I am following up on an old court case that was reported in the news last year that stated:

Rafaela Espinal, a Dominican-American woman, claims in court filings she was abruptly fired from her job as a head of Community School District 12 in the Bronx in August 2018 without any reason given.

Karen Ames, a 30-year Department of Education employee, also claims she was fired without warning in August 2018 and notified the department was “moving in a new direction.”

In November 16, 2021 the case was dismissed on the grounds that the:

Plaintiff's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaint is not sufficient to satisfy the notice of claim requirement because it was not filed within three months of plaintiff's demotion

This makes sense given the demotion happened in 2018 but on December the 29th 2021 an appeal was made stating the following:

Whether the Lower Court erred by holding that the only adverse employment action stated with specificty in the Complaint was the coerced demotion in 2018.

Whether the Lower Court erred when it held that there was no continuing pattern of discrimination which would have tolled the time for Plaintiff to file a Notice of Claim or its equivalent.

No further documents are available so I assume they are awaiting on a response from the appeal's process.

My question is then how long does the appeal process take and is anyone able to provide any insight on whether their appeal has any merit? For example is it normal for the damaging affects of a demotion to be given as a reason to have "tolled the time" to file a complaint?

1 Answer 1


An appeal, realistically, in New York State, takes more than a year, and often two years to run its course. It could take longer in some cases as there are no firm deadlines for appellate courts to rule within (at least in this kind of case).

The grounds asserted in the appeal are facially reasons for appealing a decision that make logical, legal sense. Whether the facts and the trial court's ruling actually support those grounds for an appeal making it likely to prevail is another question.

Both issues are going to be evaluated on the basis of whether there was any evidence in the record to support the findings of fact made in the trial court to support its decision, and whether accepting all findings of fact that have support in record as true, the trial court's decision was an abuse of discretion. Those are difficult, but hardly impossible, hurdles to get over to prevail on an appeal.

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