United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division
ORDER AND OPINION
RICHARD MARK GERGEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation
("R. & R.") of the Magistrate Judge (Dkt. No.
62) recommending that the Court grant Defendants' motion
for summary judgment. (Dkt. No. 49.) This Court adopts the R.
& R. as the order of the court and grants Defendants'
motion for summary judgment.
Mitchell Marzett ("Plaintiff) filed this pro se
action in forma pauperis against the Charleston
County School District ("CCSD"), James Winbush, and
Melvin Middleton in October 2014. (Dkt. No. 1.) The Complaint
contains allegations of race discrimination, gender
discrimination, and retaliation in violation of Title VII of
the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 42 U.S.C. § 1983; age
discrimination in violation of the Age Discrimination in
Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 621-634
("ADEA"); and disability discrimination in
violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C.
§§ 12101-83 ("ADA").
previous order, this Court dismissed Defendant Middleton from
the action, dismissed all claims against Winbush in his
individual capacity, and dismissed all claims that had
accrued during the 2010-2011 school year. (Dkt. No 31.) In
June 2016, Defendants CCSD and Winbush filed a motion for
summary judgment on the remaining claims, including
Plaintiffs claims of 1) race, age, disability, and gender
discrimination in connection with the non-renewal of her
teaching contract for the 2012-2013 school year (asserted
against CCSD under Title VII and against Winbush in his
official capacity under § 1983), and 2) Plaintiffs claim
of retaliation against CCSD. (Dkt. No. 49.)
Court adopts the facts as outlined at length in the R. &
R. (Dkt. No. 62 at 3-12) so summarizes only the relevant ones
below in the Discussion.
judgment is appropriate only "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; see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 322-24 (1986). The movant has the burden of
establishing that there are no genuine issues of material
fact, which may be accomplished by demonstrating that the
nonmoving party lacks evidence to support an essential
element of its case. Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at
322-23. Conversely, the non-moving party must demonstrate
that there are disputes of material fact that preclude the
award of summary judgment as a matter of law. Matsushita
Elec. Indus. Co. Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S.
574, 586 (1986).
Pro Se Pleadings
Court liberally construes pro se pleadings,
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97 (1976), holding them
to a less stringent standard than those drafted by attorneys.
Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 9-10 (1980) (per
curiam). The mandated liberal construction afforded pro
se pleadings means that if the Court can reasonably read
the pleadings to state a valid claim on which the plaintiff
could prevail, it should do so, but a court may not rewrite a
complaint to include claims that were never presented,
Barnett v. Hargett, 174 F.3d 1128, 1133 (10th Cir.
1999), construct the plaintiffs legal arguments for him,
Small v. Endicott, 998 F.2d 411, 417-18 (7th Cir.
1993), or "conjure up questions never squarely
presented" to the Court, Beaudett v. City of
Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985). Further,
the requirement of liberal construction does not mean that
the Court can ignore a clear failure in the pleading to
allege facts which set forth a claim currently cognizable in
a federal district court. Weller v. Dep't of Soc.
Servs., 901 F.2d 387, 391 (4th Cir. 1990).
Race, Age, Disability, and Gender Discrimination
may prove discrimination under each relevant statute
underlying the remaining discrimination claims (Title VII and
§ 1983, the ADEA, and the ADA) through direct evidence
or indirectly through the burden-shifting framework set out
by the United States Supreme Court in McDonnell Douglas
Corp. v. Green,411 U.S. 792 (1973). See, e.g.,
Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Prods., Inc.,530 U.S. 133,
142 (2000) (ADEA); St. Mary's Honor Ctr. v.
Hicks,509 U.S. 502, 506 (1993) (42 U.S.C. § 1983);