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Weary v. West Perry School District

March 9, 2007

BARBARA F. WEARY, ED. D., PLAINTIFF,
v.
WEST PERRY SCHOOL DISTRICT, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Jones

MEMORANDUM

THE BACKGROUND OF THIS MEMORANDUM IS AS FOLLOWS:

Pending before the Court is Defendant West Perry School District's Motion for Summary Judgment ("the Motion") (doc. 22) filed on November 1, 2006.

For the following reasons, the Motion will be granted and judgment will be entered in favor of the Defendant.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff Barbara Weary ("Plaintiff" or "Dr. Weary") commenced this action by filing a complaint (doc. 1) on November 22, 2005. Defendant West Perry School District ("Defendant" or "West Perry") filed an answer (doc. 11) on February 13, 2006.

In Count I of the complaint, Plaintiff claims that she was denied promotions on the basis of her age and gender in violation of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act ("PHRA"). In Count II of the complaint, Plaintiff alleges that she was denied promotions on the basis of her age in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"). In Count III of the complaint, Plaintiff claims she was denied promotions on the basis of her gender in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII").

Following the close of discovery, West Perry filed the instant Motion, which has been fully briefed by the parties. The Motion is therefore ripe for our review.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

Summary judgment is appropriate if "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and . . . the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." FED .R. CIV. .P. 56(c); see also Turner v. Schering-Plough Corp., 901 F.2d 335, 340 (3d Cir. 1990). The party moving for summary judgment bears the burden of showing "there is no genuine issue for trial." Young v. Quinlan, 960 F.2d 351,357 (3d Cir. 1992). Summary judgment should not be granted when there is a disagreement about the facts or the proper inferences which a fact finder could draw from them. See Peterson v. Lehigh Valley Dist. Council, 676 F.2d 81, 84 (3d Cir. 1982).

Initially, the moving party has a burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corporation v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). This may be met by the moving party pointing out to the court that there is an absence of evidence to support an essential element as to which the non-moving party will bear the burden of proof at trial. Id. at 325.

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 provides that, where such a motion is made and properly supported, the non-moving party must then show by affidavits, pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, that there is a genuine issue for trial. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e). The United States Supreme Court has commented that this requirement is tantamount to the non-moving party making a sufficient showing as to the essential elements of their case that a reasonable jury could find in its favor. Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 322-23.

It is important to note that "the non-moving party cannot rely upon conclusory allegations in its pleadings or in memoranda and briefs to establish a genuine issue of material fact." Pastore v. Bell Tel. Co. of Pa., 24 F.3d 508, 511 (3d Cir. 1994) (citation omitted). However, all inferences "should be drawn in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, and where the non-moving party's evidence contradicts the movant's, then the non-movant's must be taken as true." Big Apple BMW, Inc. v. BMW of N. Am., Inc., 974 F.2d 1358, 1363 (3d Cir. 1992), cert. denied, 507 U.S. 912 (1993) (citations omitted).

Still, "the mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary judgment; the requirement is that there be no genuine issue of material fact." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986)(emphasis in original). "As to materiality, the substantive law will identify which facts are material." Id. at 248. A dispute is considered to be genuine only if "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Id.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

This action arises out of a denial by West Perry to extend an offer of employment as Assistant Principal to Plaintiff, a female in her sixties, following an application and interview process. The position was ultimately filled by a ...


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