Monday, April 24, 2017

Notice of Claim Required for State Law Discrimination Claims in Federal and State Courts

Croci v. Town of Haverstraw, 175 F. Supp. 3d 373 (S.D.N.Y. 2016), is an important decision to be aware of.

It is common for employees who assert a employment discrimination under federal law to also assert employment discrimination and other claims under state law.This case holds that if the public employer requires a Notice of Claim must be filed with respect to that state claim even if the case is filed in federal court. The court reasoned, in part:

 [I]n a federal court, state notice-of-claim statutes," like those contained in Town Law § 67 and General Municipal Law §§ 50-e and 50-i, "apply to state-law claims." Hardy v. N.Y.C. Health & Hosps. Corp., 164 F.3d 789, 793 (2d Cir.1999) (emphasis omitted); see also Ong v. Park Manor (Middletown Park) Rehab. & Healthcare Ctr., No. 12-CV-974, 2015 WL 5729969, at *44 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 30, 2015) (same); Warner v. Vill. of Goshen Police Dep't, 256 F.Supp.2d 171, 175 (S.D.N.Y.2003) ("The notice of claim requirements apply equally to state tort claims brought as pendent claims in a federal civil rights action."). Plaintiffs are required to serve the notice of claim "within [90] days after the claim arises." N.Y. Gen. Mun. Law § 50-e(1)(a). This notice of claim requirement is "construed strictly by New York state courts," and a "[f]ailure to comply with these requirements ordinarily requires a dismissal for failure to state a cause of action." Hardy, 164 F.3d at 793-94 (internal quotation marks omitted). While "New York's notice of claim requirements are not applicable to [§] 1983 claims brought in federal court ... the requirements do apply to state law personal injury claims that are brought in federal court as related to [§] 1983 cases." Gibson 389 v. Comm'r of Mental Health, No. 04-CV-4350, 2006 WL 1234971, at *5 (S.D.N.Y. May 8, 2006). . 

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