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Yudin v. Jordan School District

United States District Court, D. Utah

January 9, 2019

YURIY V. YUDIN, Plaintiff,
v.
JORDAN SCHOOL DISTRICT, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION & ORDER OVERRULING OBJECTION and ACCEPTING RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION

          Clark Waddoups United States District Court Judge.

         Introduction

         Plaintiff Yuriy V. Yudin, (Mr. Yudin) proceeding pro se, brought this action against the Jordan School District, alleging (I) National Origin Discrimination, (II) Disability Discrimination, (III) Violation of the Public Education Human Resource Management Act (PEHRMA), a Utah Statute, (ECF No. 3 at 3) (IV) Retaliation (ECF No. 3 at 5) and (V) Religious Discrimination. (ECF No. 3 at 6).

         This action was assigned to United States District Court Judge Clark Waddoups, who then referred it to United States Magistrate Judge Brook Wells pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). (ECF. No. 6.) The action was later reassigned to Magistrate Judge Dustin B. Pead. (ECF No. 15.) Before the court is Defendant Jordan School District's Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 23).

         On December 13, 2019, Judge Pead entered a Report and Recommendation, recommending that the court grant Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 26.) On December 30, 2019, Mr. Yudin objected to Judge Pead's Report and Recommendation. (ECF No. 27.) Mr. Yudin argued that Judge Pead's “Report and Recommendation must fail, ” in part because, in Mr. Yudin's view, his case “has not been fully and fairly litigated in the Utah Court of Appeals.” (ECF No. 27 at 2.) Mr. Yudin argued that “[c]ase review has not been granted and the issues have not been decided on the merits.” (ECF No. 27 at 2.)

         As explained below, because the Utah Court of Appeals' summary affirmance is entitled to preclusive effect under Utah law, it is entitled to preclusive effect in this court. The court accepts Judge Pead's recommended disposition and GRANTS Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 23).

         Background[1]

         “[O]n or around June 6, 2016, Mr. Yudin filed a Petitioner's Statement with the Utah Labor Commission's Adjudication Division.” (ECF No. 14 at 2.) In that Statement, Mr. Yudin wrote:

This Complaint is brought by Yuriy Yudin to secure redress for employment discrimination and violation of his civil rights to be free from discrimination on the basis of his religion and national origin under the First and Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution (“First” and “Fourteenth Amendment”) and under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, for violation of his rights secured by the Americans With Disabilities Act ("ADA") and corresponding statues in state of Utah.

(ECF No. 9-1 at 2.) Mr. Yudin also alleged that he was “suffering from ongoing retaliation from [Jordan School District] as any employer who wanted to hire [him], after [being] contacted [by Jordan School District] or [Bingham High School] administration refuses to offer me employment even those teaching positions remain open.” (ECF No. 9-1 at 6.) In his June 2016 filing, Mr. Yudin did not raise any argument related to PEHRMA. (See ECF No. 9-1 at 1-6.)

         “On August 22, 2017, Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Todd Newman issued an order granting Bingham High School's Motion for Summary Judgment.” (ECF No. 14 at 2 (citing ECF No. 9-2 at 17).) ALJ Newman addressed Mr. Yudin's [1] “claims for religious and national origin discrimination, ” (ECF No. 9-2 at 8); [2] “claim for disability discrimination/failure to accommodate, ” (ECF No. 9-2 at 13) and [3] “claim for retaliation.” (ECF No. 9-2 at 14.)

         On September 19, 2017, Mr. Yudin filed a “Motion for Review” of ALJ Newman's order with the Board of Appeals of Utah Labor Commission. (ECF No. 9-3.) In his September 2017 filing, Mr. Yudin argued that his employer had violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act, and PEHRMA. (ECF No. 9-3 at 13.)

         On December 5, 2017, the Appeals Board of the Utah Labor Commission entered an order Affirming ALJ Newman's decision.” (ECF No. 9-4 at 2.) In its Order, the Appeals Board “consider[ed] Mr. Yudin's arguments in the context of the complaints against Bingham: 1) national-origin discrimination; 2) religious discrimination; 3) retaliation; and 4) disability discrimination.” (ECF No. 9-4 at 5.)

         Mr. Yudin filed a petition for review of the Appeals Board's decision with the Utah Court of Appeals on December 12, 2017. (ECF No. 9-5 at 2.) He named Bingham High School as the Respondent.

         On January 4, 2018, the Utah Court of Appeals issued a sua sponte motion for summary disposition. On February 8, 2018, the Utah Court of Appeals issued an Order of Summary Affirmance, finding that Mr. Yudin “ha[d] not corrected the deficiency and ha[d] failed to raise a substantial issue for review.” (ECF No. 9-6 at 2.) Despite the fact that Mr. Yudin had named “Bingham High School” as the respondent in his petition for review, the Utah Court of Appeals named the Jordan School District as the respondent. The Utah Court of Appeals found that “[t]he Appeals Board of the Labor Commission [had] . . . affirmed the [ALJ's] . . . order granting summary judgment on Yudin's discrimination and retaliation claims in favor of Jordan School District . . . .” (ECF No. 9-6 at 2.) Ultimately, the Utah Court of Appeals found that Yudin did “not address the Board's rationale and its detailed analysis for each of his claims” and found that he had “failed to state a substantial issue for review warranting further proceedings by this court.” (ECF No. 9-6 at 3.)

         Mr. Yudin filed his Complaint with this court on July 18, 2018. (ECF No. 3.) The Jordan School District filed a Motion to Dismiss on August 27, 2018. The Jordan School District made two alternative arguments-(1) that the Rooker-Feldman doctrine proscribes the court's jurisdiction and (2) that the Utah Court of Appeal's decision operates as res judicata. (ECF No. 9 at 2.) On April 4, 2019 the court entered an order denying the Jordan School District's motion. (ECF No. 14.) The court held that because Mr. Yudin's complaint did not seek to invalidate the state-court judgment, Rooker-Feldman could not be ...


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