply make two points.

First, generally, in their cross-motion to dismiss, Defendants assert the following three arguments: (1) Plaintiff's Complaint should be dismissed under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1), because (a) the Court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff's challenge to the County's project labor agreement (which must be presented by Plaintiff in an Article 78 proceeding in state court), and (b) Plaintiff, who is not a qualified construction worker but merely a taxpayer, lacks standing to challenge the County's approval of the project labor agreement; (2) in the alternative, Plaintiff's Complaint should be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), because Plaintiff has failed to allege facts plausibly suggesting the elements of a claim under either Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or the Americans with Disabilities Act (particularly the element requiring that he be a qualified individual with a disability); and (3) in the alternative, Plaintiff's claims against the legislative Defendants should be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), because, based on Plaintiff's own factual allegations, those claims are either duplicative of Plaintiff's claims against the County or barred as a matter of law by the doctrine of legislative immunity. (Dkt. No. 17, Attach. 11, at 8-22 [attaching pages "3" through "17" of Defs.' Memo. of Law].)

Second, in this District, when a party files a dispositive motion (such as a motion for a preliminary injunction),*fn1 that party is not entitled to file a surreply. N.D.N.Y. L.R. 7.1(b)(1). Furthermore, when a party files a nondispositive motion (such as a motion for reconsideration), that party is not even entitled to file a reply, without prior leave of the Court. N.D.N.Y. L.R. 7.1(b)(2). Finally, when a party files a cross-motion (such as a cross-motion to dismiss), that party is not entitled to file a reply on its cross-motion without prior leave of the Court. N.D.N.Y. L.R. 7.1(c). Even if it were permitted to file a reply, that reply may address only the party's own cross-motion, and not the opponent's original motion; otherwise, the "reply" would, in part, constitute a surreply.*fn2 Here, the parties have violated each of these rules, in addition to violating several filing deadlines. (Dkt. Nos. 23, 25, 31, 32; see also Text Notices filed March 9, 2012, and Apr. 2, 2012.)*fn3 As a result, the submissions contained in Docket Numbers 23, 25, 31 and 32 will not be considered by the Court. The Court would add only that, even if it were to consider the submissions, that consideration would not change the outcome of this Decision and Order.

II. ANALYSIS

A. Motion for Reconsideration

Generally, there are only three grounds upon which a district court may justifiably reconsider its previous ruling: (1) an intervening change in controlling law, (2) new evidence, or (3) a demonstrated need to correct a clear error of law or to prevent manifest injustice. U.S. v. Sanchez, 35 F.3d 673, 677 (2d Cir. 1994), cert. denied, 514, U.S. 1038 (1995).

Here, after carefully considering the matter, Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration is denied for each of the numerous reasons offered by Defendants in their memorandum of law:

Plaintiff has not satisfied the above-described standard. (Dkt. No. 17, Attach. 11, at 15-18 [attaching pages "10" through "13" of Defs.' Memo. of Law].)

The Court would add two alternative grounds for the denial of Plaintiff's motion. First, Plaintiff's motion is unsupported by a memorandum of law that is separate and apart from an affidavit, in violation of Local Rule 7.1. The Court notes that an affidavit may not contain legal argument. N.D.N.Y. L.R. 7.1(a)(2). Second, Plaintiff's motion is moot in that it seeks an order restraining Defendants from acting between a discrete time period (i.e., the time of the Court's decision on Plaintiff's motion a temporary restraining order and the time of the ...


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