United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division
Procedure for Filing Objections
Recommended Disposition (“Recommendation”) has
been sent to Judge James M. Moody, Jr. Any party to this suit
may file written objections with the Clerk of Court within 14
days of the date the Recommendation is filed. Objections must
be specific and must include the factual or legal basis for
the objection. An objection to a factual finding must
identify the finding of fact believed to be wrong and
describe the evidence that supports that belief.
objecting, any right to appeal questions of fact may be
jeopardized. And if no objections are filed, Judge Moody can
adopt this Recommendation without independently reviewing the
Complaint filed on December 22, 2016, Plaintiff Stephanie
Walker-Hynes sued Johnny Key, Arkansas Commissioner of
Education, and Michael Poore, Superintendent of the Little
Rock School District (“LRSD”), alleging that her
termination from the LRSD in 2016 was retaliatory and the
result of race and gender discrimination in violation of
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (Docket entry #1)
She also alleged age discrimination in violation of the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”).
Partial Recommended Disposition was filed on July 25, 2017,
recommending that Commissioner Key's motion to dismiss be
granted for failure to state a federal claim for relief.
(#16). No. objections were filed, and Judge James M. Moody
Jr., the presiding judge in the case, adopted that
recommendation. (#17) Commissioner Key was dismissed from the
Poore has filed a motion for summary judgment as to all the
claims against him in this case, including official-capacity
and individual-capacity claims. (#30, #31, #32) Ms.
Walker-Hynes has responded to this motion (#35, #36, #37),
and Superintendent Poore has replied. (#38) Judge Moody
referred this case to the undersigned for a recommended
disposition. (#13) Both parties agree that the sole remaining
claim is whether Ms. Walker-Hynes's termination was the
result of retaliation. For the reasons stated below,
Superintendent Poore's motion for summary judgment should
be granted and this case dismissed with prejudice.
Superintendent Poore, Individual Capacity
Poore first contends that Ms. Walker-Hynes's Title VII
claim against him in his individual capacity must be
dismissed because Title VII does not provide for individual
liability. (#32 at 9-10, #38 at 2) The Court agrees. Title
VII liability only attaches to an employer. Van Horn v.
Best Buy Stores, LP., 526 F.3d 1144, 1147 (8th Cir.
2008) (“The district court properly granted summary
judgment in favor of Mr. Clark on the Title VII claim because
that law does not provide for an action against an individual
supervisor. . . .”) (citing Bales v. Wal-Mart
Stores, Inc., 143 F.3d 1103, 1111 (8th Cir. 1998)).
Accordingly, the Court recommends that Judge Moody dismiss
Ms. Walker-Hynes's Title VII claim against Superintendent
Poore in his individual capacity.
Superintendent Poore, Official Capacity
Summary Judgment Standard
judgment is appropriate where evidence the parties prevent
shows that there is no genuine issue as to any fact important
to the outcome of the claim. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56; Celotex
Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Anderson
v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250 (1986). As the
moving party, Superintendent Poore bears the initial burden
of demonstrating that there is no genuine dispute of fact.
Id. If he meets this burden, then Ms. Walker-Hynes
is obligated to come forward with evidence establishing a
genuine dispute that must be decided at a trial. Id.