United States District Court, D. Connecticut
PAUL F. MEYERS, Plaintiff,
CHRISTINA KISHIMOTO, NATASHA DURANT, JENNIFER ALLEN, KEVIN MCCASKILL, MILLY RAMOS, JANET SERANNO, CITY OF HARTFORD, and JILL CUTLER HODGMAN, Defendants.
RULING ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY
CHARLES S. HAIGHT, JR. SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Paul F. Meyers brings this action against Defendant the City
of Hartford and various individuals (collectively,
"Individual Defendants"). Plaintiff alleges that he
was improperly terminated as a physical education teacher at
the Simpson Waverly School in Hartford, CT.
Plaintiff asserts 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claims against the
Individual Defendants in their official and individual
capacities based on violations of Plaintiff's Fourteenth
Amendment rights (Count One),  a state law negligent infliction
of emotional distress claim against Defendants (Count Two), a
state law intentional infliction of emotional distress claim
against Defendants (Count Three), 42 U.S.C. § 1983
claims against the City of Hartford based on violations of
Plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment rights (Count Four), a
state law claim pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-557n
against the City of Hartford based on the negligence of its
employees (Count Five), a state law indemnification claim
pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 7-465 against to the City
of Hartford based on the actions of its employees (Count
Six), and aiding and abetting state law claims against
Defendants (Count Seven). Defendants move for summary
judgment as to all of Plaintiff's claims. This Ruling
resolves that motion.
following facts are derived from the parties' submissions
pursuant to D. Conn. Local Rule 56(a) (referred to herein as
"Defs. Local Rule 56(a)(1) Statement, " "Pl.
Local Rule 56(a)(2) Statement, " and "Pl. Statement
of Disputed Facts"); uncontroverted deposition
testimony; and the exhibits attached to the parties'
respective memoranda of law (respectively, "Defs.
Ex." and "Pl. Ex."). Docs. 37, 41, 45, and 48.
The facts recounted in this Part are undisputed or
indisputable. All reasonable inferences have been drawn in
Plaintiff's favor. The relevant period of time is from
April 2013 to February 2014.
in this action are the City of Hartford, Christina Kishimoto,
Kevin McCaskill, Jill Cutler Hodgman, Milly Ramos, Natasha
Durrant, Janet Serrano, and Jennifer Allen. Each of the
Individual Defendants was employed by the Hartford Board of
Education ("HBOE"). Christina Kishimoto was the
Superintendent during the relevant period. See Pl.
Ex. 10 (Deposition of Defendant McCaskill ("McCaskill
Dep.")) at 11:15-17. Kevin McCaskill was the Director of
School Design, and for the 2012-13 school year, he was also a
Director of Secondary Schools. Id. at 10:13-24. He
reported to the Chief Operating Officer of Hartford Public
Schools, Dr. Donald Slater, during that period. Id.
at 9:9-14. His job was "reform work, " which he
described as giving the schools a thematic approach to their
curriculum and to their personnel and professional
development. Id. at 9:20-10:1.
Cutler Hodgman was the Chief Labor and Legal Officer for the
HBOE during the relevant time period. Pl. Local Rule 56(a)(2)
Statement ¶ 39. In that capacity, she was responsible for
the termination of employees of the HBOE pursuant to Conn.
Gen. Stat. § 10-151 and the placement of employees on
administrative leaves of absences during pending
investigations. Id. ¶¶ 40-41. Milly Ramos
was a Labor Relations Specialist who reported directly to
Defendant Hodgman. Id. ¶ 33. She worked on a
regular basis with the Connecticut Department of Children and
Families ("DCF"), coordinating investigations with
DCF, and investigating employee misconduct for the HBOE. Pl.
Ex. 9 (Deposition of Defendant Hodgman ("Hodgman
Dep.")) at 31:3-32:9. Natasha Durrant was the Executive
Director of Human Resources for the HBOE. Pl. Local Rule
56(a)(2) Statement ¶ 45. Janet Serrano was a Staffing
Specialist for the HBOE, but was not the assigned specialist
for Plaintiff's school, Simpson Waverly, during the
relevant time period. Id. ¶¶ 36-37.
Jennifer Allen was the Chief Talent Officer for the Office of
Talent Management during the relevant period. See
Am. Cmplt. (Doc. 30) ¶ 10; Pl. Ex. 10 (McCaskill Dep.)
was a physical education teacher at Simpson Waverly School in
Hartford, CT and had been employed by the Hartford schools
since 1998. See Pl. Local Rule 56(a)(2) Statement
¶ 1; Defs. Ex. 1. Plaintiff had a five-year
certification from the State of Connecticut to teach Physical
Education, Pre-K through Grade 12 that expired on October 24,
2013. Defs. Ex. 2. On April 25, 2013, Plaintiff was involved
in an incident with a disruptive student at Simpson Waverly
during a physical education class. Pl. Local Rule 56(a)(2)
Statement ¶ 4; Pl. Ex. 6 at 2-4. An anonymous complaint
was thereafter filed with DCF against Plaintiff. Pl. Local
Rule 56(a)(2) Statement ¶ 5. Plaintiff was placed on
paid administrative leave during the investigation, effective
May 7, 2013. Pl. Local Rule 56(a)(2) Statement ¶ 6;
Defs. Ex. 3. Initial efforts to take a required investigatory
interview with Plaintiff regarding the incident were
unsuccessful. See Defs. Ex. 20. Defendant Ramos sent
a letter rescheduling the interview, reiterating that it is
was mandatory and stating that failure to attend "may
result in disciplinary consequences and unpaid leave."
completing the investigation, in or around late August 2013,
DCF substantiated a finding of physical abuse and neglect
against Plaintiff and placed Plaintiff on DCF's central
registry. See Pl. Ex. 5 (Affidavit of Paul F. Meyers
("Meyers Aff.")) ¶¶ 15-17; Pl. Ex. 6 at
1. Shortly thereafter, on September 12, 2013, Plaintiff was
informed that termination of his employment was under
consideration by letter from Defendant Kishimoto. Pl. Local
Rule 56(a)(2) Statement ¶ 12; Defs. Ex. 7.
Plaintiff's union counsel followed up with Defendant
Kishimoto by letter requesting a statement of reasons for
Plaintiff's termination. Pl. Ex. 5 (Meyers Aff.) ¶
38. After Plaintiff received this statement, Plaintiff's
union counsel requested a hearing pursuant to Conn. Gen.
Stat. § 10-151, Connecticut's tenure statute for
teachers, by letter on September 20, 2013. Id. at
the DCF investigation was still pending, on July 9, 2013,
Defendant Serrano emailed Plaintiff to inform him that his
teaching certificate would expire on October 24, 2013 and
that the Connecticut State Department of Education
("CSDE") had indicated that he had not yet
submitted the renewal or re-certification paperwork. Pl.
Local Rule 56(a)(2) Statement ¶ 7; Defs. Ex. 4.
Defendant Serrano warned in this email that "[f]ailure
to submit your application and all appropriate documentation
in a timely manner will impact your employment
status with the district." Defs. Ex. 4 (emphasis in
original). Defendant Serrano also informed Plaintiff that if
his "application require[d] the signature of the
Superintendent or her designee" he could send it to her
and she would email him "so that [Plaintiff] can pick it
up and deliver to the [C]SDE." Id.
brochure from October 2012 on certification advises that a
teacher, such as Plaintiff, "should apply to continue
your certificate no earlier than six months and no later than
six weeks before the date of expiration of your professional
educator certificate." Defs. Ex. 15a at 2.The CSDE
emphasized that the "application must be received in our
office BY the expiration date" and "[p]ostmarks are
NOT considered." Id. (emphasis in original).
The CSDE informed applicants to "allow 10-12 business
days for mail to reach the [CSDE] office." Id.
at 1. The CSDE brochure also detailed the process to continue
or renew an expiring certificate, which required a teacher to
apply online, or submit by paper (1) an Application Form, ED
179, and (2) if the teacher worked under the prior
certificate, a Statement of Professional Experience Form, ED
126, in order to verify successful service as a teacher.
Id. at 2. An Application Form, ED 170, could also be
submitted instead of an ED 179 if a teacher was unsure of
what forms to submit. Id. at 1. Throughout the
brochure, the CSDE reiterated that submitting an
application (ED 179 or ED 170) prior to the
expiration of a certificate would mean that the
"certification is considered in process, pending
materials and final evaluation, " thus, as long as the
application was received prior to the expiration of
a teacher's certification, it would be considered timely
and additional forms (presumably forms such as the ED 126)
could be submitted later. Id. at 1-2. The CSDE noted
that the "quickest and easiest" way to apply was
online and that a teacher could also check the status of
existing applications online. Id. at 2.
September 11, 2013, Defendant Serrano informed Plaintiff that
his form ED 126 had been completed and was available for
pick-up. Pl. Local Rule 56(a)(2) Statement ¶ 11; Defs.
Ex. 6. A day later, on September 12, 2013, Victoria Hajdasz,
another HBOE employee in the Office of Talent Management,
reminded Plaintiff that his certification was going to expire
on October 24, 2013 and that he needed to submit his
paperwork to the"state dept. of certification." Pl.
Local Rule 56(a)(2) Statement ¶ 13; Defs. Ex. 8. On
September 25, 2013, Plaintiff responded to Ms. Hajdasz's
email asking her about the status of his
"paperwork" and stating that he had submitted it
"a few weeks ago." Defs. Ex. 8. He emailed
Defendant Serrano with a similar message inquiring about an
update on his "paperwork" on the same day. Pls.
Ex.11 (Deposition of Defendant Serrano ("Serrano
Dep.")) at 51:12-24. Defendant Serrano responded to
Plaintiff by re-sending her September 11, 2013 email and
reiterating that the ED 126 was ready for pick up.
Id. at 69:19-25; Defs. Ex. 9.
October 25, 2013, Rosemarie Forzano, another Staffing
Specialist in the Office of Talent Management, emailed the
CSDE explaining that their records "indicate that Mr.
Meyers' physical education certification has expired
effective 10/24/2013" and asking for an update on the
status of his certification application. Defs. Ex. 10. Robert
Szczepanski, an Education Consultant with the CSDE,
responded, stating that the records "indicate that Mr.
Meyer's [sic] professional educator certificate expired
on October 24, 2013" and "[a]ccording to the most
recent information available, Mr. Meyer's [sic] has
NOT submitted an application for renewal."
Id. (emphasis in original). He also stated that
Plaintiff could apply "without a lapse in
certification" if he filed the application that day.
Id. That very same day, Defendant Durrant sent a
letter to Plaintiff stating that because Plaintiff's
certification had expired on October 24, 2013, "Hartford
Public Schools is forced to separate your services
immediately as a physical education teacher at Simpson
Waverly School." Defs. Ex. 11. The CSDE's records
reflect that as of November 1, 2013 Plaintiff's
certification had expired. Defs. Ex. 10a.
to Plaintiff's termination, on October 29, 2013, Mr.
Szczepanski emailed Plaintiff stating that the CSDE had
received his ED 126, but that Plaintiff's
"certificate expired on October 24, 2013 and an
application had not been filed to date." Defs. Ex. 12;
Pl. Local Rule 56(a)(2) Statement ¶ 19. Plaintiff
responded by sending his ED 126 again to the CSDE on October
30, 2013. Defs. Ex. 13. At that point, it was explained to
him that the ED 126 is "NOT an application form"
and he must submit an ED 179. Defs. Ex. 13; Pl. Local Rule
56(a)(2) Statement ¶ 20 (emphasis in original).
Plaintiff was informed that if he did so that day, his
certification would not lapse. Id. Plaintiff filled
out the ED 179 and sent it back to Mr. Szczepanski on October
30, 2013. Defs. Ex. 14; Pl. Local Rule 56(a)(2) Statement
¶ 21. Plaintiff's ED 179 Application was marked
received by the CSDE on October 31, 2013 and the CSDE
acknowledged receipt on October 31, 2013 via an email to
Plaintiff. Defs. Exs. 14-15; Pl. Ex. 7; Pl. Local Rule
56(a)(2) Statement ¶ 22.
point after Plaintiff's termination, Plaintiff's
union counsel was informed that Plaintiff did not have a
right to a due process hearing on his termination.
See Pl. Ex. 5 (Meyers Aff.) ¶¶ 75.
Plaintiff's union counsel on November 5, 2013, challenged
this by letter and attached the CSDE's email dated
October 31, 2013, and that agency's prior statement about
considering Plaintiff's application not to have lapsed.
Id. ¶¶ 75-78. The HBOE never held a
hearing on Plaintiff's termination. See Id.
¶¶ 78, 85.
November 5, 2013, the CSDE informed Plaintiff that his ED
126, dated September 11, 2013, needed to be updated because
it listed his successful service through May 2013 and he was
employed subsequent to that date. Defs. Ex. 16. Plaintiff,
Defendants McCaskill, and Serrano met in person on November
7, 2013 to discuss Plaintiff's certification. Pl. Ex. 11
(Serrano Dep.) at 98:24-99:17. At this meeting, Plaintiff
states that Defendant McCaskill asked Defendant Serrano to
"fix this mistake, " referring to Plaintiff's
certification and termination, and Defendant Serrano told
Defendant McCaskill to "let it go" because it was
"coming from above, " to which Defendant McCaskill
replied this is "retaliation." Pl. Ex. 5 (Meyers
Aff.) ¶¶ 79-81. Plaintiff also submitted an updated
ED 126 with the correct successful service dates to Defendant
Serrano on November 7, 2013. Pl. Local Rule 56(a)(2)
Statement ¶ 24. The CSDE received the updated ED 126 on
November 14, 2013. Defs. Ex. 17. Nevertheless, on November
20, 2014, the CSDE denied Plaintiff's application because
Plaintiff appeared on DCF's central registry. Defs. Ex.
18. The CSDE stated that in accordance with Conn. Gen. Stat.
§ 10-221d(g), it is required to deny any application for
certification if the person appears on such a registry.
See Id. at 3. The denial letter noted
Plaintiff's application for certification date as October
31, 2013 (when the ED 179 was received by the CSDE). Defs.
Ex. 18 at 1; Pl. Local Rule 56(a)(2) Statement ¶ 27.
Plaintiff received the certification denial letter, he
requested a review of the decision. Defs. Ex. 19 at 3.
Meanwhile, Plaintiff had a two-day hearing in January 2014 on
the substantiated finding by DCF of physical abuse and
neglect that led to his placement on the central registry.
Pl. Ex. 6 at 2. The hearing officer reversed DCF's
initial determination and removed Plaintiff from the central
registry. Id. at 1. DCF notified the CSDE that
effective January 9, 2014 Plaintiff had been removed from the
central registry. Defs. Ex. 19 at 3. The CSDE then notified
Plaintiff by letter that his certification would be processed
on February 8, 2014. Id. The date of Plaintiff's
application on this letter from the CSDE, again, was October
31, 2013. Defs. Ex. 19 at 1. On February 8, 2014, the CSDE
retroactively reinstated Plaintiff's full certification,
without any lapse, for another five years, October 25, 2013
through October 24, 2018. Pl. Local Rule 56(a)(2) Statement
¶ 28; Pl. Ex. 1. There is no evidence that Plaintiff
re-applied for his position with the HBOE subsequent to his
reinstatement. Pl. Local Rule 56(a)(2) Statement ¶ 29.
For the 2015-16 school year, Plaintiff was a physical
education teacher and wrestling head coach for Rocky Hill
Public Schools. Defs. Ex. 26.
Standard of Review
motion for summary judgment shall be granted "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). If, after discovery,
the nonmoving party "has failed to make a sufficient
showing on an essential element of [his] case with respect to
which [he] has the burden of proof, " then summary
judgment is appropriate. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). The moving party must
"demonstrate the absence of any material factual issue
genuinely in dispute" to be entitled to summary
judgment. Am. Int'l Grp., Inc. v. London Am.
Int'l Corp., 664 F.2d 348, 351 (2d Cir. 1981)
(quoting Heyman v. Commerce & Indus. Ins. Co.,
524 F.2d 1317, 1319-20 (2d Cir. 1975)) (internal quotation
is material if it "might affect the outcome of the suit
under the governing law." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). "[I]f the evidence
is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the
nonmoving party, " then a dispute concerning the
material fact is genuine. Id. All inferences and
ambiguities must be viewed in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party. Rogoz v. City of Hartford, 796 F.3d
236, 245-46 (2d Cir. 2015). However, "[w]hen the moving
party has carried its burden under Rule 56, its opponent
must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical
doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita Elec.
Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586
(1986). The nonmoving party, "must present specific
evidence demonstrating a genuine dispute." Gannon v.
UPS, 529 F.App'x 102, 103 (2d Cir. 2013) (citing
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248). "[M]ere conclusory
allegations, speculation or conjecture will not avail a party
resisting summary judgment." Cifarelli v. Vill. of
Babylon, 93 F.3d 47, 51 (2d Cir.1996).
Court now turns to the arguments presented by Defendants
regarding each of Plaintiff's claims. The Court will
address Defendants' arguments regarding Plaintiff's
§ 1983 claims first, because a viable federal claim is
necessary to support this Court's subject matter
jurisdiction. While Plaintiff's Amended Complaint, the
operative pleading, contains a number of state law claims,
none of them falls within this Court's original subject
matter jurisdiction, which depends upon the existence of a
federal question, 28 U.S.C. § 1331, or complete
diversity of citizenship between the parties, 28 U.S.C.
§1332. A federal district court may exercise
supplemental jurisdiction over state law claims other than
these, but only if such state claims are included in a
complaint which alleges a viable federal claim within the
district court's original jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. §
case at bar, Defendants contend that Plaintiff's Amended
Complaint fails to allege a viable federal
claim. Specifically, Defendants assert that
Plaintiff does not plead a violation of his constitutional
rights sufficient to support the § 1983 claims, and that
the City of Hartford is not a proper defendant because the
HBOE, and not the city, is Plaintiff's employer.
Defendants also contend that regardless of whether Plaintiff
was deprived of any constitutional right, the Individual
Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity because such
rights were not clearly established. The Court will address
each argument in turn.
§ 1983 Claims Against the Individual Defendants (Count
respect to a section 1983 claim, a plaintiff must prove four
elements: (1) actions taken under color of law; (2)
deprivation of constitutional or statutory right; (3)
causation; and (4) damages." Doe v. City of
Waterbury, 453 F.Supp.2d 537, 542 (D. Conn. 2006)
(citing 42 U.S.C. § 1983), aff'd, Roe
v. City of Waterbury, 542 F.3d 31 (2d Cir. 2008).
Plaintiff claims that the Individual Defendants deprived him
of certain rights protected by the Fourteenth Amendment,
namely: (1) procedural due process afforded under Conn. Gen.
Stat. §10-151 and his status as a tenured teacher,
equal protection of the laws, and (3) substantive due
process. See Plaintiff's Memorandum in
Opposition to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment,
Doc. 41-1 ("Pl. Br."), at 4-14; Am. Cmplt.
¶¶ 45, 78-83.
Procedural Due Process (Property Interest)
argue that Plaintiff cannot sustain any cause of action based
on alleged violations of his procedural due process rights
because he was not a certified teacher at the time of his
termination, and consequently had no property right or
interest protected by the due process clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment. Defs. Br. at 7-10. Defendants assert
that the Court is presented with a solely legal issue-whether
a teacher with an expired certification has a property
interest in his or her continued employment. Id.
makes two principal arguments in response. First, Plaintiff
asserts that Defendants' argument that he lacked a
property interest is based entirely on a genuinely disputed
material fact, namely that Plaintiff was not certified at the
time of his termination, or was not, at the very least, in
the process of renewing his certification. Pl. Br. at 4-12.
Therefore, Plaintiff's argument concludes, this genuine
factual issue precludes summary judgment for Defendants on
this claim, even if Defendants' argument regarding the
legal impact of an expired certification is correct.
Id. Second, Plaintiff argues that, regardless of his
certification status at the time of his termination, he had a
property interest in his continued employment as a tenured
teacher and that he could not lose that status. Pl. Br. at
Court first addresses Plaintiff's argument regarding
whether there is a genuine issue of fact as to the status of
his teaching certification at the time of termination. Then
the Court turns to the legal question of the implication, if
any, that an expired certification has on a teacher's
reasonable expectation of continued employment in
Expiration of Plaintiff's Certification
urge that the record shows "unequivocally" that
Plaintiff did not submit the ED 179 to renew his
certification until October 31, 2013, seven days after his
certification had expired. Defs. Br. at 10. Thus, their
argument proceeds, Plaintiff was not a certified teacher when
he was terminated, and he had no pending application with the
disputes that characterization of the facts, arguing that (1)
the Individual Defendants are responsible for any lapse in
Plaintiff's certification, since they conspired to avoid
Plaintiff's tenure protections and terminate his
employment; and (2) Plaintiff's certification application
was in fact pending at the time of his termination.
Id. at 4-11.
record reflects that Plaintiff's certification expired on
October 24, 2013, through no fault of Defendants or any of
them. There is no genuine dispute about that fact. Plaintiff,
despite his repeated assertion that a dispute exists, has
failed to demonstrate any basis in the record which supports
the assertion. The CSDE confirmed via email to the HBOE on
October 25, 2013 that Plaintiff's certification had
expired on October 24, Defs. Ex. 10, and that Plaintiff had
"NOT submitted an application
for renewal" as of that date, id. (emphasis in
original). Consequently, it is not surprising that as of
November 1, 2013, the CSDE's records noted
Plaintiff's certification as "expired, " Defs.
Ex. 10a. To reiterate: Although the CSDE remarked in its
October 25 emailed response to an inquiry by the Office of
Talent Management that Plaintiff could still apply
"without a lapse in certification, " Defs. Ex. 10,
that email also stated unequivocally that Meyers'
certificate had expired on October 24, and that, contrary to
Plaintiff's present contentions, as of that date no
application on his behalf was pending or had been received by
the CSDE. In brief, the CSDE's contemporaneous
communications could not have been more clear that
Plaintiff's application was not pending on the pertinent
dates, and his certificate had expired on October 24. By the
same token, the CSDE also repeatedly noted the date of
Plaintiff's certification application as October 31, 2013
in correspondence with Plaintiff. Defs. Exs. 18, 19.
Plaintiff's contentions on the present motion that these
events occurred on different dates find no support in the
admissible evidence in the record.
professes the belief that the CSDE email on October 25, 2013
proves his "application was incomplete" at the time
his certification was to expire on October 24, and that
subsequent correspondence between the CSDE and Plaintiff
demonstrate that Plaintiff needed only the ED 126 to complete
his application. Pl. Br. at 5. Plaintiff asserts that
Defendants "held up" this form and that is what
caused Plaintiff's certification to lapse. Id.;
see also Pl. Ex. 5 (Meyers Aff.) ¶¶ 45-56.
Plaintiff, in his Affidavit, states that he completed and
turned in the ED 179 to Defendant Serrano on August 26,
2013. However, Plaintiff's version of the
facts is not at all supported by the record before this
Plaintiff repeatedly confuses the ED 179, which is required
to start a certification renewal application and create a
"pending" application (as well as an
"incomplete" application as opposed to an
"expired" one), with an ED 126, an additional form
requiring input from Plaintiff's employer which, although
required to evaluate a certification renewal application,
does not appear to be necessary to characterize an
application as "pending." See Defs. Ex.
15a; Pl. Ex. 2. The record, and the CSDE's interactions
with Plaintiff, clearly reflect this fundamental difference,
which Plaintiff wholly ignores. When the CSDE actually
received the ED 126 from Plaintiff on October 29, 2013, the
CSDE informed Plaintiff that despite receiving this form his
"certificate expired on October 24, 2013, and an
application has not been filed to date." Defs. Ex.
12 (emphasis added). When Plaintiff attempted to send the ED
126 again in response to this notice, the CSDE informed him
that an ED 179 was required, stating explicitly that the ED
126 "is NOT an application form." Defs. Ex. 13
(emphasis in original). Thus, even if Defendants had not
"held up" the ED 126 as Plaintiff alleges and
Plaintiff had submitted the ED 126 on time, it would not have
prevented the expiration of Plaintiff's certification
because no application would have been considered pending.
This fact is of no relevance to the determinative issue of
whether Plaintiff's application actually expired on
October 24, 2013.
as a general matter the CSDE is responsible for the
certification of all teachers within the school system. Each
individual teacher is personally responsible for his or her
particular certification: a responsibility that does not fall
upon the HBOE or any of the Defendants. Defs. Ex. 15a; Pls.
Ex. 2. Defendant Serrano at the HBOE assisted individual
teachers and professionals with certification issues by
sending out reminders about upcoming expirations of
certifications and filling out a portion of the ED 126 as
necessary. Pl. Ex. 11 (Serrano Dep.) at 43:12-23, 45:14-30,
58:5-59:1. Defendant Serrano and Ms. Hajdasz, both
employees of the HBOE, informed Plaintiff that he had to
submit his renewal certification paperwork to the CSDE and/or
that he had pick up the forms in order for him to submit
them. Defs. Exs. 4, 6, 8-9. Even if Plaintiff had ...