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Yudin v. Jordan School District

United States District Court, D. Utah, Central Division

April 4, 2019

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

          MEMORANDUM DECISION & ORDER SUSTAINING OBJECTION AND DECLINING TO ADOPT REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          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, a Utah Statute, (ECF No. 3 at 3) (IV) Retaliation (ECF No. 3 at 5) and (V) Religious Discrimination. (ECF No. 3 at 6.)

         Before the court are three motions, [1] Plaintiff's Motion to Appoint Counsel, (ECF No. 4) [2] Plaintiff's Motion to Seal Plaintiff's name (ECF No. 5.) and [3] Defendant's Motion to Dismiss. (ECF No. 9.)

         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.) On December 5, 2018 Judge Wells issued a Report and Recommendation, recommending that “Defendant's Motion to Dismiss be GRANTED and this case be dismissed for want of jurisdiction.” (ECF No. 12 at 4.) Magistrate Judge Wells also recommended that “[t]he remaining motions should be DENIED or DEEMED MOOT.” (ECF No. 12 at 4.)

         After careful review of the record, applying a de novo standard of review, the court concludes that the Jordan School District failed to clearly distinguish the applicable principle of law in persuading Magistrate Judge Wells into forming conclusions that are contrary to law. The court therefore sustains Mr. Yudin's Objection and declines to adopt Magistrate Judge Wells' recommendations.

         Background

         Mr. Yudin was formerly employed as a physics teacher at Bingham High School. (ECF No. 3 at 6.) Bingham High School is located in South Jordan, Utah and is part of the Jordan School District. On or around June 6, 2016, Mr. Yudin filed a Petitioner's Statement with the Utah Labor Commission's Adjudication Division. (See ECF No. 9-1 at 2.) In this 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.)

         On August 22, 2017, Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Todd Newman issued an order granting Bingham High School's Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 9-2 at 17.) In this Order, ALJ Newman noted that Mr. Yudin was asserting “claims of religious, national origin, and disability discrimination, and retaliation.” (ECF No. 9-2 at 2.) ALJ Newman dismissed Mr. Yudin's claim for religious discrimination because he did not allege that he was a member of any particular religion, nor did he “allege any facts that employees of Bingham High School are members of any particular religion.” (ECF No. 9-2 at 9.) ALJ Newman also held that “Mr. Yudin's claim for national origin discrimination fails as a matter of law.” (ECF No. 9-2 at 13.) ALJ Newman also held that “Bingham High School” was entitled to judgment as a matter of law on Mr. Yudin's” disability discrimination/failure to accommodate claim. (ECF No. 9-2 at 13.) ALJ Newman also held that “Mr. Yudin's retaliation claim fails as a matter of law.” (ECF No. 9-2 at 17.) ALJ Newman noted that “by choosing a hearing before the Adjudication Division, Mr. Yudin has elected to have his case governed by Utah law, not federal [law].”[1] (ECF No. 9-2 at 10 n. 7.)

         On September 19, 2017, Mr. Yudin submitted a “Motion for Review” to the Board of Appeals of the Utah Labor Commission. (ECF No. 9-3.) 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.) Mr. Yudin petitioned the Utah Court of Appeals for review. (ECF No. 9-5.) On February 8, 2018, the Utah Court of Appeals entered an Order of Summary Affirmance affirming the Appeals Board of the Utah Labor Commission. (ECF No. 9-6.)

         On July 18, 2018, Mr. Yudin filed his Complaint with this court. (ECF No. 3.) He alleged that he “worked as a teacher in Physics in Bingham High School” and was “discriminated because of [his] national origin (accent) and disability . . . .” (ECF No. 3 at 2.) He also alleged retaliation and religious discrimination. (ECF No. 3 at 5-6.) He further alleged a violation of the Public Education Human Resource Management Act, a Utah statute. (ECF No. 3 at 2.)

         On August 27, 2018, the Jordan School District filed a Motion to Dismiss, arguing that “[t]he Rooker-Feldman doctrine proscribes the Court's Jurisdiction.” (ECF No. 9 at 7.) The Jordan School District also argued that “[t]he decision in ...


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