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Walker v. Housing Authority for City of Montgomery
United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
February 25, 2015
SYNETHIA L. WALKER, Plaintiff,
THE HOUSING AUTHORITY FOR THE CITY OF MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA, Defendant. JANET DeCRENY, Plaintiff,
THE HOUSING AUTHORITY FOR THE CITY OF MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA, and SHANELL HARDWICK, Defendants.
MYRON H. THOMPSON, District Judge.
The court is asked whether the EEOC intake questionnaire (doc. no. 125) should be let in. Although the court did not let it in earlier on a notice theory, plaintiffs now claim it should be let in as a prior consistent statement to show that plaintiff DeCreny had complained about color discrimination during her employment in contrast to defense counsel's suggestions otherwise during cross-examination. Defendants maintain that their questioning about DeCreny's complaint about discrimination based on color was limited to complaints within DeCreny's notes/diary (doc. no. 118) and that the EEOC intake questionnaire is unrelated. The court agrees with plaintiffs and will let the intake questionnaire into evidence to show prior consistent statements.
From January to April 2013, DeCreny kept written entries in a word document (doc. no. 118) about events "concerning" to her about her employment. The document includes 12 entries, which cover a range of topics. In these entries, DeCreny notes her conflicts with defendant Hardwick, including that Hardwick was "aggressive, unpleasant, and overbearing." Despite the complaints about Hardwick, the document never discusses color discrimination.
Defense counsel brought this out on cross-examination. He asked about this document, and DeCreny eventually admitted that the events on the list were things of concern to her. He then emphasized that race did not appear once. The key exchange is:
"Q. Okay. Have you looked at [document] 118 to see whether the mention of color, race, appears anywhere in here?
"Q. Do you have a feeling whether it does or not?
"Q. In fact, it doesn't appear anywhere in here, does it?
"A. I just said I don't have a feeling.
"Q. You don't know one way or the other?
"Q. Okay. See if you can find all those words that you ...