United States District Court, D. Arizona
S. Willett, United States Magistrate Judge
before the Court is Defendant's fully briefed Motion for
Summary Judgment (Docs. 63, 64, 73, 74) and Motion for
Sanctions (Docs. 61, 66, 67) in a civil case alleging
unlawful employment discrimination which occurred while
Plaintiff was working for Glendale Elementary School
District. Two causes of action remain in Plaintiff's
First Amended Complaint (Doc. 9): a violation of Title VII of
the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Count Two) and a violation of
42 U.S.C.§ 1981 (Count Six). The parties have consented
to proceeding before a Magistrate Judge pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 73 and 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) (Doc. 20). This
Court has federal question jurisdiction over Plaintiff's
federal law claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C.§ 1331.
argument has been requested on Defendant's Motion for
Summary Judgment. However, the matter has been fully briefed,
and the Court deems oral argument unnecessary to a
determination of the issues presented. The request for oral
argument is denied.
reviewing the parties' submissions, the Court finds that
no genuine issue of material fact exists, and Defendant is
entitled to summary judgment on Counts Two and Six of
Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint as a matter of law.
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 63) will be
granted for the reasons set forth herein.
the Court will grant the Defendant's Motion for Summary
Judgment, the Motion for Sanctions (Doc. 61) will be denied
filed her First Amended Complaint (Doc. 9) on December 12,
2014. Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss First Amended
Complaint (Doc. 17) on January 5, 2015. By Order (Doc. 25)
filed on May 26, 2015, the Court found that Plaintiff's
notice of claim did not fully comply with Ariz. Rev. Stat.
§ 12-821.01(E) and deemed Plaintiff's state claims
barred, granting Defendant's Motion to Dismiss as to all
state law claims reflected in Counts One, Three, Four, and
Five. The Court denied the Motion to Dismiss as to Counts Two
and Six (Doc. 25 at 7). Defendant filed an Answer to the
First Amended Complaint on June 12, 2015 (Doc. 26). All
issues are joined.
filed its Motion for Summary Judgment (Docs. 63-64) on
December 5, 2016. Plaintiff responded (Doc. 73) and Defendant
replied (Doc. 74). Defendant asserts that Plaintiff has
failed to meet her burden of proof on Counts Two and Six.
Defendant also filed a Motion for Sanctions (Doc. 61) on
November 29, 2016, alleging that Plaintiff has failed to
respond to discovery requests. Plaintiff responded (Doc. 66)
and Defendant replied (Doc. 67). Plaintiff asserts that she
has responded to Defendant's discovery and met her burden
of proof as to Counts Two and Six. The matters are deemed
submitted for decision.
judgment is appropriate if the evidence, when reviewed in a
light most favorable to the non-moving party, demonstrates
“that there is no genuine dispute as to any material
fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). Substantive law determines
which facts are material in a case and “only disputes
over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under
governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary
judgment.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). “A fact issue is genuine
‘if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could
return a verdict for the nonmoving party.'”
Villiarimo v. Aloha Island Air, Inc., 281 F.3d 1054,
1061 (9th Cir. 2002) (quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at
248). Thus, the nonmoving party must show that the genuine
factual issues “‘can be resolved only by a finder
of fact because they may reasonably be resolved in favor of
either party.'” Cal. Architectural Bldg.
Prods., Inc. v. Franciscan Ceramics, Inc., 818 F.2d
1466, 1468 (9th Cir. 1987) (quoting Anderson, 477
U.S. at 250).
“[c]redibility determinations, the weighing of the
evidence, and the drawing of legitimate inferences from the
facts are jury functions, not those of a judge . . . [t]he
evidence of the nonmovant is to be believed, and all
justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor” at
the summary judgment stage. Anderson, 477 U.S. at
255 (citing Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398
U.S. 144, 158-59 (1970)); Harris v. Itzhaki, 183
F.3d 1043, 1051 (9th Cir. 1999) (“Issues of
credibility, including questions of intent, should be left to
the jury.”) (citations omitted).
moving for summary judgment, the burden of proof initially
rests with the moving party to present the basis for his
motion and to identify those portions of the record and
affidavits that he believes demonstrate the absence of a
genuine issue of material fact. See Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). If the movant fails
to carry his initial burden of production, the non-movant
need not produce anything further. The motion for summary
judgment would then fail. However, if the movant meets his
initial burden of production, then the burden shifts to the
non-moving party to show that a genuine issue of material
fact exists and that the movant is not entitled to judgment
as a matter of law. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248, 250;
Triton Energy Corp. v. Square D. Co., 68 F.3d 1216,
1221 (9th Cir. 1995). The nonmovant need not establish a
material issue of fact conclusively in his favor. First
Nat'l Bank of Ariz. v. Cities Serv. Co., 391 U.S.
253, 288-89 (1968). However, he must “come forward with
specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for
trial.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v.Zenith
Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986) (internal citation
and emphasis omitted); see Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(1).
allegations unsupported by factual material are insufficient
to defeat a motion for summary judgment. Taylor v.
List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989); see also
Soremekun v. Thrifty Payless, Inc., 502 F.3d 978, 984
(9th Cir. 2007) (“[c]onclusory, speculative testimony
in affidavits and moving papers is insufficient to raise
genuine issues of fact and defeat summary judgment”).
Nor can such allegations be the basis for a motion for
VII of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.,
(“Title VII”) provides that “[i]t shall be
an unlawful employment practice for an employer (1) to fail
or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or
otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to
his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of
employment, because of such individual's race, color,
religion, sex, or national origin . . . .” 42 U.S.C.
§ 2000e-2(a)(1). In a claim for discrimination pursuant
to Title VII, a plaintiff must “offer evidence that
‘give[s] rise to an inference of unlawful
discrimination.'” Lowe v. City of
Monrovia, 775 F.2d 998, 1005 (9th Cir. 1985), as
amended, 784 F.2d 1407 (1986) (quoting Texas Dept.
of Community Affairs v. Burdine, 450 U.S. 248, 253
(1981)). A plaintiff may prove discrimination by direct