United States District Court, District of Columbia
ROSEMARY M. COLLYER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Camilla Younger is pursuing a claim of employment
discrimination on the basis of age under the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act 19 U.S.C. §§ 621
et seq. (2012) (ADEA) against Defendant District of Columbia
Public Schools (DCPS). Ms. Younger claims that she was not
transferred to a position as a part-time art teacher and
attendance officer by Principal Tanisha Williams-Minor
because of her age. DCPS denies Ms. Younger's claim and
asserts that Ms. Younger was not transferred for a legitimate
non-discriminatory business reason. This case is scheduled
for trial beginning on August 22, 2018. Prior to trial, DCPS
filed a motion in limine asking the Court to exclude each of
the exhibits offered by Ms. Younger, exclude testimony or
evidence related to her termination by DCPS, and make a
finding that Ms. Younger is not entitled to compensatory
damages due to her termination in August 2010. Ms. Younger
did not file an opposition to the motion in limine, but
counsel for Ms. Younger addressed some of the arguments at
the pretrial conference held on August 14, 2018. For the
foregoing reasons, the Court will permit Ms. Younger to
present testimony and evidence only related to the attempted
transfer to the Youth Engagement Academy and will exclude any
testimony and evidence related to her termination. The Court
also finds that Ms. Younger can be awarded only a declaratory
judgment and nominal damages if she proves her case at trial
because of her termination by DCPS in August 2010.
Younger served DCPS as a dual-certified art teacher and
attendance officer from 1992 to 2010. Prior to the 2008-2009
school year, Ms. Younger taught full-time at Woodson Senior
High School (WSHS). Am. Compl. [Dkt. 2] ¶ 34. Starting
in 2007, Ms. Younger also taught part-time as an evening art
teacher at Roosevelt Senior Alternative High School
(Roosevelt STAY). Ex. 1, Mot. for Summ. J., Deposition of
Camilla Younger (Younger Dep.) [Dkt. 58-1] at 93:8-11. After
the 2007-2008 school year, WSHS was closed and its students
were transferred to temporary locations. Am. Compl. ¶
34. Ms. Younger asked to be transferred to a temporary high
school location, but was instead moved to Woodson Ninth Grade
Academy, located inside Ron Brown Middle School. Id.
Younger's experience at Woodson Ninth Grade Academy was
not ideal. She alleges multiple instances of physical
altercations with students during the 2008-2009 school year,
see Id. ¶¶ 39-40, and states that she
submitted incident reports to DCPS regarding these events.
Id. ¶ 40. At the end of the 2008-2009 school
year, when DCPS teachers could apply to transfer to new
schools, Ms. Younger applied and was accepted for a position
at another school. Id. ¶ 41. However, Darrin
Slade, Principal of Woodson Ninth Grade Academy, convinced
Ms. Younger to return to Woodson Ninth Grade Academy and
assured her that he would authorize an immediate transfer if
her working conditions did not improve. Id.
Younger alleges that her working conditions worsened in the
next school year. See Id. ¶ 42; see also Ex. 2,
Mot. for Summ. J. [Dkt. 58-1] (Sept. 1, 2009 Report of
Injury). Ms. Younger states that she asked Principal Slade
for an immediate transfer and applied for workers'
compensation following a September 1, 2009 altercation, with
the hope of receiving a reasonable accommodation that would
allow her to continue working at Woodson Ninth Grade Academy.
Am. Compl. ¶¶ 43-44. In early October 2009, Ms.
Younger stopped reporting for work at Woodson Ninth Grade
Academy, but she continued to teach at Roosevelt STAY during
the evening. Ms. Younger did not return to the Woodson Ninth
Grade Academy for the remainder of the 2009-2010 school year.
the summer of 2010, Ms. Younger interviewed with several DCPS
principals for a new position. Among those with whom she
talked was Tanisia Williams-Minor, Principal at the Youth
Engagement Academy. Id. ¶ 45. Ms. Younger
alleges that after her interview with Principal
Williams-Minor,  she was offered a part-time position as
art teacher at the Youth Engagement Academy. Id. Ms.
Younger further alleges that Principal Williams-Minor
withdrew the transfer offer after she learned of Ms.
Younger's age. Id.
argues that Ms. Younger was never offered a position at the
Youth Engagement Academy. Because Principal Williams-Minor
either withdrew or did not offer a position to Ms. Younger,
and it was too late to apply to transfer elsewhere, Ms.
Younger was unable to transfer to a new school before the
2010-2011 school year.
Slade learned in August 2010 that Ms. Younger had continued
to teach at Roosevelt STAY during the period she claimed she
was unable to return to Woodson Ninth Grade Academy. On
August 16, 2010, Ms. Younger received a notice of termination
from the Director of Labor Management and Employee Relations
at DCPS, which stated that she would be terminated effective
August 27, 2010. See Ex. 6, Mot. for Summ. J., Notice of
Termination [Dkt. 58-1].
exhausting her administrative remedies, and acting pro se,
Ms. Younger filed a Complaint on August 27, 2013, see Compl.
[Dkt. 1], and an Amended Complaint shortly thereafter, see
Am. Compl. On July 25, 2014, the Court granted in part and
denied in part Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, dismissing
all claims except Count 1, which alleges that DCPS
discriminated against Ms. Younger due to her age when
Principal Williams-Minor withdrew or refused to grant her a
transfer and when Principal Slade discharged her; and Count
5, alleging that DCPS retaliated against Ms. Younger for
pursuing her workers' compensation claim. See Younger
v. DCPS (Younger I), 60 F.Supp.3d 130 (D.D.C. 2014). On
July 21, 2017, after lengthy discovery, the Court granted in
part and denied in part a motion for summary judgment by DCPS
and granted summary judgment in favor of DCPS on Count 5,
allowing only Count 1 to proceed to trial. See Younger v.
DCPS (Younger II), No. 13-1296, 2017 WL 3129733 (D.D.C. July
filed the instant Motion in Limine on May 25, 2018. See Mot.
in Limine [Dkt. 80]. It is ripe for review.
is admissible at trial if it is relevant and not more
prejudicial than probative. General relevance is covered by
Rule 401 of the Federal Rules of Evidence. “Evidence is
relevant if: (a) it has any tendency to make a fact more or
less probable than it would be without the evidence; and (b)
the fact is of consequence in determining the action.”
Fed.R.Evid. 403. Rule 402 states that “[i]rrelevant
evidence is not admissible.” Fed.R.Evid. 402.
relevance does not end the determination at trial. Relevant
evidence may also be excluded for “prejudice,
confusion, waste of time, or other reasons.”
Fed.R.Evid. 403 (“The court may exclude relevant
evidence if its probative value is substantially outweighed
by a danger of one or more of the following: unfair
prejudice, confusing the issue, ...