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March 23, 2011

Four-month statute of limitations for filing an Article 78 petition not tolled while individual pursues his or her administrative remedies

Four-month statute of limitations for filing an Article 78 petition not tolled while individual pursues his or her administrative remedies
Matter of Murane v Department of Educ. of the City of New York, 2011 NY Slip Op 02054, Appellate Division, First Department

Jennifer Murane appealed the Supreme Court’s dismissal of her Article 78 petition seeking to annul her termination as a probationary teacher by the New York City Department of Education, to have her year-end unsatisfactory rating expunged from her record and to direct her reinstatement to her position.

The Appellate Division ruled that Supreme Court correctly ruled that her challenge to her termination as a probationary teacher was untimely, not having be brought within four-months of the effective date of her termination. The fact that Murane had pursued her administrative remedies, said the court, did not toll the four-month statute of limitations for filing an Article 78 action.

Although Murane’s petition for judicial review of her unsatisfactory performance rating was not untimely, the Appellate Division said that she “failed to show that the rating was arbitrary and capricious or made in bad faith.” Detailed observation reports by the principal and assistant principal describing her poor performance in class management, engagement of students, and lesson planning, provided a rational basis for the rating.

As to Murane’s claim of “bad faith,” the court ruled that her contention that the principal was biased against her was "speculative and insufficient to establish bad faith."

The decision is posted on the Internet at: http://www.courts.state.ny.us/reporter/3dseries/2011/2011_02054.htm
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