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CASTLE v. BENTSEN

January 18, 1995

DIAN L. CASTLE, Plaintiff,
v.
LLOYD M. BENTSEN, Secretary of the Department of Treasury, Defendant.


CHARLES R. RICHEY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE


The opinion of the court was delivered by: CHARLES R. RICHEY

UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

 INTRODUCTION

 Before the Court are the Defendant's Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict ("JNOV") *fn1" and the Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Judgment, each filed following the return of a jury verdict for the Plaintiff on November 1, 1994, in the above-captioned case. Upon careful review of the pleadings, the relevant case law, the oral argument of counsel at the December 16, 1994 hearing on said motions, and the entire record herein, the Court shall deny both motions, as hereinafter set forth.

 BACKGROUND

 On November 4, 1994, counsel for both parties entered into an oral stipulation that any and all unresolved issues concerning backpay, front pay and reinstatement shall be committed to the sole and sound discretion of the Court, sitting without a jury, to be determined on the basis of the entire record. On November 7, 1994, a hearing was held on the issue of the Plaintiff's entitlement to such equitable relief. In a Memorandum Opinion entered November 8, 1994, the Court found that the Plaintiff was entitled to backpay until September 30, 1992, the date upon which the Defendant discovered evidence of the Plaintiff's plagiarism of the book entitled The Coach and other on-the-job-training materials. The Court further found, in the exercise of its equitable discretion, that the Plaintiff was not entitled to front pay or reinstatement. *fn2" Pursuant to the Court's Order of even date, the parties filed a Stipulation on November 17, 1994 as to the precise amount of backpay the Plaintiff may recover pursuant to the Court's findings. It is this Memorandum Opinion and Order that the Plaintiff now challenges in her instant Motion to Amend Judgment.

 DISCUSSION

 
I. UNDER THE SUPREME COURT'S DECISION IN AIKENS, AND UNDER THE STANDARDS GOVERNING MOTIONS FOR JUDGMENT NOTWITHSTANDING THE VERDICT, THE COURT FINDS THAT THE DEFENDANT'S MOTION MUST BE DENIED.

 The Defendant moves for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict, pursuant to Rule 50(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, on the grounds that the Plaintiff failed to produce sufficient evidence upon which a reasonable jury could find that she was discriminated against on account of her sex. More specifically, the Defendant argues that the Plaintiff failed to prove her prima facie case under McDonnell Douglas v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 36 L. Ed. 2d 668, 93 S. Ct. 1817 (1973), because she did not produce sufficient evidence in support of the fourth criterion set forth by the Supreme Court in that case, namely, that male employees were treated more favorably that she was. *fn3"

  In response, the Plaintiff cites controlling Supreme Court precedent to which the Defendant offers no substantive challenge. In United States Postal Service Board of Governors v. Aikens, 460 U.S. 711, 75 L. Ed. 2d 403, 103 S. Ct. 1478 (1983), the Supreme Court held that once a case proceeds beyond summary disposition and the defendant proffers an alleged non-discriminatory reason for its actions against the plaintiff, "the McDonnell-Burdine presumption 'drops from the case,' and 'the factual inquiry proceeds to a new level of specificity.'" Aikens, 460 U.S. at 715 (quoting Texas Dep't of Community Affairs v. Burdine, 450 U.S. 248, 255 n.10, 255, 67 L. Ed. 2d 207, 101 S. Ct. 1089 (1981)). The Court explained,

 
Where the defendant has done everything that would be required of him if the plaintiff had properly made out a prima facie case, whether the plaintiff really did so is no longer relevant. The district court has before it all the evidence it needs to determine whether "the defendant intentionally discriminated against the plaintiff."

 Id. (quoting Burdine, 450 U.S. at 253).

 In the instant case, the Court denied the Defendant's Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law at the close of the Plaintiff's case-in-chief, and the Defendant proffered substantial evidence of legitimate nondiscriminatory reasons for the Plaintiff's termination. Under Aikens, a challenge to the Plaintiff's prima facie case at this late date is inappropriate and provides no ...


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