United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
KEITH WATKINS CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
se Plaintiff Vickie Coleman filed this action against
her former employer, Defendant Hwashin America Corporation.
Coleman claims Hwashin violated Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Equal Pay
Act, contract law, and the Due Process Clause. (Doc. # 1.)
Both parties moved for summary judgment. (Docs. # 54, 57.)
The Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge concludes that
summary judgment should be granted for Hwashin and against
Coleman. (Doc. # 71.) Coleman now objects to that
Recommendation. (Doc. # 72.)
initial matter, the court notes that several of Coleman's
objections are inadequate. An objection to a Recommendation
must “pinpoint the specific findings that the party
disagrees with.” United States v. Schultz, 565
F.3d 1353, 1360 (11th Cir. 2009); see Fed. R. Civ.
P. 72(b)(2) (requiring “specific” objections).
“Frivolous, conclusive, or general objections need not
be considered by the district court.” Marsden v.
Moore, 847 F.2d 1536, 1548 (11th Cir. 1988).
Coleman's objections cite no legal authority. And while
her objections refer to “evidence” in general,
they cite no specific evidence. Instead, Coleman simply makes
conclusory (and often confusing) comments.
the court has reviewed the disputed portions of the
Recommendation de novo. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b). It
finds that the Recommendation is due to be adopted in its
entirety. The Recommendation is comprehensive and
well-reasoned, so the court need not rehash why Hwashin is
entitled to summary judgment and why this case is due to be
dismissed. Instead, the court will simply respond to
Coleman's objections to the Recommendation.
Coleman claims the Recommendation “applied the wrong
legal standard of review and analysis.” (Doc. # 72, at
4.) Not so. The Recommendation correctly applied the
well-established rules governing motions for summary
judgment. (See Doc. # 71, at 5-7.)
Coleman faults the Recommendation for following the statement
of undisputed material facts in Hwashin's motion for
summary judgment. Though the Recommendation's statement
of facts (Doc. # 71, at 8-13) mirrors the statement of facts
in Hwashin's motion (Doc. # 57, at 4-13), that is only
because Coleman failed to present evidence showing that those
facts were in dispute (see Doc. # 71, at 8 n.4). Put
differently, because the facts were not in dispute, the
Recommendation was free to rely on them.
Coleman says Hwashin “failed to confront the pleadings
and evidence offered by . . . Coleman.” (Doc. # 72, at
4.) That is not correct. Hwashin filed both a response to
Coleman's motion for summary judgment (Doc. # 62) and a
reply in support of its own motion for summary judgment (Doc.
# 69). And it does not matter whether Hwashin responded to
every jot and tittle of Coleman's argument; it matters
whether Coleman or Hwashin is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.
Coleman argues that the Recommendation “evades the
fact” that her motion for summary judgment “was
timely filed and was acknowledged days before [Hwashin] filed
its motion for summary judgment.” (Doc. # 72, at 4.)
This objection is both wrong and irrelevant. It is wrong
because the Recommendation notes that Coleman moved for
summary judgment before Hwashin did. (Doc. # 71, at 2.) It is
irrelevant because Hwashin's motion was timely and
because Hwashin is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Coleman argues that Hwashin's motion to strike a portion
of Coleman's affidavit (Doc. # 63) was untimely (Doc. #
72, at 5). But Hwashin's motion to strike was not
untimely. The Uniform Scheduling Order did not address
motions to strike, and there is nothing wrong with filing a
motion to strike after one files a motion for summary
Coleman claims Hwashin “did not define its letter of
termination and is supportive adjective words as it would
apply to . . . Coleman.” (Doc. # 72, at 5.) That
objection seems to argue that the termination letter that
Hwashin sent Coleman (Doc. # 58-1, at 41) should have given a
more detailed explanation of why Hwashin fired Coleman. But
though the letter is terse, other evidence explains the
decision to fire Coleman. (See, e.g., Doc. # 58-2,
at 4; Doc. # 58-3, at 3; Doc. # 58-4, at 3.)
Coleman confusingly asserts that “the gift card
conversation was not of ownership and the person surrounding
the gift card was not an employee.” (Doc. # 72, at 5.)
That objection seems to dispute what happened when Brandon
Lawson handed his gift cards to Coleman. But it does not
matter that Coleman did not steal the gift cards or that
Lawson was a fresh hire. What matters is that Hwashin fired
Coleman because it believed she undermined her
supervisor's authority. (Doc. # 71, at 20, 26.) Along the
same lines, it is irrelevant that Lawson “is not the
plaintiff nor the defendant.” (Doc. # 72, at 6.)
Lawson's affidavit, on which Coleman herself relies (Doc.
# 54-3), is enough.
Coleman claims that there is no “evidence of record as
to who is upper management and what constitutes
deliberate.” (Doc. # 72, at 5.) Hwashin, however,
adequately explained why it fired Coleman. Coleman did not
show that Hwashin's explanation was pretextual.
Coleman asserts that the Recommendation should have cited the
2009 version of the Hwashin employee handbook, not the 2014
version. Coleman seems to claim that the 2009 handbook did
not specify what would happen if an employee deliberately
undermined upper management. (Doc. # 72, at 6.) But the 2014
version of the handbook states that “[u]ndermining the
authority of upper management” is a “major
offense” that will “almost always result in
discharge.” (Doc. # 58-2, at 37.) It is irrelevant that
the 2014 handbook does not use the word
“deliberate” or that the 2009 handbook possibly
said something different.
Coleman argues that the Recommendation ignores evidence. Not
so. The Recommendation did not ignore any material evidence.
Nor did it resolve any genuine disputes of material ...