United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
OPINION AND ORDER
R. CHERRY MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion for
Summary Judgment [DE 60], filed by Defendant Horizon
Investment Services (“Horizon”) on January 3,
2017. For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's Motion
for Summary Judgment is granted.
January 4, 2016, Plaintiff Kristen Faso, pro se,
filed a Pro Se Employment Discrimination Complaint, in which
she alleges that “Plaintiff missed many days due to
illness which is well documented by doctor's visits and
tests and was terminated due to said illnesses.”
(Compl. at 2, ECF No. 1).
case proceeded through discovery. On January 3, 2017, Horizon
filed the instant Motion for Summary Judgment and, on January
5, 2017, sent a Notice of Summary Judgment Motion to Faso as
required by Northern District of Indiana Local Rule 56-1(f).
Faso has not filed a response, and her deadline to do so has
parties orally agreed on the record to have this case
assigned to a United States Magistrate Judge to conduct all
further proceedings and to order the entry of a final
judgment in this case. Therefore, this Court has jurisdiction
to decide this case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c).
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require that a motion for
summary judgment be granted “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). Rule 56 “mandates the entry of
summary judgment, after adequate time for discovery and upon
motion, against a party who fails to make a showing
sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential
to that party's case, and on which that party will bear
the burden of proof at trial.” Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). “Summary
judgment is appropriate when no material fact is disputed and
the moving parties are entitled to judgment as a matter of
law, meaning that no reasonable jury could find for the other
party based on the evidence in the record.” Carman
v. Tinkes, 762 F.3d 565, 566 (7th Cir. 2014).
seeking summary judgment bears the initial responsibility of
informing the court of the basis for its motion and
identifying those portions of the pleadings, depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together
with the affidavits, if any, that it believes demonstrate the
absence of a genuine issue of material fact. See
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323; Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 (a), (c). The
moving party may discharge its initial responsibility by
simply “‘showing'-that is, pointing out to
the district court-that there is an absence of evidence to
support the nonmoving party's case.”
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 325; see also Spierer v.
Rossman, 798 F.3d 502, 508 (7th Cir. 2015). When the
nonmoving party would have the burden of proof at trial, the
moving party is not required to support its motion with
affidavits or other similar materials negating the
opponent's claim. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323, 325;
Spierer, 798 F.3d at 507-08; Modrowski v.
Pigatto, 712 F.3d 1166, 1168-69 (7th Cir. 2013).
the moving party puts forth evidence showing the absence of a
genuine dispute of material fact, the burden shifts to the
non-moving party to provide evidence of specific facts
creating a genuine dispute.” Carroll v. Lynch,
698 F.3d 561, 564 (7th Cir. 2012). The non-moving party
cannot resist the motion and withstand summary judgment by
merely resting on her pleadings. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
56(c)(1), (e); Flint v. City of Belvidere, 791 F.3d
764, 769 (7th Cir. 2015) (citing Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)). The nonmoving
party must “do more than simply show that there is some
metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.”
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,
475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)
(1986)). Rule 56(e) provides that “[i]f a party fails
to properly support an assertion of fact or fails to properly
address another party's assertion of fact as required by
Rule 56(c), the court may . . . consider the fact undisputed
for purposes of the motion [or] grant summary judgment if the
motion and supporting materials-including the facts
considered undisputed-show that the movant is entitled to it
. . . .” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e); see also
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248-50.
viewing the facts presented on a motion for summary judgment,
a court must construe all facts in a light most favorable to
the non-moving party and draw all legitimate inferences in
favor of that party. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255;
McDowell v. Vill. of Lansing, 763 F.3d 762, 764, 765
(7th Cir. 2014); Srail v. Vill. of Lisle, 588 F.3d
940, 948 (7th Cir. 2009). A court's role is not to
evaluate the weight of the evidence, to judge the credibility
of witnesses, or to determine the truth of the matter, but
instead to determine whether there is a genuine issue of
triable fact. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249-50.
District of Indiana Local Rule 56-1 requires the moving party
to file with the Court a “‘Statement of Material
Facts' that identifies the facts that the moving party
contends are not genuinely disputed.” N.D. Ind. L.R.
56-1(a). In response, the opposing party is obligated to file
with the Court a “‘Statement of Genuine
Issues' that identifies the material facts that the party
contends are genuinely disputed so as to make a trial
necessary.” N.D. Ind. L.R. 56-1(b)(2). “When a
responding party's statement fails to dispute the facts
set forth in the moving party's statement in the manner
dictated by the rule, those facts are deemed admitted for
purposes of the motion.” Cracco v. Vitran Express,
Inc., 559 F.3d 625, 632 (7th Cir. 2009) (citing
Smith v. Lamz, 321 F.3d 680, 683 (7th Cir. 2003))
(addressing the equivalent local rule for the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Illinois);
see also Waldridge v. Am. Hoechst Corp., 24 F.3d
918, 922 (7th Cir. 1994) (noting that the Seventh Circuit
Court of Appeals has routinely sustained “the entry of
summary judgment when the non-movant has failed to submit a
factual statement in the form called for by the pertinent
rule and thereby conceded the movant's version of the
present case, Horizon, as the moving party, has submitted a
Statement of Material Facts. Faso, however, has not submitted
a response brief, much less a Statement of Genuine Issues.
Therefore, the following facts asserted by Horizon and
supported by admissible evidence are considered to ...