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Jackson v. Doubleback Transportation

United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division

June 5, 2019

RONALD JACKSON, Plaintiff,
v.
DOUBLEBACK TRANSPORTATION, Defendant.

          ORDER ENTERING SUMMARY JUDGMENT IN DEFENDANT'S FAVOR

          KRISTI K. DuBOSE, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         In an Order dated May 6, 2019, this Court notified pro se Plaintiff Ronald Jackson that, based on the evidence submitted during his motion for summary judgment, it believed this case merited sue sponte summary judgment in favor of Defendant Doubleback Transportation, LLC.[1](Doc. 52). Doubleback did not move for summary judgment. However, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(f)(1) permits the Court to grant summary judgment for a nonmovant.[2] Rule 56(f)(1) serves as a convenient method by which courts may dispose of a case without proceeding to an “unnecessary trial[, ]” 10A Charles Alan Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice & Procedure § 2720.1 (4th ed. 2008), so long as it provides “notice and a reasonable time to respond[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(f). The May 6 Order provided the requisite notice. (See Doc. 52 at 16). And importantly, in this case, all claims “have been fully developed in the evidentiary record . . . .”[3] Artistic Ent., Inc. v. City of Warner Robins, 331 F.3d 1196, 1202 (11th Cir. 2003). Jackson therefore had the opportunity to develop and marshal the evidence necessary to support and sustain his claims.

         The May 6 Order outlined elements of Jackson's claims that a plaintiff in the Eleventh Circuit must satisfy in order to withstand summary judgment. Moreover, the May 6 Order gave Jackson three weeks within which to supplement the record and persuade the Court-already familiar with the facts of this case-that its belief was in error. Unpersuaded, the Court now sua sponte grants summary judgment in Doubleback's favor.

         I. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         The Court provided a more complete procedural background in the May 6 Order. For present purposes, the Court provides the following background. Jackson filed an amended complaint after the Court afforded him the opportunity. (Doc. 34). As amended, the complaint alleged the following claims:

a. Workplace Discrimination on the Basis of Race
b. Hostile Work Environment on the Basis of Race and in Retaliation
c. Retaliation
d. Failure to Adequately Train

See (Doc. 42 at 1 (“The Plaintiff is pursuing claims against Double Back Transportation for hostile work environment, termination/discharge in regards to same or similiar [sic] under Section 1981 and Title VII and failure to adequately train.”); see also Doc. 34-1 at 7 (“The [n]egative appraisal occu[r]red after protected activity on April 11, 2017, Plaintiff was subjected to adverse activity.”)).

         Jackson then filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings. (Doc. 42). The Court converted his motion into a motion for summary judgment because it implicated factual issues. The Court afforded Jackson time within which to supplement his motion and entered a briefing schedule for a response to Jackson's motion for summary judgment. (Docs. 43 & 44). Thereafter, the Court issued an order notifying Jackson that, having reviewed the evidence, the Court believed summary judgment may be due to Doubleback, a nonmovant. Jackson has now responded in a 20-page brief, to which 67 pages of exhibits were attached. See (Doc. 53).

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         “The 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.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A factual dispute is “‘genuine' if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A fact is “material” if it “might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing [substantive] law.” Id. “In reviewing whether the nonmoving party has met its burden, the court must stop short of weighing the evidence and making credibility determinations of the truth of the matter . . . the evidence of the non-movant is to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor.” Tipton v. Bergrohr GMBH-Siegen, 965 F.2d 994, 998-999 (11th Cir. 1992) (internal citations and quotations omitted).

         III. M ...


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