Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Karakozova v. University of Pittsburgh

July 15, 2010

MARINA KARAKOZOVA, PH.D., PLAINTIFF(S),
v.
UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH, DEFENDANT(S).



MEMORANDUM ORDER OF COURT DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR RECUSAL (DOC NO 133) AND PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO STAY DISCOVERY (DOC NO 134)

I. Introduction

ELECTRONICALLY FILED

Pro se plaintiff, Marina Karakozova, Ph.D., initiated this employment discrimination action alleging that defendant failed to renew her employment contract on the basis of her national origin (Russian), and in retaliation for filing an administrative complaint of discrimination against her prior employer. See Complaint, doc. no. 1. Simultaneously, plaintiff filed an Emergency Motion for Temporary Relief to Obligate Defendant to Continue her Employment. Doc no. 2.

As of the date plaintiff initiated this lawsuit, she had failed exhausted her administrative remedies. Nonetheless, due to the sensitive nature of the timing issues surrounding her potential immediate deportation if her Emergency Motion for Temporary Relief was not granted, by Order dated June 11, 2009 (doc. no. 42), the Court granted her request for emergency relief in this unique case, and took the unusual and extraordinary action of compelling defendant to continue her employment for a period of ninety (90) days after the expiration of her employment contract while she promptly pursued her administrative remedies, including the University grievance process.

On September 23, 2009, after the 90-day period had run, Defendant renewed its Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint (doc no. 100). This Court granted the motion, finding plaintiff had still failed to exhaust her administrative remedies, and closed the case. Doc. no. 106. The matter was reopened upon plaintiff's motion and over defendant's objection, less than three months later. See text order dated 1/21/2010.

Since reopening the matter, plaintiff filed her [Second] Amended Complaint (doc no. 112) which defendant answered (doc. no. 113) and discovery ensued. On June 8 , 2010, defendant filed Motion for Protective Order (doc. nos. 129-130) which this Court granted on June 9, 2010. See text order dated June 9, 2010 and doc. no. 131. Plaintiff filed a Motion for Protective Order dated June 28, 2010 (doc. no. 132), and on June 29, 2010, this Court ordered defendant to respond by July 8, 2010.

While plaintiff's Motion for Protective Order was pending, she filed the instant Motion for Recusal (doc. no. 133) and a Motion to Stay Discovery (doc. no. 134). Pursuant to this Court's Order, defendant filed a response to both Motions on July 14, 2010. See doc. nos. 137 and 138.

This Court will now address and deny the plaintiff's Motion for Recusal and her Motion to Stay Discovery. Doc. nos. 133 and 134.

II. Background

As noted above, this case incepted on April 17, 2009 when this pro se plaintiff filed her Title VII employment discrimination complaint. Doc. no. 1. On that same day, Plaintiff filed an Emergency Motion for Temporary Relief to Obligate Defendant to Continue her Employment. Doc no. 2.

On April 24, 2009, plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint. Doc. no. 3-1. Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint on May 14, 2009. Doc. no. 12. Although the Motion to Dismiss was predicated upon plaintiff's failure to exhaust her administrative remedies (see doc. no. 12), and thus, merely required a simple responsive brief explaining whether the administrative remedies had, in fact, been exhausted, plaintiff requested and received an extension of time to respond to the Motion to Dismiss. Doc nos. 19-20. Plaintiff responded to the Motion to Dismiss on May 26, 2009. Doc no. 27.

Before the Court could rule on defendant's Motion to Dismiss, the parties engaged in mediation efforts on May 27, 2009, June 4, 2009 and June 8, 2009. See doc. nos. 30, 35, 37 and the text entry at 5/28/2009. Having no success after three mediation meetings, on June 11, 2009, this Court denied defendant's Motion to Dismiss, granted plaintiff's Motion for Emergency Relief, and took the unusual and extraordinary action of compelling defendant to continue plaintiff's employment for a period of ninety (90) days to avoid her immediate deportation. Doc. no. 42. This Order also directed plaintiff to promptly pursue her administrative remedies and encouraged her to advance her efforts to locate new employment. See Doc. No. 42 at 8.

During the six weeks following this Court's decision to grant plaintiff's motion for temporary relief, plaintiff filed approximately twenty (20) documents before this Court seeking clarification, reconsideration, and even advisory opinions on numerous issues relating to the Court's prior order temporarily granting her motion for emergency relief. Among those filings, plaintiff also submitted "notice[s] of plaintiff's opinion" (see e.g. doc. nos. 50, 62, 63, 65), documenting numerous perceived issues at the University lab and assorted unrelated problems of which she wished to make the Court aware.

Contrary to this Court's instructions to advance the administrative process, plaintiff undertook actions to contest the content of the Court's Order granting her temporary relief (doc. no. 42). See doc. nos. 48, 49, 66, 67, 68, 69. Some of these filings evidence plaintiff's attempts to seek a back-door extension of the Court's 90-day stay of her employment with defendant, and evidence her attempts to have this Court reconsider its prior order requiring her to pursue her administrative remedies. See doc. nos. 66 and 68.

The next series of motions filed by plaintiff were motions to extend the amount of time she had to pursue her administrative remedies. See doc. nos. 78, 79, 80, and 81. The Court denied plaintiff's motion to extend time to pursue her administrative remedies to the extent it required defendant to continue her employment while she pursued such administrative remedies. Doc. no. 88. In reaching this decision, this Court determined that plaintiff had not shown a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits, and had not shown that a balancing of the equities weighed in favor of continuing to require defendant to pay plaintiff as an employee. Id. Thus, this Court deemed a continuation of the temporary relief previously ordered to be unwarranted. Id. Accordingly, the Court's Order of September 8, 2009, terminated plaintiff's Motion for Emergency Relief (doc no 2.) as of September 10, 2009 at noon.

Subsequent to this Order, plaintiff filed a series of motions and briefs all of which amounted to requests for reconsideration of this Court's September 8, 2009 denial of her request to extend the time for her to exhaust her administrative remedies and remain employed by defendant. See doc nos. 90, 94, 97 and 98. The Court denied these reconsideration requests finding that plaintiff had failed to show that this Court's September 8, 2009 Order contained errors of law or fact, or that there was newly discovered evidence which would warrant a reexamination of the Order. Doc. No. 99.

At this juncture, defendant renewed its Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint (doc. no. 100) which this Court granted without prejudice and closed the case. Doc. no. 106. The Order expressly noted that plaintiff had attached evidence which conclusively proved that she had failed to exhaust her administrative remedies; thus, this Court ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.