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RAYMOND v. U.S. CAPITOL POLICE BOARD

July 26, 2001

JACQUELINE J. RAYMOND, PLAINTIFF,
V.
U.S. CAPITOL POLICE BOARD, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Urbina, District Judge.

  MEMORANDUM OPINION

GRANTING THE DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

I. INTRODUCTION

This civil-rights matter comes before the court on the defendant's motion for summary judgment. The plaintiff, Jacqueline J. Raymond ("the plaintiff" or "Ms. Raymond"), brings this employment-discrimination case under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-16, and the Congressional Accountability Act, 2 U.S.C. § 1301 et seq.*fn1 Ms. Raymond alleges that: (1) the United States Capitol Police Board ("the defendant" or "the Capitol Police Board") discriminated against her on the basis of her race; (2) the defendant created a hostile-work environment; and (3) the defendant retaliated against her for making allegations of racial discrimination.

Specifically, Ms. Raymond claims that the defendant issued parking tickets to African-American officers, including her, but not to white officers who were parked in similar locations without permits. She also asserts that the Capitol Police Board failed to discipline a fellow officer who called her a "bitch." Lastly, Ms. Raymond claims that as a result of her allegations of racial discrimination, the Capitol Police Board retaliated by withholding her paycheck while she was on sick leave and by forcing her into retirement.

The defendant now moves for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff cannot establish a prima-facie case of discrimination, hostile work environment, or retaliation. For the reasons that follow, the court will grant the defendant's motion for summary judgment on all counts.

II. BACKGROUND

Ms. Raymond is an African-American woman. See Fourth Am. Compl. ("Compl.") ¶ 5. She served as a Capitol Police Officer from April 4, 1977 until May 31, 2000, when she reached the Capitol Police's mandatory retirement age of 57. See Def.'s Statement of Undisputed Material Facts ("SUMF") at 1. Ms. Raymond received several letters of commendation during her service. See Compl. ¶ 6.

On about March 30, 1999, Capitol Police Officer Carroll Arnold, a white male officer, gave Ms. Raymond a ticket for illegally parking in a zone without a permit. See Compl. ¶ 7. At Ms. Raymond's request, Capitol Police Sergeant Philip G. Gerber submitted the ticket to the inspector with a recommendation that the ticket be withdrawn, which it later was. See Mot. for Summ. J., Ex. 1. On April 5, 1999, Ms. Raymond received a second ticket for parking in the same location without a permit. See id., Ex. 2. Following the same procedure, the ticket was cancelled. See Compl. ¶ 9. Sergeant Gerber, however, ordered Ms. Raymond to park in her assigned location. Ms. Raymond complied. See id. ¶ 11. She alleges, however, that no white or male officer was given the same order.

At this time, Ms. Raymond told Sergeant Gerber that she thought the tickets were racially motivated. See Compl. ¶ 8. Ms. Raymond said she thought that white officers who had parked in the same area were not ticketed. See id. The Capitol Police Board says that Sergeant Gerber investigated this claim but concluded that the tickets were not racially motivated. See Mot. for Summ. J. at 3.

After the withdrawal of the second ticket, a fellow Capitol Police Officer, Stephen G. McGeown, referred to Ms. Raymond as "that bitch, that bitch, that bitch Jackie Raymond. She is the cause of all of this." See Compl. ¶ 10. Ms. Raymond did not hear this remark herself, but learned of it from Officer Arnold L. Fields. See id. ¶ 12. The Capitol Police Board does not dispute this incident. See Mot. for Summ. J. at 14. The next day, Sergeant Gerber questioned Officer Fields about the incident. See Compl. ¶ 13. Sergeant Gerber then disciplined Officer McGeown by deducting eight hours of accrued leave. See Mot. for Summ. J., Ex. 6. In addition, at roll call, the inspector announced that the Capitol Police were making efforts to arrange parking spaces for the officers in a garage. See Compl. ¶ 14. Sergeant Gerber also denounced the practice of issuing parking tickets to fellow officers. See id. The plaintiff alleges that after this speech, she was considered to be a "trouble maker" and was ostracized by her colleagues. See id. Ms. Raymond was unable to complete her shift that day, and Sergeant Gerber gave her permission to go home. See id. ¶ 15.

The next day, Sergeant Gerber called Ms. Raymond at home to try to convince her to return to work. See SUMF at 5. In addition, Sergeant Gerber offered to assist Ms. Raymond with the harassment problem by scheduling an appointment with a House of Representatives Employee Assistance Program counselor. See id. at 4-5. Ms. Raymond, however, never returned to work. See id. at 6. Ms. Raymond took stress-related leave until her mandatory-retirement date. See Compl. ¶ 28.

Ms. Raymond claims that the Capitol Police Board withheld her paycheck while she was on sick leave from May 1999 until May 2000. See Compl. ¶ 28. The Capitol Police Board responds that Ms. Raymond was compensated through sick leave funds and workers' compensation until her mandatory retirement in May 2000. See Mot. for Summ. J. at 6.

After the parties unsuccessfully tried to mediate, Ms. Raymond filed a complaint in the United States District Court on April 25, 2000. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss on June 26, 2000. The plaintiff then submitted her first amended complaint.*fn2 Thereafter, the plaintiff submitted a third and fourth amended complaint.*fn3 On March 13, 2001, the defendant moved for summary judgment. To date, no discovery has taken place.

III. DISCUSSION

A. Legal Standard

Summary judgment is appropriate when the pleadings and evidence demonstrate that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. See FED. R. Civ. P. 56(c); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986); Diamond v. Atwood, 43 F.3d 1538, 1540 (D.C.Cir. 1995). To determine what facts are "material," a court must look to the substantive law on which each claim rests. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). A "genuine issue" is one whose resolution could establish an element of a claim or defense, and therefore, affect the outcome of the action. See Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548; Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505.

In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the court must draw all justifiable inferences in the nonmoving party's favor and accept the nonmoving party's evidence as true. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255, 106 S.Ct. 2505. All evidence and the inferences drawn therefrom must be considered in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. A nonmoving party, however, must establish more than "the mere existence of a scintilla of evidence" in support of its position. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252, 106 S.Ct. 2505. To prevail on a motion for summary judgment, the moving party must show that the nonmoving party "fail[ed] to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and in which that party will bear the ultimate ...


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