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Camhi v. Glen Cove City School Dist.

United States District Court, E.D. New York

January 7, 2013

Dr. Shari CAMHI, Petitioner-Plaintiff,
v.
GLEN COVE CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT, the Board of Education of the Glen Cove City School District (

Page 307

Jerome H. Ehrlich, Attorney at Law, PLLC, by: Jerome H. Ehrlich, Esq., of Counsel, Garden City, NY, Solotoff & Solotoff, Esqs., by: Lawrence Solotoff, Esq., of Counsel, Great Neck, NY, for Plaintiff.

Sokoloff Stern LLP, by: Steven C. Stern, Esq., & Susan Hull Odessky, Esq., Of Counsel, Carle Place, NY, for Defendants.

ORDER

SPATT, District Judge.

On or about December 4, 2011, the Plaintiff Dr. Shari Camhi (" the Plaintiff" ) commenced this action against the Defendants Glen Cove City School District; the Board of Education for the Glen Cove City School District; Richard Maccarone, individually and as President and a Member for the Board; David Huggins, individually and as Vice President and a Member of the Board; and Ida McQuair, Gail Nedbor-Gross, Barie Dratch, Joel Sunshine and Grady Farnan, each individually and as members of the Board of Education of the Glen Cove City School District (collectively, " the Defendants" ) in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Nassau. The Plaintiff, an Assistant Superintendent of the Glen Cove City School District, brings a hybrid matter consisting of a special proceeding pursuant to New York's Civil Practice Law and Rules (" CPLR" ) Article 78 together with a plenary cause of action under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988. The Plaintiff alleges that the Defendants' violated her Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment due process rights and her rights under the New York State Education Law (" Education Law" ) when the Defendants adopted a resolution revoking a previous grant of tenure.

On February 13, 2012, the Defendants filed a notice of removal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b) on the ground that, because

Page 308

the Plaintiff alleged a § 1983 claim, the case fell within the Court's federal question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331.

Two motions are presently before the Court. First, the Plaintiff moves the Court to remand her Article 78 and breach of contract claims to the state court, but to retain jurisdiction over her federal plenary claim. Second, the Defendants move to dismiss the Plaintiff's Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (" Fed. R. Civ. P." ) 12(b)(6). For the reasons set forth below, the Defendant's motion to dismiss the Plaintiff's federal due process claim is granted and the Plaintiff's remaining state law claims are remanded.

I. BACKGROUND

The following facts are derived from the Plaintiff's Amended Verified Petition with Plenary Causes of Action, filed on December 4, 2011. In the resolution of the Defendant's motion to dismiss, the facts are construed in the light most favorable to the Plaintiff.

The Glen Cove City School District is a city school district with less than 125,000 inhabitants. On or about June 6, 2005, the Defendant Board of Education for the Glen Cove City School District (" the Board" ) appointed the Plaintiff to the position of " Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Technology" for the Defendant Glen Cove City School District (" the School District" ). (Pet., ¶ 12.) In connection with this appointment, the Plaintiff received an " Administrative Probationary Appointment Notice," dated June 6, 2005, from the Board indicating that the Plaintiff had been appointed for a period beginning July 1, 2005 and ending June 30, 2008. ( See Pet., Exh. A.)

On or about September 19, 2005, the Board's then president, on behalf of the School District, executed a " Revised Employment Contract" with the Plaintiff. The 2005 Revised Employment Contract concerned the " terms and conditions of employment between the ... School District and [the Plaintiff]" and listed " all of the [ ] benefits that exist[ed] between the parties" at that time. (Pet., Exh. B.) These listed benefits included, in relevant part, " [a] three-year probationary appointment effective July 1, 2005." (Pet., Exh. B.) According to the Revised Employment Contract, " [c]hanges in these benefits must be mutually agreed upon by the parties." (Pet., Exh. B.)

On or about June 19, 2006, the Board unanimously approved a revised employment contract for the Plaintiff. Like the 2005 Revised Employment Contract, the 2006 Revised Employment Contract concerned the " terms and conditions of employment between the ... School District and [the Plaintiff]" and listed " all of the [ ] benefits that existed [ ] between the parties" at that time. (Pet., Exh. D.) Again, the listed benefits included, in relevant part, " [a] three-year probationary appointment, effective July 1, 2005." (Pet., Exh. D.) The 2006 Revised Employment Contract stated that it " shall take effect July 1, 2006 and shall remain in effect until terminated or modified by the parties hereto." (Pet., Exh. D.)

On or about July 23, 2007, a third " Revised Employment Contract," effective July 1, 2007, was executed by the Board's then president and the Plaintiff. The 2007 Revised Employment Contract contained the same above-mentioned provisions as the previous Revised Employment Contracts and also listed " [a] three-year probationary appointment, effective July 1, 2005" as one of the Plaintiff's benefits. (Pet., Exh. E.)

On January 28, 2008, the Board held a meeting at which it approved tenure for the Plaintiff for the position of Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction

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and Technology. The Plaintiff's tenure was effective as of July 1, 2008. ( See Pet., Exh. F.)

Thereafter, on or about September 22, 2008, the Board and the Plaintiff executed a fourth " Revised Employment Contract," which was retroactively effective as of July 1, 2008. Similar to the other Revised Employment Contracts, the 2008 Revised Employment Contract " include[d] all of the [ ] benefits that exist between the parties" and indicated that " [c]hanges to these benefits must be mutually agreed upon by the parties." (Pet., Exh. G.) However, the 2008 Revised ...


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