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Allen v. County of Nassau

United States District Court, E.D. New York

March 10, 2015

SHEILA ALLEN, Plaintiff,

Sheila Allen, Plaintiff, Pro se, Bellerose, NY.

Plaintiff, Pro se.

For Bridgette Hand and Joe Visconti, Defendants: Karen J. Underwood, Office of the Town Attorney, Town of Oyster Bay, Oyster Bay, NY.

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JOSEPH F. BIANCO, United States District Judge.

Pro se plaintiff Sheila Allen (" plaintiff" ) brings this action against defendants Brigid Hand (" Hand" ) and Joseph Visconti (" Visconti," and collectively with Hand, " defendants" ), alleging a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 (" Section 1981" ) for racial discrimination. Allen alleges defendants failed to honor her contract with the Nassau County Department of Social Services (the " DSS" ) to provide educational services because she is African American. Plaintiff's Section 1981 claim is her sole remaining claim against any defendant, after the Court dismissed a number of claims and defendants in its March 21, 2011 Memorandum and Order adopting the Report and Recommendation from Magistrate Judge Arlene Lindsay, which granted in part and denied in part the motions to dismiss by defendants Thomas Suozzi (" Suozzi" ), Mary Curtis (" Curtis" ), Kathleen Rice (" Rice" ), John Venditto (" Venditto" ), John Imhof (" Imhof" ), the Town of Oyster Bay (the " Town" ), the Nassau County Executive Office, the Nassau County District Attorney's Office, the DSS, the County of Nassau,[1] Hand, and Visconti. The Section 1981 claim against Hand and Visconti was the one remaining viable claim after the March 21, 2011 Order.

Before the Court now is Hand and Visconti's motion for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56. For the reasons that follow, the motion is granted. Even construing the evidence most favorably to plaintiff as the nonmoving party, the Court finds that plaintiff has not established any genuine issues of material fact with respect to her claim of racial discrimination. Specifically, Allen has failed to present non-conclusory evidence from which a reasonable jury could find that defendants were motivated by discriminatory intent when they investigated complaints of misconduct at plaintiff's school and did not renew her contract.

Therefore, plaintiff's sole remaining claim is dismissed.

I. Background

A. Facts

The following facts are taken from the parties' affidavits, exhibits, and respective Local Rule 56.1 statements of facts.[2]

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Upon consideration of a motion for summary judgment, the Court construes the facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. See, e.g., Capobianco v. City of New York, 422 F.3d 47, 50 n.1 (2d Cir. 2005). Unless otherwise noted, where a party's Rule 56.1 statement is cited, that fact is undisputed, or the opposing party has not pointed to any evidence in the record to contradict it.

In 2004, plaintiff owned and operated a private school, New Life Business Institute (" NLBI" ). (Defs. 56.1 ¶ 1; Pl. Mem. at 2.) On November 1, 2004, Allen and NLBI entered into a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (" TANF" ) Training Agreement (the " Agreement" ) with the Town. (Defs. 56.1 ¶ 1, Ex. 1; Pl. Mem. at 2.) Under the Agreement, NLBI agreed to provide employment training and career development services to individuals specified by the Town's Department of Intergovernmental Affairs Division of Employment Training (" DET" ). (Defs. 56.1 ¶ 1, Ex. 1; Pl. Mem. at 2.) The Agreement was to run from November 1, 2004, through June 30, 2006. (Defs. 56.1 ¶ 1, Ex. 1; Pl. Mem. at 2.)

The DET entered into the Agreement under the auspices of its contractual relationship with the DSS, whereby the DSS awarded grants to the DET to procure career development services, employment training, and adult occupation education programs. (Defs. 56.1 ¶ 2, Ex. 2; Pl. Mem. at 2.) DET's procurement of plaintiff's school as a training provider was done pursuant to the provisions of the federal grant program known as the Workforce Investment Act (" WIA" ); the related Workforce Investment Board (" WIB" ) provided a Comprehensive Three-Year " Local Plan" to the DET that laid out guidelines for how DET could choose service providers, and how to monitor the programming and performance at the providers. (Defs. 56.1 ¶ ¶ 4-5, Exs. 4, 5; Pl. Mem. at 2-3.) The " Monitoring and Oversight Policy" provided by the WIB to the DET was applicable to classroom training vendor agreements such as the one between the DET and plaintiff's school. (Defs. 56.1 ¶ 5, Ex. 5; Pl. Mem. at 3.) The policy stated, in relevant part, that:

Formal monitoring visits are made to investigate problems that are detected as a result of counseling visits. If no problems are uncovered as a result of monthly counseling visits, training institutions are monitored one time per year. Prior to each formal monitoring visit, the monitor will determine that the school in compliance with contract requirements has submitted progress reports, problem reports, time sheets, placement, and termination information. During the site review, the monitor will complete the MONITORING REPORT, which contains information regarding areas of compliance and noncompliance, as well as corrective action taken by the training agency. Specifically, participant records will be reviewed to verify participant's period of participation, attendance, counseling matters, as well as information supporting choice of training and participant's progress.

( Defs. 56.1 ...

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