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Roth v. Farmingdale Public School District

United States District Court, E.D. New York

January 30, 2017

Jeff S. Roth, Plaintiff,
Farmingdale Public School District, Defendant.

          Plaintiff is proceeding pro se

          Defendant is represented by Susan M. Gibson and Julie A. Torrey of Ingerman Smith, LLP



         Jeff S. Roth (“Roth” or “plaintiff”), proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed a Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”) against the Farmingdale Union Free School District[1] (“District” or “defendant”) on March 28, 2016, alleging that the District violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (“ADEA”), 29 U.S.C. §§ 621 et seq.; the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12112 et seq.; and the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. Plaintiff also asserts various New York State law claims. Specifically, plaintiff alleges that defendant discriminated and retaliated against him by failing to hire him, and that defendant violated plaintiff’s rights to Free Speech and Due Process. Plaintiff also claims that defendant slandered him and violated New York’s Open Meetings Law and Freedom of Information Law.

         By Memorandum and Order dated February 26, 2016 (the “Memorandum and Order”), the Court granted in part and denied in part defendant’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint (“FAC”). Roth v. Farmingdale Pub. Sch. Dist., No. 14-CV-6668 (JFB) (ARL), 2016 WL 767986 (E.D.N.Y. Feb. 26, 2016). The Court found that: (1) plaintiff’s Title VII and ADA claims alleging discrimination were barred for failure to exhaust administrative remedies; (2) plaintiff’s ADEA claim was barred by the statute of limitations; and (3) plaintiff failed to state a cause of action with respect to his Title VII retaliation claim. Id. at *1. However, in an abundance of caution, the Court granted plaintiff leave to re-plead those claims. Id. The Court specifically directed plaintiff to provide grounds for equitable tolling and to allege how the events and incidents described in the FAC were taken on the basis of plaintiff’s protected status under Title VII, the ADEA, and the ADA, such that a plausible discrimination or retaliation claim exists. Id. The Court also dismissed the state slander claim, but granted plaintiff leave to re-plead so as to allege the time, place, and manner of the purportedly false statements, as well as to whom the statements were made. Id. Finally, the Court denied defendant’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s First and Fourteenth Amendment claims after concluding that plaintiff had stated plausible causes of action.[2] Id. at *9-11.

         Plaintiff subsequently filed the SAC, and defendant now moves for summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure on the following grounds: (1) plaintiff failed to re-plead his Title VII, ADEA, ADA, and slander claims; (2) plaintiff failed to exhaust his Title VII and ADA discrimination claims; (3) plaintiff’s ADEA claim is (a) barred by the statute of limitations or, alternatively, (b) fails to state a claim; (4) plaintiff failed to state a Title VII retaliation claim; (5) plaintiff failed to state a First Amendment claim; (6) plaintiff failed to state a Fourteenth Amendment Due Process claim; and (7) plaintiff failed to state his New York State law claims.[3]

         For the reasons set forth below, defendant’s motion is granted. As a threshold matter, the Court determines that plaintiff failed to comply with the Memorandum and Order because he has not sufficiently demonstrated, either in the SAC or in his opposition to the instant motion, that equitable tolling exempts his Title VII, ADEA, and ADA discrimination claims from the exhaustion and limitations bars to justiciability. In addition, the Court determines that there are no material issues of fact that support plaintiff’s Title VII retaliation claim, or his Free Speech and Due Process claims. Finally, the Court, in its discretion, declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over plaintiff’s New York claims and dismisses them without prejudice to refiling in state court.

         I. Background

         A. Facts

         The following facts are taken from defendant’s Rule 56.1 statement[4] (“Def.’s 56.1,” ECF No. 74), as well as the parties’ affidavits and exhibits. Unless otherwise noted, the facts are either undisputed or uncontroverted by admissible evidence. Upon consideration of the motion for summary judgment, the Court shall construe the facts in the light most favorable to plaintiff as the nonmoving party, and will resolve all factual ambiguities in his favor. See Capobianco v. New York, 422 F.3d 47, 50 n.1 (2d Cir. 2001).

         1. Plaintiff’s Employment Application with the District

          In 2010, plaintiff applied for a provisional Audio Visual Technician position with the District, a job that required minimum qualifications established by the Nassau County Civil Service Commission. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶¶ 1-2; Aff. of Susan M. Gibson (“Gibson Aff.”), ECF No. 72, Ex. LL.) Plaintiff was initially interviewed by Barbara Pandolfo (“Pandolfo”), Jeffrey Pritzker (“Pritzker”), and Glen Zakian (“Zakian”), and he had a second-round interview with Pritzker. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 3.) After the interview process was complete, Pandolfo, Pritzker and Zakian recommended that another candidate, Joseph Hassett (“Hassett”), be appointed to the provisional position of Audio Visual Technician. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 4.) Pandolfo, Pritzker, and Zakian have attested that they did not know of or consider plaintiff’s age, marital status, or arrest record when making their recommendation.[5] (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 4; Gibson Aff. Exs. MM, NN, OO.)

         Shortly thereafter, in or about 2011, a Civil Service Examination was administered to fill permanently the District Audio Visual Technician position, and both plaintiff and Hassett applied. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 6; Gibson Aff. Ex. LL.) Following the examination, Hassett finished tied for seventh out of the fourteen applicants, and plaintiff finished tied for twelfth. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 10.) The District offered a probationary appointment for the position of Audio Visual Technician to Hassett, who accepted and was appointed on or about October 13, 2011. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶¶ 12-13; Gibson Aff. Ex. LL.)

         2. Plaintiff’s 2007-2013 Interactions with District Employees and Board of Education Members

         Plaintiff became a member of the District Facilities Advisory Committee in or about 2007 and began attending District Board of Education meetings in 2011. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶¶ 15-16.) In May 2012, plaintiff had a meeting with then-District Board of Education President Shari Bardash-Eivers (“Bardash-Eivers”) and other Board of Education trustees at the Farmingdale Public Library, where they discussed audiovisual and information technology issues in the District. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 17; Gibson Aff. Ex. PP.) On or about May 16, 2013, Bardash-Eivers received an email from a District employee informing her that plaintiff had appeared at the District High School during a student music rehearsal and asked students and District employees questions about ideas for new technology and equipment. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 19; Gibson Aff. Ex. PP.) Shortly thereafter, plaintiff attempted to enter the High School auditorium during a student concert, and when security personnel told plaintiff to leave, he refused. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶¶ 20-21; Gibson Aff. Exs. I, PP.)

         On or about May 23, 2013, District Superintendent of Schools John Lorentz (“Lorentz”) sent plaintiff a letter directing plaintiff to send all communications to the District to Lorentz’s office. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 22; Gibson Aff. Ex. BB.) The purpose of that correspondence was “to address concerns . . . regarding representations made by [plaintiff], [plaintiff’s] interactions with students and staff, and [plaintiff’s] presence in District schools.” (Gibson Aff. Ex. BB.) The letter stated that it was “not [Lorentz’s] intention to create an adversarial relationship with [plaintiff]” or to “interfer[e] with [plaintiff’s] right to discuss issues at Board meetings,” but said that plaintiff’s “actions ha[d] resulted in complaints and appear[ed] to be in derogation of law,” and that it was “important that [plaintiff] recognize the[se] concerns [because] [f]ailure to comply with these directives may result in legal action.” (Id.)

         Nevertheless, on or about May 29, 2013, plaintiff entered an invitation-only Student Award Ceremony to which he had not been invited and was asked to leave. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 23; Gibson Aff. Exs. W, QQ.) On or about May 30, 2013, plaintiff left three voicemails on District Board of Education Member Michael Goldberg’s (“Goldberg”) personal cell phone, and at the end of the second voicemail, plaintiff said: “[G]ive me a call when you have a chance, don’t be on a gag order from the District that’s retarded.” (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 24; Gibson Aff. Ex. R). In the third voicemail, plaintiff told Goldberg about the May 23, 2013 letter from Lorentz, but asked if Goldberg would continue speaking with plaintiff despite Lorentz’s direction that plaintiff only communicate with the District via Lorentz’s office. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 25.)

         Subsequently, on or about June 14, 2013, plaintiff approached Bardash-Eivers at a post office to discuss the reasons why he should have received the position of Audio Visual Technician in 2010. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 26; Gibson Aff. Ex. I.) Plaintiff told Bardash-Eivers that Lorentz was “condescending and cocky and ha[d] it out for” plaintiff, and that “Lorentz need[ed] to go sooner than later.” (Id.) Following that interaction, Bardash-Eivers filed a police report concerning plaintiff. (Id.) Further, on or about June 17, 2013, Bardash-Eivers responded to an e-mail plaintiff had sent her and instructed him to avoid personal contact with her and other District Board Members. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 27; Gibson Aff. Exs. I, CC.) In addition, after plaintiff sent a letter to Lorentz and the District Board of Education regarding that email exchange, Bardash-Eivers sent a letter to plaintiff on or about July 3, 2013 stating that his “communications with [her] and District staff ha[d] become increasingly combative”; that plaintiff had “personally confronted [Bardash-Eivers] in a combative manner, which [she] found to be unwarranted and upsetting”; and that “all [future] communications from [plaintiff] must be transmitted through the Superintendent or his office.” (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 28; Gibson Aff. Exs. I, DD.)

         Notwithstanding this directive, plaintiff left Bardash-Eivers a voicemail on or about July 9, 2013. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 29; Gibson Aff. Ex. I.) Bardash-Eivers attested that plaintiff said that he had received her July 3, 2013 letter and that he

[was] going to end this little character assassination, questioning [his] intentions, because [his] intentions [were] to improve [District] schools for when [his] children get into [District] schools . . . [T]his character assassination and black propaganda and all this other nonsense, there w[ould] be a meeting of the minds that happens to diffuse this situation . . . [T]hat [was] a fact because [plaintiff’s] family and [his] network and [his] invisible network within the community [were] tired of it . . . .

         (Gibson Aff. Ex. I.) That same day, plaintiff also sent a letter to Lorentz and the District Board of Education accusing the District of “retaliating” against him. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 30; Gibson Aff. Ex. W). On or about July 10, 2013, Bardash-Eivers sent another letter to plaintiff again instructing him to no longer contact District Board of Education members personally, and to only make inquiries through Lorentz’s office. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 31; Gibson Aff. Exs. I, EE.) However, on July 11, 2013, plaintiff left a voicemail on Goldberg’s cell phone stating that he was not “going to be allowing this type of black propaganda and/or character assassination” to continue. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 32; Gibson Aff. Ex. R.) Plaintiff also said that his “invisible network” had supported Goldberg in the last District Board of Education election, and that he would “knock out” some other members during the next election. (Id.) The next day, plaintiff left another voicemail for Goldberg saying that he was “done with the idiocracy” and had run out of patience. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 33; Gibson Aff. Ex. R.)

         On or about August 22, 2013, Plaintiff sent an e-mail to Goldberg and District Board of Education Vice President John Capobianco (“Capobianco”) stating that he had received a phone call from a representative of the New York State Board of Education,[6] who said that plaintiff’s emails to District Board Members were harassing. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 35; Gibson Aff. Exs. K, R.) On or about August 28, 2013, plaintiff told a Security Aide at a District Board of Education meeting that Plaintiff had a problem with Lorentz. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 36; Gibson Aff. Ex. Y.)

         Further, on or about September 3, 2013, plaintiff called Lorentz’s secretary several times, and she subsequently filed a police report. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 38; Gibson Aff. Ex. J.) The next day, District Assistant Superintendent of Business Paul Defendini (“Defendini”) reported plaintiff’s behavior to Nassau County Police Officer Paul Lamonaca. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 39; Gibson Aff. Ex. M.) In that letter, Defendini said that “the [D]istrict had] grown increasingly concerned over the past year regarding a resident. There ha[d] been numerous interactions between this resident, Jeffrey Roth, and Board of Education trustees, Administrators, teachers, security aides and secretaries,” and it was the District’s “contention that [plaintiff] pose[d] a threat to [its] students and employees.” (Gibson Aff. Ex. M.) On or about September 18, 2013, plaintiff attended a public District Board of Education meeting, and other participants complained about his behavior. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 41; Gibson Aff. Exs. I, K, R, V.) Bardash-Eivers attested that, during that meeting, plaintiff was disruptive and said that he “ha[d] been coming to meetings for five years busting balls” and “was going to knock Lorentz’s teeth out.” (Def.’s 56.1 ¶¶ 41-42; Gibson Aff. Ex. I.)[7]

         On or about September 27, 2013, plaintiff approached District employee Joseph Glascott (“Glascott”), and after Glascott informed Defendini of that interaction, Defendini filed a police report. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 43; Gibson Aff. Ex. M.) Subsequently, on or October 8, 2013, plaintiff left several voicemails for Capobianco and sent an e-mail to Capobianco and Goldberg. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶¶ 46-48; Gibson Aff. Exs. K, R.) A few weeks later, plaintiff left another voicemail for Goldberg stating that he had performed an unaccompanied security inspection of the District High School. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 50; Gibson Aff. Ex. R.) In addition, on or about October 22, 2013, plaintiff attended a District Parent Teacher Association (“PTA”) meeting, where he made references to the Columbine and Sandy Hook school shootings, leading to complaints from other meeting participants. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 51; Gibson Aff. Ex. N.)

         Further, on or about November 8, 2013, plaintiff entered the custodial office of the District High School and had an altercation with the custodial staff. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 54; Gibson Aff. Ex. O.) The next day, plaintiff appeared at Capobianco’s private residence and told Capobianco’s brother that the District was “all screwed up.” (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 55; Gibson Aff. Ex. K.) That same day, plaintiff also entered the District High School during a student music rehearsal and was asked to leave. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 56; Gibson Aff. Ex. M.)

         Following these incidents, Lorentz sent plaintiff a letter on or about November 14, 2013 regarding his visits to District property. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 57; Gibson Aff. Ex. FF.) That letter advised plaintiff that

per the District’s Code of Conduct, [plaintiff was] prohibited from entering any District school building and/or area unless [he had] an appointment with an Administrator, a staff member, or [was] attending a meeting or event which [was] open to the public. . . . [I]n the event [plaintiff] enter[ed] and/or remain[ed] in school buildings or areas without authorization, [plaintiff] may be considered a trespasser and law enforcement authorities may be called upon to intervene.

         (Gibson Aff. Ex. FF.) However, on or about November 25, 2013, plaintiff entered the District’s Howitt Middle School and demanded a meeting with Lorentz. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 59; Gibson Aff. Ex. L.) Lorentz and Defendini met with plaintiff, who asked that the District accept a donation from him and his “imaginary network” and hire him as an employee. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 60; Gibson Aff. Exs. M, W.)

         As a result of these interactions with District administrators, employees, and Board of Education Members, the District reported plaintiff’s behavior to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) in or about 2013, and the FBI began to monitor plaintiff. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶¶ 62-63; Gibson Aff. Ex. Z.) FBI Special Agent Steven Troy (“Special Agent Troy”) attended at least three District Board of Education meetings during the 2014-2015 school year and attested that plaintiff “displayed threatening, intimidating and incongruous behavior.” (Gibson Aff. Ex. Z.) Special Agent Troy observed that plaintiff “paced about the room, loudly shouted and attempted to incite others against the Board of Education,” and plaintiff “also entered school buildings without authorization, when school was not in session, with no children of his own in attendance and no scheduled business, and photographed the building’s infrastructure.” (Id.) Special Agent Troy attested that “[b]ased upon [plaintiff’s] conduct, the FBI recommended that the District set boundaries with regard to [plaintiff’s] behavior,” and he “recommended the District warn [plaintiff] of the consequences for failing to comply with the boundaries set by the District and/or its rules and regulations (e.g. ban [plaintiff] from District property) and if [plaintiff] failed to comply, follow through with the consequences.” (Id.)

         3. Plaintiff’s New York State Human Rights Complaint

         On December 16, 2013, plaintiff filed a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights (“DHR”) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) alleging that he was denied an employment opportunity with the District because of his age, arrest record, and marital status.[8] (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 95; Gibson Aff. Ex. A.) Specifically, plaintiff alleged that (1) he was “was arrested in 1996 for a DUI,” and “[b]ecause of this, [he had] been subjected to unlawful discriminatory actions”; (2) “[b]ased on information and belief, a younger and less qualified person was hired” for the District Audio Visual Technician position; and (3) Bardash-Eivers “made a comment about [plaintiff’s] age and marital status” during a May 2012 meeting. (Gibson Aff. Ex. A.)

         On June 6, 2014, the DHR dismissed plaintiff’s complaint in its entirety for lack of probable cause. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 100; Gibson Aff. Ex. B.) The EEOC adopted the findings of the DHR on September 2, 2014 and sent plaintiff a “Right to Sue” letter. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 101; Gibson Aff. Ex. B.)

         4. Plaintiff’s Post-DHR Complaint Interactions with District Employees and Board of Education Members

          In January, March, June, and July 2014, plaintiff left several voicemails for Capobianco regarding, inter alia, recent school shootings, his DHR complaint, and plaintiff’s visits to District property. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶¶ 64-67, 69-73; Gibson Aff. Ex. K.) On or about April 10, 2014, plaintiff called Defendini’s secretary and told her that he wanted to “bust [Lorentz’s] bald head.” (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 68; Gibson Aff. Ex. Q.) Further, on or about July 27, 2014, plaintiff showed up at Capobianco’s private residence to discuss District-related security issues. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 74; Gibson Aff. Ex. K.)

         In response to this behavior, Lorentz sent plaintiff a letter on or about August 19, 2014 stating that if plaintiff continued “to threaten staff, confront, harass or annoy Board Members, and fail[ed] to comply with the District’s Code of Conduct, the Board may be compelled to take action against [plaintiff], e.g. prohibiting [plaintiff] from entering any of the District’s buildings or grounds of such buildings for a period of time . . . .” (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 75; Gibson Aff. Ex. GG.) Subsequently, on or about August 20, 2014, Lorentz and Defendini contacted plaintiff to discuss plaintiff’s communications with District staff, and during that conversation, plaintiff said that “you don’t know what I’m capable of”; “you will hear the lion roar”; and “you will feel the wrath of Roth.” (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 76; Gibson Aff. Exs. M, W.) As a result of plaintiff’s statements, the District evacuated its Administration Building and filed a police report. (Id.)

         On or about August 26, 2014, plaintiff left Lorentz a voicemail stating that he had lost his temper after receiving the August 19, 2014 letter. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 77; Gibson Aff. Ex. W.) The next day, plaintiff attended a District Board of Education meeting and told Lorentz that “God [was] trying to send [Lorentz] a message.” (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 78; Gibson Aff. Ex. W.) As a result, the District sent plaintiff a letter dated September 18, 2014, informing him that he was prohibited from entering District property and having contact with District personnel and Board of Education Members for one month, and advising plaintiff that failure to comply would require the District to treat plaintiff as a trespasser and notify law enforcement. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 81; Gibson Aff. Ex. HH.)

         Despite this ban, plaintiff attended a Board of Education meeting on District property on or about October 8, 2014, and on or about October 27, 2014, plaintiff entered Howitt Middle School. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶¶ 82-83; Gibson Aff. Ex. O.) Consequently, by letter dated November 7, 2014, the District again prohibited plaintiff from entering District property and having contact with District personnel and Board of Education Members for three months.[9] (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 85; Gibson Aff. Ex. II.)

         In March 2015, plaintiff attended another District Board of Education meeting and sent an e-mail to all Board Members. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶¶ 87-88; Gibson Aff. Exs. I, K, R, V, W, Z.) As a result, on or about March 11, 2015, the District sent plaintiff a third letter prohibiting him entering District property and having contact with District personnel and Board of Education Members until June 30, 2016. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 89; Gibson Aff. Ex. JJ.) However, on or about April 14, 2015, plaintiff left Lorentz four voicemails stating that plaintiff was going to “show up to the Board meeting” and “send Lorentz out to lunch permanently if he didn’t call [plaintiff] back . . . .” (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 90; Gibson Aff. Ex. W.) Further, on or about June 28, 2015, plaintiff was arrested for trespassing at Howitt Middle School. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 93; Gibson Aff. Exs. M, W.)

         Because of these incidents, Lorentz asked the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office to secure a temporary order of protection, which was issued on July 13, 2015 by the Honorable Judge Harris of the Nassau County District Court. (Def.’s 56.1 ¶ 94; Gibson Aff. Exs. W, KK.)

         5. Plaintiff’s Facts

         As discussed supra note 4, plaintiff’s 56.1 rebuttal does not comport with Local Civil Rule 56.1 and does not cite any underlying evidence. Moreover, many of plaintiff’s responses are argumentative, rather than factual, in nature. Nevertheless, the Court has reviewed the materials plaintiff submitted in opposition to the instant motion and briefly summarizes them below.

         Plaintiff’s omnibus opposition consists of unorganized newspaper articles that concern, inter alia, technology issues in the District, salaries for New York state school district superintendents, and various investigations into Long Island school districts. (Pl.’s Opp’n at 25-55.) In addition, plaintiff has submitted the July 29, 2015 supporting deposition of Vincent Calasso (“Calasso”) given to the Nassau County Police Department, which states that Calasso encountered plaintiff on June 28, 2015 at around 7:15 p.m. at Howitt Middle School, where Calasso worked as a security guard. (Id. at 57.) Calasso said that he advised plaintiff to leave the property immediately. (Id.) Plaintiff has further submitted largely illegible PowerPoint presentation slides that appear to pertain to various District projects (id. at 59-108); minutes from an August 31, 2016 District Board of Education meeting (id. at 111-110); and various letters plaintiff sent to District officials (id. at 121-137). Finally, plaintiff’s opposition includes affidavits and accompanying exhibits submitted to the DHR in response to plaintiff’s complaint. (Id. at 138-217.)

         B. Procedural History

         Plaintiff commenced this action on November 10, 2014 (ECF No. 1) and filed the FAC on July 8, 2015 (ECF No. 25). Defendant filed a motion to dismiss the FAC on August 12, 2015 (ECF No. 28), which the Court granted in part and denied in part on February 26, 2016 (ECF No. 49). The Court also gave plaintiff leave to re-plead those claims that it had dismissed, and plaintiff filed the SAC on March 28, 2016. (ECF No. 60.)

         On August 4, 2016, defendant moved for summary judgment. (ECF No. 71.) Plaintiff filed his opposition on September 3, 2016 (ECF No. 80), and the District filed its reply on September 26, 2016 (ECF No. 82). The Court has carefully considered the parties’ submissions.

         II. Standard of Review

          The standard for summary judgment is well-settled. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a), a court may grant a motion for summary judgment only if “the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a); see also Gonzalez v. City of Schenectady, 728 F.3d 149, 154 (2d Cir. 2013). The moving party bears the burden of showing that ...

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