United States District Court, E.D. New York
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
Bagley Amon, United States District Judge
Anna-Maria Thomas brings this employment discrimination case
against her former employer and some of her former
supervisors and colleagues (collectively,
"Defendants"). This Memorandum & Order
addresses (1) Thomas's motion for reconsideration of a
March 29, 2013 decision dismissing certain claims and (2)
Defendants' motion to dismiss the action on
failure-to-prosecute grounds. For the reasons described
below, the Court denies both motions.
brought this employment discrimination action on February 3,
2010, (D.E. #1), which was assigned to the late Honorable
Sandra L. Townes, United States District Judge, (D.E. dated
Feb. 5, 2010). On January 11, 2013, after briefing had
completed on Defendants' motion to dismiss, Thomas sought
a stay of this action so that she could fire her attorney and
retain new counsel. (D.E. # 30.) Judge Townes granted in part
Thomas's application to stay the case for 30 days to
enable Thomas to seek new counsel, but stated that she
planned to adjudicate Defendants' motion to dismiss in
the interim. (D.E. # 31 at 2.)
March 29, 2013, Judge Townes granted in part and denied in
part Defendants' motion to dismiss the Complaint under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) ("Motion to
Dismiss Ruling"). (D.E. # 33 ("Mot. to Dismiss
Ruling") at 43-44.) After Judge Townes issued that
ruling, Thomas, proceeding pro se, sought and was
granted two extensions of time to seek reconsideration. (D.E.
# 36, 38.) Thomas sought another extension on May 17, 2013,
(D.E. # 39), and, on June 28, 2013, wrote a letter requesting
a court order related to Thomas's legal representation,
(D.E. # 40). The case then went dormant for almost four
March 20, 2017, Judge Townes issued an Order to Show Cause
why this case should not be dismissed for failure to
prosecute. (D.E. #41.) Thomas, finally represented by
counsel, eventually responded to the Order to Show Cause by
Plaintiffs delay in prosecuting her case stemmed from a
protracted acrimonious relationship with her prior counsel.
In June 2013, Plaintiff terminated her relationship with her
attorneys and Plaintiff attempted to pursue the matter
pro se, but she found much difficulty in researching
the law and truly grasping the complexity of her case to move
forward. Additionally, Plaintiff was assaulted by a student
during her tenure with the Department of Education. The
injury from that assault caused her to suffer from many
physical ailments. The injuries took a toll on her both
physically and mentally. At some point in 2014, Plaintiff had
no choice but to focus on her health as much as she could.
Plaintiff attempted to retain counsel to handle her case but
the task was extremely overwhelming in light of her health
and the costs to hire counsel. It was not until May 2017 that
Plaintiff was able to retain the services of The Charrington
Firm, PC to represent her in this matter. In fact, Plaintiff
has yet to receive her entire file from prior counsel and may
need an Order from this Court to obtain it.
days later, Judge Townes scheduled a status conference. (D.E.
dated July 10, 2017; D.E. dated July 12, 2017.) At the July
27, 2017 status conference, Judge Townes granted Thomas leave
to move for reconsideration of the Motion to Dismiss Ruling.
Thereafter, on August 2, 2017, Judge Townes issued an Order
clarifying her initial Motion to Dismiss Ruling. (D.E. # 48.)
August 14, 2017, Thomas moved for
reconsideration. (D.E. # 49-1 ("Reconsideration
Mot.").) Defendants oppose the motion and seek dismissal
for failure to prosecute under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 41(b). (D.E. # 50 ("Defs. Opp.").) In
reply, Thomas filed an affidavit in her name and an
affirmation signed by her attorney. (D.E. # 52.) On February
21, 2018, this case was reassigned to this Court.
Thomas's Motion for Reconsideration
seeks reconsideration of the Motion to Dismiss Ruling on two
grounds, both related to her claims of age discrimination.
First, she challenges Judge Townes's ruling that she had
inadequately pled a § 1983 claim for age discrimination
in violation of the Equal Protection Clause. (Reconsideration
Mot. at 8-10.) Second, she challenges Judge ...