June 5, 2019

Rejection of an applicant for appointment as a police officer based on a finding that the applicant was psychologically unfit for the position


Supreme Court granted the appointing authority's [Employer] motion to dismiss a CPLR Article 78 petition filed by an applicant [Plaintiff] for appointment as a police officer seeking to annul the Employer's decision not to certify Plaintiff for appointment dismissed the proceeding.

Plaintiff appealed the Supreme Court's ruling, arguing that the Employer's determination to disqualify him for appointment to the position was arbitrary and capricious.

The Appellate Division disagreed and sustained the Supreme Court's decision. In the words of the Appellate Division, the Employer's determination "was not arbitrary and capricious and had a rational basis." Citing Matter of City of New York v New York City Civ. Serv. Commn., 61 AD3d 584, the court explained the Employer "has wide discretion in determining the fitness of candidates[,] . . . particularly . . . in the hiring of law enforcement officers, to whom high standards may be applied," noting that the Employer had "reasonably relied on the findings of two psychologists, both of whom, after interviewing the Plaintiff, concluded that, for a variety of reasons, Plaintiff "was psychologically unfit for the position of police officer."

As Plaintiff had neither demonstrated [a] the existence of a triable issue of fact but only advanced unsubstantiated allegations and speculation concerning the motives of the psychologists who recommended denial of his application nor [b that further discovery was warranted under the circumstances, the Appellate Division unanimously dismissed Plaintiff's appeal.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:


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