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.

Borders v. Borough

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

June 26, 2019

SUSAN BORDERS, Plaintiff,
v.
SHARON HILL BOROUGH, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM

          ANITA B. BRODY, J.

         Plaintiff Susan Borders (“Borders”) brings this lawsuit against Defendant Sharon Hill Borough (“Sharon Hill”). Sharon Hill formerly employed Borders as a Library Director at the Sharon Hill Public Library but terminated her employment in February 2017. Borders asserts three causes of action stemming from her termination.[1] First, she alleges that Sharon Hill retaliated against her for engaging in speech protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Second, she alleges that Sharon Hill retaliated against her for engaging in activity protected by the Pennsylvania Whistleblower Law, 43 P.S. § 1421, et seq. Third, Borders asserts a common law claim for wrongful termination.

         Sharon Hill moves for summary judgment on each of Borders's claims. I will grant Sharon Hill's motion for summary judgment on Borders's claim for First Amendment retaliation and decline to exercise continuing supplemental jurisdiction over Borders's state law claims.[2]

         I. Background

         Plaintiff Susan Borders worked as a part-time Library Director for the Sharon Hill Public Library. Pl.'s Resp. to Def.'s Statement of Undisputed Material Facts (“Pl.'s Facts”) ¶¶ 1-2. The library is operated by Defendant Sharon Hill Borough, a municipal entity in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Borders's job duties included supervising the library's operations and its other part-time workers. Id. ¶ 4.

         In late 2016, Borders noticed what she perceived to be a decrease in proposed annual funding for the library. Id. ¶ 9. Borders's “professional opinion regarding the decreased library budget allocation” was that the amount allocated for the library was approximately $2, 500 less than it was the year before. Id. When Borders voiced her concerns to her supervisors and others, her supervisors contested her characterization as unfounded and inaccurate. Id. ¶¶ 10-11. Subsequently, Borders made another complaint “that in her opinion under Pennsylvania state law, ” the Sharon Hill Public Library's governing board was not appropriately composed. Id. ¶¶ 16, 19. She voiced this complaint to her superiors and to the Sharon Hill Borough Council. Id. ¶ 16.

         Sharon Hill Borough terminated Borders's employment in February 2017. Id. ¶ 33.

         II. Legal Standard

         Summary judgment shall be granted “if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A fact is “material” if it “might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law . . . .” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A factual dispute is “genuine” if the evidence would permit a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the nonmoving party. Id. In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the court must draw all inferences from the facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986).

         The moving party “always bears the initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis for its motion . . . .” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). After the moving party has met its initial burden, the nonmoving party must then “make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of [every] element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial.” Id. at 322. Both parties must support their factual positions by: “(A) citing to particular parts of materials in the record . . .; or (B) showing that the materials cited do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1).

         The inquiry at summary judgment is “whether the evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to require submission to a jury or whether it is so one-sided that one party must prevail as a matter of law.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 251-52.

         III. Discussion

         Sharon Hill moves for summary judgment on each of Borders's claims. I will grant Sharon Hill's motion for summary judgment on Borders's claim for First Amendment retaliation and decline to exercise continuing supplemental jurisdiction over Borders's state law claims.

         1. Borders's 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983 First ...


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.