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Morris v. Carter Goble Lee, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Columbia.

July 10, 2015


TIMOTHY C. MORRIS, Plaintiff, Pro se, Temple Hills, MD.

For CARTER GLOBAL LEE, INC., Defendant: Paul Warren Mengel , III, PILIEROMAZZA PLLC, Washington, DC.

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COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY, United States District Judge.

Plaintiff Timothy C. Morris brings this action pro se against Defendant Carter Goble Lee, Inc., asserting a variety of claims arising out of the termination of Plaintiff's employment with Defendant. Previously, the Court dismissed all of Plaintiff's claims other than his discrimination claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1981. See Morris v. Carter Global Lee, Inc., 997 F.Supp.2d 27, 31 (D.D.C. 2013). Presently before the Court is Defendant's [45] Motion for Summary Judgment with respect to the remaining claim under Section 1981. Upon consideration of the pleadings,[1] the

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relevant legal authorities, and the record as a whole, the Court GRANTS Defendant's [45] Motion for Summary Judgment. The Court concludes Plaintiff has not provided evidence that would allow a reasonable jury to find that Defendant intentionally discriminated against him on the basis of race. Accordingly, the Court dismisses this case in its entirety.


A. Factual Background[2]

Plaintiff was employed by Defendant as a cell inspector at the District of Columbia Jail. Deposition of Timothy Morris (" Pl.'s Dep." ) 41:21-22, Oct. 10, 2014, ECF No. 45-2; ECF No. 52-1. Despite his title, Plaintiff mainly worked as a plumber for the duration of his employment. Id. at 41:2-42:12. One of his additional duties was to inspect the heating system. Id. at 43:4-44:6. On February 23, 2009, Plaintiff's employment with Defendant was terminated. Declaration of William R. Kinsley (" Kinsley Decl." ) ¶ 11, November 25, 2014, ECF No. 45-3.

Plaintiff arrived to work at approximately 3:00 a.m. on February 23, 2009 to inspect the heating system at the D.C. Jail. Pl.'s Dep. at 56:6-7. To access the mechanical room that houses the heating system, Plaintiff needed to sign out the keys. Id. at 49:1-10. According to a report documenting key access provided by the Defendant, Plaintiff was the only person to sign out the keys that morning. Audit Key Transactions Report, Feb. 23, 2009, ECF No. 45-5. The heating system was working fine when Plaintiff entered the mechanical room. Pl.'s Dep. at 56:5-16; 58:12-15. Defendant states that at approximately 7:30 a.m., Facility Manager William Kinsley and employee Mustafa Ambrocon entered the mechanical room and discovered the steam valves controlling the heating system turned off. Kinsley Decl. at ¶ 7. Defendant further contends that the Warden of the D.C. Jail

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directed Defendant to fire Plaintiff. Id. ¶ 10. Plaintiff disputes that he turned the heating system off or adjusted the steam valves. Pl.'s Dep. at 57:9-10; 58:12-15. He further states that the heating system was in disrepair and that, while Defendant knew of this fact, Defendant made no effort to repair or upgrade the system. Pl.'s Opp'n ¶ 5-7.

B. Procedural Background

Plaintiff filed suit against Defendant on May 29, 2012 in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia alleging wrongful termination and violation of his civil rights. See Notice of Removal, ECF No. 1. Defendant timely removed this matter to this Court on the basis of federal question jurisdiction. Id. On the same day, Defendant filed its [3] Rule 12(e) Motion for More Definite Statement, which the Court granted on the grounds that Plaintiff's Superior Court Complaint lacked any discussion of the legal basis for his claims. See Order of Feb. 18, 2013, ECF No. 9. Pursuant to this Court's Order, on March 11, 2013, Plaintiff filed his [10] Amended Complaint, which presented five claims against Defendant: (1) Violation of Civil and Human Rights; (2) Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress; (3) False Accusations; (4) Fraud; and (5) Wrongful Firing. Defendant then filed its [12] Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss, contending that Plaintiff's allegations failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The Court granted that motion with respect to all of Plaintiff's claims other than his claim pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1981. See Morris, 997 F.Supp.2d at 31. The Court found that Plaintiff sufficiently ...

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