United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION 
H. England, III United States Magistrate Judge
Warren Manufacturing, Inc. (“Warren” or
“Defendant”) has moved to compel arbitration and
either dismiss or stay this action. (Doc. 18). Plaintiff Andy
Crawford, Jr. (“Crawford” or “Plaintiff)
has not opposed that motion. Warren has filed two replies in
support. (Docs. 25 & 30). For the reasons stated below,
Warren's motion is GRANTED.
Factual and Procedural Background
pro se, Crawford file this Title VII employment
action on November 14, 2018, along with a motion for leave to
proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”) and to
appoint counsel. (Docs. 1 & 2). The undersigned granted
the IFP motion, but required Crawford to file an amended
complaint, as it was unclear whether he was attempting to
assert Title VII claims against three individual
defendants. (Doc. 3). The undersigned also denied the
motion to appoint counsel without prejudice. (Id.).
the next two months, Crawford filed several amended
complaints (omitting the individual defendants), (docs. 6, 8
& 10), none of which were suitable for service because
they failed to comply with the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, (see docs. 7 & 11). In the last of
these, Crawford again requested counsel. (Doc. 10). Since
Crawford's EEOC charge (attached to his original
complaint) contained potentially meritorious claims, the
undersigned granted that request and appointed counsel for
the limited purpose of helping Crawford draft a complaint
suitable for service. (Doc. 11). On April 4, 2019, attorney
Jason P. Bailey (“Bailey”) filed a limited notice
of appearance on behalf of Crawford. (Doc. 12). With
Bailey's assistance, Crawford submitted his third amended
complaint, (doc. 14), the operative pleading in this case.
third amended complaint, Crawford, who is black,
alleges he formerly worked for Warren as a welder helper.
(Id. at ¶ 17). While employed there, Crawford
worked in close proximity to two employees who leveled racial
slurs at him and made sexually suggestive comments and
actions towards him. (Id. at ¶¶ 17-23).
Another coworker occasionally joined in. (Id. at
¶¶ 18, 24). When Crawford complained about this to
supervisors, he was told by the main supervisor to go home if
he could not work with them. (Id. at ¶¶
25-29). Although he returned to work after complaining, he
was sent home during this shift and fired the next day.
(Id. at ¶¶ 30-31). Crawford alleges a
count of Title VII race discrimination, a count of Title VII
sex discrimination, and a count of Title VII retaliation.
(Id. at ¶¶ 32-60).
the complaint suitable for service, the undersigned ordered
the Clerk of Court to serve the complaint on Warren. (Doc.
15). On June 21, 2019, Warren filed the instant motion to
compel arbitration. (Doc. 18). The undersigned granted
Bailey's pending motion to withdraw as counsel from his
limited appearance, (docs. 17 & 20), and set a briefing
schedule on the motion to compel arbitration, requiring
Crawford's response by July 8, 2019, (doc. 21). That
order included the following language:
Plaintiff should note that Attorney Jason P. Bailey was
appointed by the court solely to assist Plaintiff in drafting
a complaint. (See doc. 11). Attorney Bailey has since been
permitted by text order to withdraw as counsel for Plaintiff,
(see doc. 20); the court will forward Plaintiff a copy of the
docket sheet, which contains that text order. Plaintiff
should be aware that he, and not Attorney Bailey, is
responsible for responding to the motion to compel
(Id. at n.1). Crawford did not timely file a
response to the motion to compel arbitration, and on July 12,
2019, Warren filed a reply in support of its motion urging it
be granted as unopposed. (Doc. 25).
22, 2019, the undersigned held a telephone conference with
the parties to discuss the process of making an election as
to magistrate judge jurisdiction. (See doc. 23). At
that conference, Crawford indicated his address had changed
since he filed the complaint. The undersigned again reminded
Crawford that he alone was responsible for responding to
Warren's motion. The same day, the undersigned entered an
order allowing Crawford additional time- until August 3,
2019-to respond to the motion, which was mailed to
Crawford's new address. (Doc. 26). The order stressed
that “it is Plaintiff's responsibility
to respond to motions filed by Defendant,
whether or not he is represented by an attorney.”
(Id.) (emphasis in original). The order further
noted “[i]f Plaintiff does not submit a
response by that deadline, the motion to compel arbitration
may be treated as unopposed.”
(Id.) (emphasis in original). Crawford did not
respond by the deadline. On August 9, 2019, Warren filed a
second reply requesting its motion be granted as unopposed.
has had several opportunities to respond to the motion to
compel arbitration, but he has neither filed a response nor
requested additional time to response. Consistent with the
previous order, (doc. 26), the undersigned treats the motion
to compel arbitration as unopposed. Nevertheless, the
undersigned must still determine if Warren is entitled to the
relief it seeks.
Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 1 et seq.,
(the “FAA”), evinces “a liberal federal
policy favoring arbitration agreements.”
CompuCredit Corp. v. Greenwood, 565 U.S. 95, 98
(2012) (quoting Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital v.
Mercury Constr. Corp., 460 U.S. 1, 24 (1983)). Under the
FAA, a court confronted with an enforceable arbitration
agreement must stay the case and refer the matter to
If any suit or proceeding be brought in any of the courts of
the United States upon any issue referable to arbitration
under an agreement in writing for such arbitration, the court
in which such suit is pending, upon being satisfied that the
issue involved in such suit or proceeding is referable to
arbitration under such an agreement, shall on application of
one of the parties stay the trial of the action until such
arbitration has been had in accordance with the ...