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Tyler v. District of Columbia Housing Authority

United States District Court, District of Columbia

August 14, 2017

JAMES H. TYLER, Plaintiff,
v.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HOUSING AUTHORITY, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          JOHN D. BATES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on the District of Columbia Housing Authority's Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF No. 37. For the reasons discussed below, the motion will be granted.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Tyler sought employment with the District of Columbia Housing Authority (“DCHA”). Compl. at 1; Mem. of P. & A. in Support of District of Columbia Housing Auth.'s Mot. for Summ. J., ECF No. 37 (“Def.'s Mem.”), Ex. E at 1 (page number designated by ECF); Pl. Oppose [sic] Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J., ECF No. 40 (“Pl.'s Opp'n”) at 1. On September 19, 2007, he applied for a Security Officer position. Compl. at 1; see generally Def.'s Mem., Ex. A at 1. At that time, plaintiff was 67 years of age. Def.'s Mem., Ex. C at 1.

         According to DCHA, “[a] high school diploma or equivalent degree was required in order for an applicant to meet the minimum qualifications for the Security Officer position.” Def.'s Mem., Ex. H ¶ 4. Tyler alleges that he “has a G.E.D. and over 100 college credit hours.” Compl. at 2. On his application, plaintiff indicated that he attended high school and had taken some college courses. Def.'s Mem., Ex. A at 1. He did not indicate the dates he attended high school; he did not check a box to indicate whether he had graduated high school; he did not indicate the year he received his diploma or GED. See id., Ex. A at 1. In short, the “application did not indicate he had a high school diploma or equivalent degree, ” id., Ex. H ¶ 5, without which Tyler “would not have been eligible for the position of Security Officer, ” id., Ex. H ¶ 6.[1]

         DCHA did not select Tyler. See Compl. at 1. Tyler believed that DCHA refused to hire him because of his age, and on May 14, 2008, he filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”).[2] Id.; see Def.'s Mem., Ex. B. The EEOC summarized the findings of its investigation as follows:

You alleged that the [DCHA] discriminated against you on the basis of your age (67) in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act when it failed to hire you for the position of Police Officer on or around September 2007. The [DCHA] was unable to locate any records evidencing your application for Police Officer. However, it did produce an application for [a] Security Officer Position you submitted on September 19, 2007. You were not selected for that position. The evidence indicates that you were not selected because you failed to indicate that you had earned a high school diploma or equivalent degree.
You did not produce any additional evidence that would support a finding of age discrimination. Based on this evidence, it is unlikely that [DCHA] subjected you to discrimination on the basis of age in violation of EEOC's laws. Therefore, we decline to pursue the matter further.

Def.'s Mem., Ex. C (emphasis added). Undaunted by the EEOC's determination, Tyler has brought this action against DCHA under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), see 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq. Compl. at 2.

         The parties conducted some discovery, namely written discovery DCHA sent plaintiff on November 14, 2016. Def.'s Mem. at 5. Tyler responded to DCHA's interrogatories. See id., Ex. E. But he neither appeared for his deposition on January 11, 2017, see id., Exs. G-H (respectively, Notice of Deposition Duces Tecum and Transcript), nor responded to DCHA's requests for admission, id., Ex. F at 3.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Summary Judgment Standard

         The Court may grant summary judgment “if the movant shows 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). “The party seeking summary judgment bears the initial responsibility of demonstrating the absence of a genuine dispute of material fact.” Bowe-Connor v. Shinseki, 845 F.Supp.2d 77, 86 (D.D.C. 2012) (citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986)). A fact is material if it “affect[s] the outcome of the suit under the governing law.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). “A dispute is ‘genuine' if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Mokhtar v. Kerry, 83 F.Supp.3d 49, 60 (D.D.C. 2015) (citing Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007)) (additional citations omitted), aff'd, No. 15-5137, 2015 WL 9309960 (D.C. Cir. Dec. 4, 2015). “[T]he mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary judgment; the requirement is that there be no genuine issue of material fact.” Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 247-48 (emphasis in original).

         The moving party may discharge its burden “by ‘showing' - that is, pointing out to the district court - that there is an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case.” Celotex, 477 U.S. at 325. The non-moving party must “go beyond the pleadings” to defeat summary judgment. Id. at 324. He is required to “designate ‘specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial, '” id., by “citing to particular parts of materials in the record, including depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations (including those made for purposes of the motion only), admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials, ” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(A); see Laningham v. U.S. Navy, 813 F.2d 1236, 1241 (D.C. Cir. 1987). ...


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