Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Filing a notice of claim


Filing a notice of claim
Sangermano v BOCES of Nassau County, 290 AD2nd 498

Section 3813(1) of the Education Law requires that an individual who plans to sue a school district or a BOCES file a timely notice of claim with the entity he or she seeks to sue prior to initiating his or her lawsuit. Does this requirement apply to complaints alleging a violation of a human rights law?

Former Nassau County BOCES employee Michael Sangermano learned that sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes it is no, depending on the nature of the claim.

Sangermano sued the BOCES in an effort to recover damages for what he alleged constituted employment discrimination in violation of Executive Law Section 296, and violations of his right to due process pursuant to 42 USC 1983.

The Appellate Division said that the Supreme Court correctly granted BOCES' motion to dismiss Sangermano's claims alleging that the BOCES violated the Executive Law because he failed to file a timely Section 3813(1) notice of claim.

These claims alleged that Sangermano suffered constructive termination as a result of racial discrimination by the BOCES in violation of Section 296 of the Executive Law.

Citing Mills v County of Monroe, 59 NY2d 307, the Appellate Division deposed of this aspect of Sangermano's lawsuit when it held that:

Where a plaintiff seeks private relief, damages, or reinstatement for employment discrimination in violation of the Executive Law, the filing of a timely notice of claim is a condition precedent to [his or her filing] suit.

Sangermano's second claim alleging that he was forced to resign from his employment without having been afforded the "procedural safeguards and a right to be heard prior to termination" as guaranteed by a federal civil rights law, 42 USC1983, survived notwithstanding the fact that he had not filed a Section 3813(1) claim with the BOCES.

The court said that such a notice of claim requirement is inapplicable to claims filed pursuant to 42 USC 1983.

Handbooks focusing on State and Municipal Public Personnel Law continue to be available for purchase via the links provided below:

The Discipline Book at http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/

Challenging Adverse Personnel Decisions at http://nypplarchives.blogspot.com

The Disability Benefits E-book: at http://section207.blogspot.com/

Layoff, Preferred Lists at http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/

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