United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
SUCCESS JUMBO, et al. PLAINTIFFS
ALABAMA STATE UNIVERSITY DEFENDANT
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
STARRETT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on the Motion for Summary Judgment
 filed by Defendant Alabama State University. After
considering the submissions of the parties, the record, and
the applicable law, the Court finds that this motion is well
taken and should be granted.
originally brought this action in this Court on April 29,
2016. In that suit, Plaintiffs brought various
state law claims against Defendant Alabama State University
(“ASU”) for mishandling scholarship monies
provided to Plaintiffs by the Federal Republic of Nigeria. On
July 6, 2016, that suit was dismissed without prejudice for
lack of subject matter jurisdiction, as Plaintiffs failed to
meet the jurisdictional amount required for diversity
August 25, 2016, Plaintiffs filed the current suit, which is
based on the same alleged conduct, and bring the same state
law claims against ASU. In addition to these claims, though,
Plaintiffs bring a single federal claim under Title VI for
national origin discrimination. Plaintiffs now claim that ASU
mismanaged the scholarship monies and treated Plaintiffs
differently than other students because they are from
Standard of Review
Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a) provides that “[t]he
court shall 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.” The
Eleventh Circuit has held that
[s]ummary judgment is appropriate if the evidence before the
court shows that there is no genuine issue as to any material
fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a
matter of law. In making this determination, the court must
view all evidence and make all reasonable inferences in favor
of the party opposing summary judgment.
The mere existence of some factual dispute will not defeat
summary judgment unless that factual dispute is material to
an issue affecting the outcome of the case. The relevant
rules of substantive law dictate the materiality of a
disputed fact. A genuine issue of material fact does not
exist unless there is sufficient evidence favoring the
nonmoving party for a reasonable jury to return a verdict in
Chapman v. AI Transport, 229 F.3d 1012, 1023 (11th
Cir. 2000) (quoting Haves v. City of Miami, 52 F.3d
918, 921 (11th Cir. 1995)) (alteration in original).
Title VI Claim
bring their national origin discrimination claim under §
601 of Title VI, which prohibits discrimination “on
ground of race, color, or national origin” by
“any program or activity receiving Federal financial
assistance.” 42 U.S.C. § 2000d. The Supreme Court
has held that it is “beyond dispute . . . that §
601 prohibits only intentional discrimination.”
Alexander v. Sandoval, 532 U.S. 275, 280, 121 S.Ct.
1511, 149 L.Ed.2d 517 (2001). “Generally, claims of . .
. discrimination under Title VI should . . . be analyzed
under the same standards for claims of discrimination brought
under § 1981 and Title VII.” Robertson v.
Interactive Coll. of Tech./Interactive Learning Sys.,
Inc., No. 1:14-CV-2728-MHC-JSA, 2017 WL 5197874, at *25
(N.D.Ga. Jan. 13, 2017) (citing Pryor v. Nat'l
Collegiate Athletic Ass'n, 288 F.3d 548, 569 (3d
Cir. 2002)). In the absence of direct evidence of
discrimination, the Court applies the McDonnell
Douglas burden shifting analysis. See Silva v. St.
Anne Catholic Sch., 595 F.Supp.2d 1171, 1182 (D. Kan.
2009) (citing Guardians Ass'n v. Civil Serv.
Comm'n of N.Y., 463 U.S. 582, 103 S.Ct. 3221, 77
L.Ed.2d 866 (1983)). Under this analysis, Plaintiffs must first
establish their prima facie case before the burden shifts to
Defendant to provide a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason
for its actions. Id. The burden then shifts once
again to Plaintiffs, who must show that Defendant's
reason is “pretextual.” Id.
establish their prima facie case, Plaintiffs must show that:
“(1) they are members of a protected class; (2) they
suffered adverse action; and (3) they were treated less
favorably than similarly situated students.”
Id. (citations omitted). Defendant argues that
Plaintiffs have not adduced sufficient evidence
“similarly situated students” were treated more
favorably than they were. In fact, ...