BEAN v. STATE OF NEW JERSEY JUDICIARY et al
OPINION. Signed by Judge Noel L. Hillman on 2/10/2016. (TH, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
LISA S. BEAN,
CIVIL NO. 12-5127 (NLH/KMW)
SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY
CAMDEN VICINAGE, et al.,
F. MICHAEL DAILY, JR.
SENTRY OFFICE PLAZA
216 HADDON AVENUE
WESTMONT, NJ 08108
Attorney for Plaintiff
ERIC SCOTT PASTERNACK
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
DIVISION OF LAW
25 MARKET STREET
P.O. BOX 093
TRENTON, NJ 08625
Attorney for Defendants
HILLMAN, District Judge
This matter has come before the Court on the motion of
Defendants Peter Cupo, Mike O'Brien, and the State of New Jersey
Judiciary1 for summary judgment on Plaintiff Lisa Bean’s claims of
The Court notes that Congress has specifically abrogated the
states’ Eleventh Amendment immunity in the employment context.
Fitzpatrick v. Bitzer, 427 U.S. 445, 453 n.9, 96 S.Ct. 2666,
2670 n.9, 49 L.Ed.2d 614 (1976); Shawer v. Indiana Univ. of Pa.,
602 F.2d 1161, 1163 (3d Cir. 1979) (“It is therefore clear
race discrimination and retaliation pursuant to Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Plaintiff also filed a motion to seal.
For the reasons set forth below, Defendants’ motion to dismiss
will be granted and Plaintiff’s motion to seal will be granted.
This case concerns whether Plaintiff, an African American
state judiciary employee, was discriminated against based on her
race when she was not encouraged by her department manager, Peter
Cupo, to apply for a reclassification/promotion where Mr. Cupo
encouraged Plaintiff’s Hispanic co-worker, Denise Gonzalez.
Plaintiff further alleges she was retaliated against through travel
restrictions in her position as Chief Steward of her union due to
her participation as a witness in another co-worker’s race
A. Facts Relevant to Plaintiff’s Reclassification Request
The Administrative Office of the Courts Classification Unit
(“Classification Unit”) administers the reclassification process
for state judiciary employees. (Pl.’s Responses to Defendants’ Rule
56.1 Statement of Materials Facts (“SMF”) ¶ 8 [Doc. No. 50].)
beyond question that when Congress ... extended Title VII to
state governments, it did so pursuant to Section 5 of the
Fourteenth Amendment and thereby abrogated any existing immunity
of the states from liability for discriminatory employment
reclassification process is used to determine if an employee is
performing out-of-title job work requiring their position or
responsibilities to be reclassified.
(SMF ¶ 9.)
To initiate the reclassification process, an employee fills out
a Reclassification Request Form which is signed by the employee’s
immediate supervisor and division manager, as well as the human
resources manager and the trial court administrator for the
(SMF ¶¶ 10-11.)
Following the submission of the Request
Form, the employee and immediate superior must answer the Job
Information Questionnaire (“JIQ”) which measures the amount of time
an employee spends on job tasks and presents a picture of the work
performed as a percentage of the employee’s total job. (SMF ¶¶ 1213.)
If an employee disagrees with the decision of the
Classification Unit he or she can appeal the decision to the
Classification Review Board (“CRB”) which is comprised of a manger,
union representative, and a subject matter expert.
(SMF ¶¶ 17-20.)
Plaintiff began employment in the Camden vicinage of the state
judiciary in 1998 as a Judiciary Account Clerk II.
(SMF ¶ 1.)
Plaintiff works in the Finance Division and also serves as the Chief
Steward of the New Jersey AFL-CIO Judiciary Council of Affiliated
Unions, Office and Professional Employees International Union, Local
32 (the “Union”).
(SMF ¶ 2.)
Plaintiff’s co-worker, Denise Gonzalez, also began working for
Defendants in 1998, as a clerk typist.
(SMF ¶ 4.)
Ms. Gonzalez were both directly supervised by Evelyn Rosario during
the relevant time period. (SMF ¶ 3.)
entire finance division. (SMF ¶ 5.)
promoted to Account Clerk 2.
Peter Cupo supervised the
In 2000, Ms. Gonzalez was
On June 20, 2008, Ms. Gonzalez applied
(SMF ¶ 37.)
Sometime prior to June 20, 2008,
Mr. Cupo and Ms. Gonzalez discussed Ms. Gonzalez’s desire to obtain
a reclassification and promotion to a higher clerk level.
Gonzalez felt she often performed out-of-title work, particularly
when her supervisor Ms. Rosario was not there.
testified that during this conversation, Mr. Cupo “encouraged” her
to apply for reclassification (Gonzalez Dep. 49:20-21 [Doc. No. 435]), helped her fill out the reclassification paperwork (Id. 54:612), and reminded her to fill out the paperwork (Id. 54:13-17).2
October 31, 2008, Ms. Gonzalez received a letter notifying her that
she would be reclassified to “Judiciary Clerk 4.”
(SMF ¶ 38.)
Plaintiff testified that after Ms. Gonzalez told her that Mr.
Plaintiff testified that Ms. Gonzalez previously told her that
Mr. Cupo promised Ms. Gonzalez to do “everything in his power” to
secure her reclassification. (Pl.’s Dep. 19:5-22 [Doc. No. 434]). This testimony constitutes double hearsay and is not
admissible on this motion for summary judgment. However, similar
testimony is found in Ms. Gonzalez’s deposition which the Court
does consider, infra.
Cupo encouraged her to apply for reclassification, Plaintiff
submitted a Reclassification Request Form on November 13, 2008
because she also felt she regularly performed out-of-title work,
particularly when both Ms. Gonzalez and Ms. Rosario were absent.
(Gonzalez Dep. 19:3-24:6; SMF ¶¶ 47-48.)
Plaintiff never initiated
a conversation with Mr. Cupo about her application.
(SMF ¶ 52.)
After submitting the Reclassification Request Form, Plaintiff and
Ms. Rosario, Plaintiff’s direct supervisor, took the JIQ.
On February 13, 2009, Plaintiff received a letter which stated
that the JIQ results showed that her job title was most consistent
as a Judiciary Account Clerk 2, her current level, and therefore she
would not be reclassified.
(SMF ¶ 59.)
appealed the decision to the CRB.
(SMF ¶ 61.)
The CRB affirmed the
decision of the Classification Unit denying Plaintiff’s request for
(SMF ¶¶ 62, 65.)
Plaintiff testified, however,
that approval of Ms. Gonzalez’s reclassification did not affect her
(SMF ¶ 73.)
B. Facts Related to Alleged Retaliation
1. Stovall lawsuit
In November 2006, Plaintiff’s co-worker, Flavia Stovall, filed
a lawsuit alleging race discrimination, naming Mr. Cupo and Michael
O’Brien, the vicinage’s Trial Court Administrator, as defendants.
In support of Ms. Stovall’s lawsuit, Plaintiff signed an affidavit
on June 22, 2008 and was deposed on September 25, 2008.
(SMF ¶¶ 23-
Plaintiff’s affidavit detailed various hostile actions against
African American females by Mr. Cupo.
(Am. Compl. ¶¶ 12-13 [Doc.
2. Union-related travel
Before Plaintiff became her Union’s Chief Steward, and prior to
the former union chief steward’s retirement, the vicinage had
facilities at the Hall of Justice in Camden and in Blackwood, New
Plaintiff and all union representatives were allowed to
travel between these two locations to engage in various union
(SMF ¶¶ 86-88.)
After the former chief steward’s
retirement, the vicinage closed operations at the Blackwood location
and opened a location in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
(SMF ¶ 89.)
In August 2009, Plaintiff attempted to attend a union-related
meeting at the Cherry Hill location regarding another employee.
August 12, 2009, Assistant Chief Gil Velazquez sent Plaintiff an
email which stated: “Management is available to meet with labor to
discuss this matter and any other topics, however, since this is a
local matter, we are willing to meet with one of the local
representatives assigned to the Cherry Hill Executive Campus.” (SMF
Plaintiff was again told of the travel restrictions in 2011.
On June 21, 2011, James Grazioli, the vicinage’s Human Resources
Manager, sent Plaintiff an email which said: “As discussed on
several occasions the shop stewards in Cherry [Hill] handle issues
out there and the shop stewards in Camden handle issues in Camden.
Therefore, the June 24, 2011 meeting will only be with the shop
steward from Cherry Hill.”
(SMF ¶ 96.)
Mr. Grazioli testified
that the policy described in the June 21, 2011 email was implemented
due to the vicinage’s operational needs and to save taxpayer money
and was equally applied to all shop stewards.
(SMF ¶¶ 98-99.)
Indeed, another union representative was similarly restricted from
travel and wrote an email expressing her criticism of the policy.
(SMF ¶ 102.)
Plaintiff testified that she believed Mr. O’Brien
influenced Mr. Grazioli to send the June 24, 2011 email to her in
retaliation for her support of the Stovall lawsuit but also
testified she had no “tangible” proof to support this speculation.
(SMF ¶¶ 109, 112, 113.)
When Defendant removed Plaintiff’s complaint to this Court,
the complaint contained both federal and state claims.
result, this Court has jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s federal
claims under 28 U.S.C. § 1331, and supplemental jurisdiction over
Plaintiff’s state law claims under 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a), which
provides in relevant part, “[I]n any civil action of which the
district courts have original jurisdiction, the district courts
shall have supplemental jurisdiction over all other claims that
are so related to claims in the action within such original
jurisdiction that they form part of the same case or controversy
under Article III of the United States Constitution.”
III. STANDARDS OF LAW
A. Summary Judgment
Summary judgment is appropriate where the Court is satisfied
that “the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and
admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show
that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that
the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.”
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 330 (1986); Fed. R. Civ.
An issue is “genuine” if it is supported by evidence such
that a reasonable jury could return a verdict in the nonmoving
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
A fact is “material” if, under the governing substantive
law, a dispute about the fact might affect the outcome of the
In considering a motion for summary judgment, a
district court may not make credibility determinations or engage
in any weighing of the evidence; instead, the non-moving party's
evidence “is to be believed and all justifiable inferences are to
be drawn in his favor.”
Marino v. Industrial Crating Co., 358
F.3d 241, 247 (3d Cir. 2004) (quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255).
Initially, the moving party has the burden of demonstrating
the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986).
Celotex Corp. v.
Once the moving party has met
this burden, the nonmoving party must identify, by affidavits or
otherwise, specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue
Thus, to withstand a properly supported motion
for summary judgment, the nonmoving party must identify specific
facts and affirmative evidence that contradict those offered by
the moving party.
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 256-57.
A party opposing
summary judgment must do more than just rest upon mere
allegations, general denials, or vague statements.
Kmart Corp., 260 F.3d 228, 232 (3d Cir. 2001).
B. Motion to Seal
In this District, Local Civil Rule 5.3 governs all motions to
seal or otherwise restrict public access to materials filed with
the Court and judicial proceedings themselves.
The Rule provides
that in order to place a docket entry under seal, the motion to
seal must be publicly filed and “shall describe (a) the nature of
the materials or proceedings at issue, (b) the legitimate private
or public interests which warrant the relief sought, (c) the
clearly defined and serious injury that would result if the relief
sought is not granted, and (d) why a less restrictive alternative
to the relief sought is not available.”
L. Civ. R. 5.3(c)(2).
The party moving to seal must submit a proposed order that
contains proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law.
Title VII prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of
race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
42 U.S.C. §
A claim of race discrimination under Title VII uses the
burden shifting framework established in McDonnell Douglas Corp.
v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 803–05, 93 S.Ct. 1817, 36 L.Ed.2d 668
(1973). Under that framework, a plaintiff must first establish a
prima facie case of discrimination. The elements of a prima facie
case depend on the facts of the particular case, and it cannot be
established on a one-size-fits-all basis.
Jones v. School Dist.
of Philadelphia, 198 F.3d 403, 411 (3d Cir. 1999).
of a prima facie case of failure to promote under Title VII are:
(1) the plaintiff is a member of a protected class, (2) s/he
sought and was qualified for the promotion, (3) s/he was rejected
for the promotion, and (4) a non-member of the protected class was
treated more favorably.
Young v. Pennsauken Twp. Sch. Dist., 47
F. App'x 160, 161 (3d Cir. 2002) (citing Stewart v. Rutgers, The
State Univ., 120 F.3d 426, 432 (3d Cir. 1997)).
If the plaintiff presents a prima facie case, the burden of
production then shifts to the defendant to “articulate some
legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for the employee's
Bray v. Marriott Hotels, 110 F.3d 986, 990 (3d Cir.
1997). “The employer satisfies its burden of production by
introducing evidence which, taken as true, would permit the
conclusion that there was a nondiscriminatory reason for the
unfavorable employment decision.”
759, 763 (3d Cir. 1994).
Fuentes v. Perskie, 32 F.3d
“The employer need not prove that the
tendered reason actually motivated its behavior, as throughout
this burden-shifting paradigm the ultimate burden of proving
intentional discrimination always rests with the plaintiff.”
This is a light burden.
Once the employer answers its relatively light burden by
articulating a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for the
unfavorable employment decision, the burden of production rebounds
to the plaintiff, who must now show by a preponderance of the
evidence that the employer's explanation was merely a pretext for
its actions, thus meeting the plaintiff's burden of persuasion.
Goosby v. Johnson & Johnson Medical, Inc., 228 F.3d 313, 319 (3d
Cir. 2000) (citing Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Products, Inc.,
530 U.S. 133, 120 S.Ct. 2097, 147 L.Ed.2d 105 (2000)).
demonstrate such weaknesses, implausibilities,
inconsistencies, incoherencies, or contradictions in the
employer's proffered legitimate reasons for its action
that a reasonable factfinder could rationally find them
“unworthy of credence” and hence infer “that the
employer did not act for [the asserted]
Bray, 110 F.3d at 990 (citing Fuentes, 32 F.3d at 765).
“An inference of pretext may arise if the plaintiff can raise
suspicions with respect to the defendant's credibility or the
employer's treatment of the employee.”
Id. (citing Josey v. John
R. Hollingsworth Corp., 996 F.2d 632, 638–39 (3d Cir. 1993)).
“The inference, along with the components of the plaintiff's prima
facie case, allow a jury to conclude that the employer was
actually motivated by illegal bias, but it does not compel that
(citing Sheridan v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co.,
100 F.3d 1061, 1066–67 (3d Cir. 1996)).
A plaintiff cannot
prevail under Title VII merely by establishing that the employer
made a decision that was wrong or mistaken.
Id. (citing Fuentes,
32 F.3d at 765).
The Court now turns to the factors to be considered to state a
prima facie case of failure to promote: (1) the plaintiff is a
member of a protected class, (2) she sought and was qualified for
the promotion, (3) she was rejected for the promotion, and (4) a
non-member of the protected class was treated more favorably.
As to the first factor, the parties do not dispute that as an
African American Plaintiff is a member of a protected class under
As to the second factor, while there is no dispute that
Plaintiff applied for reclassification, there is a dispute as to
whether Plaintiff and Ms. Gonzalez were similarly qualified for
reclassification and promotion.
While Ms. Gonzalez testified to
various differences in her job responsibilities prior to her
reclassification which warranted reclassification (Gonzalez Dep.
15:5-17:20), Plaintiff testified their job responsibilities were
mostly similar (Pl.’s Dep. 72:21-25).
Viewing the evidence in
Plaintiff’s favor, the Court will assume Plaintiff was similarly
qualified for reclassification.
Plaintiff satisfies the third prima facie factor because there
is no dispute that Plaintiff’s application for reclassification
Additionally, as to the fourth factor, Plaintiff
has set forth prima facie evidence that a co-worker who is not
African American was treated more favorably.
Plaintiff points to the fact that Mr. Cupo encouraged and helped
Ms. Gonzalez but did not likewise offer the same support to
Accordingly, the Court finds that Plaintiff has stated a prima
facie case of failure to promote.
As such, the burden of
production shifts to Defendants to articulate a legitimate,
nondiscriminatory reason for Plaintiff’s reclassification denial.
Defendants have done so.
Defendants have cited the JIQ process
which assessed Plaintiff’s job duties and determined that
Plaintiff was ineligible for reclassification.
Further, the JIQ
analysis states that no additional information was received from
Plaintiff’s supervisors (SMF ¶ 68) and Plaintiff testified there
Defendants argue Ms. Gonzalez’s deposition testimony regarding
Mr. Cupo’s encouragement is hearsay and therefore inadmissible.
Smith v. City of Allentown, 589 F.3d 684, 693 (3d Cir. 2009)
(“Hearsay statements that would be inadmissible at trial may not
be considered for purposes of summary judgment.”). However, Ms.
Gonzalez’s deposition testimony is not hearsay because it is an
opposing party’s (Mr. Cupo’s) statement and may be considered.
Fed. R. E. 801 (d)(2)(A).
was no evidence in the JIQ analysis that the Classification Unit
received additional information from her supervisors (SMF ¶ 69).
Therefore, there is no evidence that Mr. Cupo or Mr. O’Brien
submitted negative commentary or in any way affected Plaintiff’s
Consequently, the burden of production rebounds to Plaintiff,
who must now show by a preponderance of the evidence that her
employer's explanation was merely a pretext for its actions, thus
meeting her burden of persuasion.
Plaintiff has not met this
burden because she has put forth no evidence that any employment
action was based on her race.
Plaintiff has come forth with no
weaknesses, implausibilities, inconsistencies, incoherencies, or
contradictions in the Defendants’ proffered legitimate reasons for
its action that a reasonable factfinder could rationally find them
“unworthy of credence” and hence infer “that the employer did not
act for [the asserted] nondiscriminatory reasons.”
Bray, 110 F.3d
Plaintiff alleges that pretext is evidenced by Mr. Cupo’s
encouragement of Ms. Gonzalez to apply for reclassification and
his alleged influence on the Classification’s Unit’s decision to
deny Plaintiff’s reclassification request.
presented no evidence that Mr. Cupo’s decision to encourage Ms.
Gonzalez to apply for reclassification was based on racial animus
Further, Ms. Gonzalez’s deposition reveals that
Ms. Gonzalez was first in line to take over supervisor duties if
Ms. Rosario was unavailable and that Ms. Rosario sought out Ms.
Gonzalez to perform increased duties rather than Plaintiff.
(Gonzalez Dep. 14:14-17:20.)
Accordingly, summary judgment will
be granted as to Plaintiff’s race discrimination claim.
To establish a prima facie case of retaliation under Title
VII, a plaintiff must show that: (1) she engaged in activity
protected by Title VII; (2) the employer took an adverse
employment action against her; and (3) there was a causal
connection between her participation in the protected activity and
the adverse employment action.
Moore v. City of Philadelphia, 461
F.3d 331, 340–41 (3d Cir. 2006) (citation omitted).
With respect to “protected activity,” the anti-retaliation
provision of Title VII protects those who participate in certain
Title VII proceedings (the “participation clause”) and those who
oppose discrimination made unlawful by Title VII (the “opposition
Id. at 341 (citation omitted).
For the “adverse
employment action” element, a plaintiff must show that a
reasonable employee would have found the alleged retaliatory
actions “materially adverse” in that they “‘well might have
dissuaded a reasonable worker from making or supporting a charge
Id. (quoting Burlington Northern & Santa Fe
Ry. Co. v. White, 548 U.S. 53, 67, 126 S.Ct. 2405, 165 L.Ed.2d 345
(2006)) (explaining that the “antiretaliation provision protects
an individual not from all retaliation, but from retaliation that
produces an injury or harm”).
To establish the third element, a plaintiff must show a causal
connection between the plaintiff's opposition to, or participation
in proceedings against, unlawful discrimination, and an action
that might have dissuaded a reasonable worker from making or
supporting a charge of discrimination.
Id. at 342.
a plaintiff must show that the temporal proximity of the protected
activity and the employment action is “unduly suggestive.”
v. Kennedy House, Inc., 587 Fed. Appx. 731, 735 (3d Cir. 2014)
(citing Williams v. Phila. Hous. Auth. Police Dep't, 380 F.3d 751,
760 (3d Cir. 2004)) (finding that the plaintiff's termination more
than two months after he filed his second EEOC charge not so close
as to be unduly suggestive).
Plaintiff alleges that she was retaliated against for her
participation in the Stovall litigation based on two events: (1)
Mr. Cupo encouraging only Ms. Gonzalez to apply for
reclassification and (2) Mr. Grazioli’s June 21, 2011 email which
prohibited Plaintiff from traveling outside her location for union
Even if Plaintiff had shown that a reasonable employee
would have found the alleged retaliatory actions “materially
adverse”, a finding this Court does not make, Plaintiff has failed
to show a causal connection between Plaintiff’s participation in
the Stovall lawsuit and these two events.
As to her first argument, Plaintiff claims that Mr. Cupo only
encouraged Ms. Gonzalez to apply for reclassification and helped
her obtain reclassification.
The record is undisputed that
Plaintiff signed her affidavit and was deposed in the Stovall
litigation after Ms. Gonzalez was encouraged to and applied for
reclassification on June 20, 2008.
(SMF ¶ 37.)
no other evidence that her participation in the Stovall litigation
caused Mr. Cupo to encourage Ms. Gonzalez to apply or that Ms.
Rosario, her direct supervisor, even knew of the lawsuit.
Further, Plaintiff testified that approval of Ms. Gonzalez’s
reclassification did not affect her own.
(SMF ¶ 73.)
there is no but-for causation to support a retaliation claim.
Additionally, Plaintiff does not identify any evidence
showing that had she not supported Ms. Stovall’s claim of
discrimination she would have been allowed to travel between the
vicinage’s locations as part of her Union duties.
Grazioli sent the email prohibiting her from travel, Plaintiff
does not offer any evidence, beyond mere speculation, that Mr.
O’Brien influenced or encouraged Mr. Grazioli to prohibit
Plaintiff from traveling.
Rather, Defendants have submitted
evidence that Plaintiff was treated the same as every other union
representative, all of whom were no longer permitted to travel to
alternate locations after the Blackwood office was closed and the
Cherry Hill office was opened.
(SMF ¶¶ 99-103.)
time between Plaintiff’s participation in the Stovall litigation
and Mr. Grazioli’s letter was over three years, which does not
create an inference of causation.
Andreoli v. Gates, 482 F.3d 641
(3d Cir. 2007) (five-month time period between protected activity
and first alleged adverse action, without additional evidence, is
insufficient to raise an inference of a causal link).
C. Equal Protection
Plaintiff does not contest the dismissal of the remaining
equal protection claim.
(Pl.’s Opp. Br. at 13.)
D. Motion to Seal
Plaintiff requests that the Court seal three pages of
documents which summarize the criteria and parameters for employee
reclassification, the manner in which such criteria were applied
and the conclusions which resulted in Ms. Gonzalez’s
reclassification and Plaintiff’s reclassification denial.
Defendants do not oppose Plaintiff’s request.
The Court has
reviewed the documents that are the subject of the motions to seal
and concludes that sealing is warranted at this time.
As an initial matter, the Court notes that while litigants
have an interest in privacy, the public also has a right to obtain
information about judicial proceedings. Pansy v. Borough of
Stroudsburg, 23 F.3d 772, 786 (3d Cir. 1995).
In order to rebut
the presumption of public access, the party seeking
confidentiality must demonstrate “good cause” by establishing that
disclosure will cause a “‘clearly defined and serious injury to
the party seeking closure.’” Id. (quoting Publicker Indus., Inc.
v. Cohen, 733 F.2d 1059, 1071 (3d Cir. 1984)). “‘Broad allegations
of harm, unsubstantiated by specific examples or articulated
reasoning,’ do not support a good cause showing.”
Cipollone v. Liggett Group, Inc., 785 F.2d 1108, 1121 (3d
Cir.1986), cert. denied, 484 U.S. 976, 108 S.Ct. 487 (1987)).
The Court finds that the factors set forth in L. Civ. R.
5.3(c) are satisfied.
The information to be sealed is nonpublic
business and government information.
If Defendants’ evaluation
information is not sealed, their analytical system used for
reclassification of public service employees would become public
information, harming Defendants because applicants could
potentially learn to defeat the objectives of the test.
Furthermore, less restrictive alternatives are not available,
since the information is pervasive throughout the documents.
In balancing the potential injury versus the public interest
in access to judicial proceedings, the Court finds good cause for
granting Plaintiff's motion to seal.
For the foregoing reasons, Defendants are entitled to summary
judgment in their favor on all of Plaintiff’s claims.
motion to seal will be granted.
An appropriate Order will be
February 10, 2016
s/ Noel L. Hillman____
NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
At Camden, New Jersey
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