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Ex-DYS staffer’s sexual harassment lawsuit dismissed without prejudice

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THE sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Darcie T. Quitugua against a Division of Youth Services male supervisor was dismissed without prejudice by District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona.

Dismissed without prejudice means the lawsuit can be refiled.

On Nov. 15, 2019, Judge Manglona directed Quitugua, a former DYS social worker, to explain why her lawsuit should not be dismissed following her failure to appear in a hearing.

The judge also asked the plaintiff to submit a report summarizing her efforts to hire an attorney, and to appear telephonically at a status conference on Jan.7, 2020.

In her recent order, the judge noted that Quitugua neither submitted a report nor appeared at the status conference despite efforts by court staff to remind her about it.

This was the second time that Quitugua had failed to appear for a status conference, the judge said.

She added that almost a year had passed since the plaintiff filed her complaint, but Quitugua still had not served the defendant.

The judge set a show-cause hearing for Jan. 22, 2020 and informed Quituga that failure to appear would result in the dismissal of the case.

In the end, the plaintiff never submitted a written response and did not appear for the show-cause hearing, the judge said.

“Thus, plaintiff has wholly failed to comply with this court’s orders or to prosecute her lawsuit. As the court warned would happen, this case is now dismissed without prejudice,” the judge said.

In her lawsuit, Quitugua named Julian R. Camacho, the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, and DYS as defendants.

She accused them of violating her her constitutional rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, alleging that she was discriminated because she was a woman.

Quitugua said she was employed by DYS as a social worker in the child protection unit from December 2012 to May 2014.

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