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Shah v. New York State Department of Civil Service

United States District Court, S.D. New York

July 17, 2014

BHUPENDRA K. SHAH, Plaintiff,
v.
NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL SERVICE, NEW YORK STATE OFFICE OF MENTAL HEALTH, NATHAN KLINE INSTITUTE FOR PSYCHIATRIC RESEARCH, Defendants.

OPINION & ORDER

ROBERT P. PATTERSON, Jr., District Judge.

On April 4, 2014, Bhupendra K. Shah ("Plaintiff"), pro se, submitted a motion for an order pursuant to Rules 60(b)(6) and 60(d)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for relief from the final judgment in this action. (See Br. in Supp. of Rule 60(d)(3) or 60(b)(6) or 60(b)(6) and 60(d)(3) Mot. for Relief from J. ("Pl.'s Br."), ECF No. 152.) Defendants New York State Department of Civil Service ("DCS"), New York State Office of Mental Health ("OMH"), and the Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research ("NKI") (collectively, the "Defendants") submitted a memorandum of law in opposition to the Plaintiff's motion on May 23, 2014, by their attorney Eric T. Schneiderman, Attorney General of the State of New York. (Defs.' Mem. of Law in Opp'n to Pl.'s Mot. for Relief from J. ("Opp'n Mem."), ECF No. 165.) The Plaintiff submitted a reply memorandum of law on May 30, 2014. (Reply Mem. of Law ("Pl.'s Reply"), ECF No. 166.)[1]

For the following reasons, the Plaintiff's motion is DENIED.

I. Factual Background[2]

The Plaintiff in this action, a nonwhite male, was a Research Scientist at NKI from 1973, until he was laid off from that position in 1983 as part of a massive layoff at NKI. Shah v. New York State Dep't of Civil Service, No. 94-CV-9193 (RPP), 2001 WL 839986, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. July 25, 2001). The Plaintiff applied for a position with OMH in 1989, and in 1990, he learned that he had not been hired to fill that position. Id . On February 22, 1990, the Plaintiff filed a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights, claiming that the Defendants' failure to hire him in 1990 constituted employment discrimination. Id . The Plaintiff has since continued to pursue numerous actions against the Defendants, related to his being denied various positions on the basis of his national origin. (Opp'n Mem. at 3 n.1 (listing cases).)

The Plaintiff commenced the action at issue here by complaint in December 1994, pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq. ("Title VII"); Shah, 2001 WL 839986, at *1. He served and filed a first amended complaint on January 13, 1995 (Opp'n Mem. at 3), and a second amended complaint on March 2, 1995. Shah, 2001 WL 839986, at *1. The Defendants moved to dismiss the second amended complaint, and on January 16, 1996, the Court granted, in part, and denied, in part, the Defendants' motion to dismiss. Id . Specifically, the Court denied the Defendants' motion to dismiss the Plaintiff's claim that OMH had discriminated against him on the basis of race and national origin in rejecting his application for the Director of Quality Assurance position in 1990 and dismissed the Plaintiff's remaining claims with prejudice. Id.

The Defendants then moved for summary judgment to dismiss the Plaintiff's remaining claim. Id . The Court granted the Defendants' motion on December 9, 1997. Id . The Plaintiff appealed to the Second Circuit, and on February 19, 1999, the Second Circuit affirmed the judgment in part and vacated the District Court's judgment as to certain claims for retaliation, remanding the matter for further proceedings on the retaliation claims. Id.

On remand, discovery was reopened to provide the Plaintiff with information and documents concerning NKI's employment practices and hiring. Id. at *2. On November 9, 2000, the Defendants moved for summary judgment seeking dismissal of the Plaintiff's retaliation claims. Id . The motion for summary judgment was granted on July 24, 2001, see id. at *13, and affirmed on appeal, on June 30, 2009. Shah v. New York State Dep't of Civil Service, 341 F.Appx. 670 (2d Cir. 2009).[3]

The Plaintiff's present motion seeks relief from the judgment dismissing his claims, pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 60(b)(6) and 60(d)(3), arguing that the Defendants obtained the earlier judgment by misleading and committing fraud on the Court. Primarily, the Plaintiff argues that the Defendants were untruthful in claiming that no Research Scientist was hired at NKI in 1991, as an employee named Helen Scharfman was hired that year. (Pl.'s Br. at 2.) The Plaintiff argues that, by concealing this information, the Defendants harmed the integrity of the judicial process. (Id. at 11.) He argues that the Defendants caused him "extreme and undue hardships" because the Plaintiff's wife experienced health problems, allegedly "because of the [P]laintiff's employment problem with NKI from the last thirty years." (Id.)

The Plaintiff bases his allegations regarding Ms. Scharfman on a response to a Freedom of Information Law ("FOIL") request that he made in January 2014. (Pl.'s Br. Ex. 1) The response identifies Ms. Scharfman as a Research Scientist who was originally hired on May 2, 1991. However, although Ms. Scharfman is currently an NKI employee, she did not become an NKI employee until December 2006. (Jeffrey M. Braude Aff. in Opposition ("Braude Aff.") Ex. A, ECF No. 164.) In 1991, Ms. Scharfman was hired to work at the Helen Hayes Rehabilitation Hospital, a facility operated by the New York State Department of Health, not named as a defendant in this lawsuit. (Braude Aff. ¶ 4.)

In his reply brief, the Plaintiff makes similar arguments to those made in his initial brief and some new arguments, alleging that the Defendants made false statements under oath and misled the Court in various other ways. (Pl.'s Reply.) For example, the Plaintiff alleges that the Defendants falsely stated that Dr. Josef Vitrai, a research scientist hired by NKI in 1993, had qualifications that the Plaintiff lacked. (Id. at 8-9, 12.)

II. Legal Standard

The Plaintiff is proceeding pro se, so the Court will construe his submissions liberally "to raise the strongest arguments that they suggest." Diaz v. United States , 517 F.3d 608, 613 (2d Cir. 2008) (citation omitted). The Plaintiff contends that, pursuant to Rules 60(b) and 60(d) of the Federal ...


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