United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
J. MCKINNEY, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
action, Derrick Toran (“Toran”) asserts claims
under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”). Dkt.
No. 1. On June 8, 2017, Defendant Renks Systems Corporation
(“Renk”) moved to dismiss Plaintiff Derrick
Toran's (“Toran's”) Complaint for lack of
jurisdiction or for failure to state a claim. Dkt. No. 12.
Renk asserted that it did not meet the definition of employer
under either statute at all relevant times because it had
only nine employees. See, generally, Dkt.
Nos. 13, 14, 19 & 31 (citing, inter alia, 42
U.S.C. § 2000e(b), 29 U.S.C. § 630(b); Walters
v. Metro. Educ. Enters., 519 U.S. 202, 207 (1997); Dkt.
No. 31-1). In addition, Renk argues that there is no
“affiliation rule” that the “integrated
enterprise test” is not applicable to Toran's
discrimination claims. Dkt. Nos. 19 & 31. On July 14,
2017, the Court converted Renk's Motion to Dismiss to one
for summary judgment because it relied upon documents outside
the pleadings to support its motion. Dkt. No. 21.
stated by the Supreme Court, summary judgment is not a
disfavored procedural shortcut, but rather is an integral
part of the federal rules as a whole, which are designed to
secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of
every action. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 327 (1986). See also United Ass'n of
Black Landscapers v. City of Milwaukee, 916 F.2d 1261,
1267-68 (7th Cir. 1990). Motions for summary judgment are
governed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a), which
provides in relevant part: 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. Once a party has made a
properly-supported motion for summary judgment, the opposing
party may not simply rest upon the pleadings but must instead
submit evidentiary materials showing that a fact either is or
cannot be genuinely disputed. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1). A
genuine issue of material fact exists whenever “there
is sufficient evidence favoring the nonmoving party for a
jury to return a verdict for that party.” Anderson
v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986). The
nonmoving party bears the burden of demonstrating that such a
genuine issue of material fact exists. See Matsushita
Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574,
586-87 (1986); Oliver v. Oshkosh Truck Corp., 96
F.3d 992, 997 (7th Cir.1996).
response on summary judgment, Toran asserts that, pursuant to
Rule 56(d), he has not been afforded the opportunity to
discover the facts that he needs to prove that Renk is a
“shell” corporation, which would prove under the
“affiliation” rule that Renk should be combined
for purposes of this law suit with Renk Test Systems GmbH.
Dkt. Nos. 17 & 30. However, there is no
“affiliation” rule and Toran cites no law in
support of such a rule. Further, if Toran seeks to proceed
under an integrated enterprise theory, it is unavailable in a
discrimination suit. See Worth v. Tyer, 276 F.3d
249, 260 (7th Cir. 2001); Papa v. Katy Indus.,
Inc., 166 F.3d 937, 940 (7th Cir. 1999). In
addition, Toran's “shell corporation” theory
is without merit because it would require a conclusion that
the non-resident corporation be subject to personal
jurisdiction in this district and there is simply no factual
support for such a finding in the record. At this stage of
the litigation, Toran is required to show at least a
prima facie case that jurisdiction exists, which he
has not done. See GCIU-Employer Ret. Fund v. Goldfarb
Corp., 565 F.3d 1018, 1023 (7thCir. 2009)
(setting forth the factors necessary for a finding of
personal jurisdiction); Purdue Research Found. v.
Sanofi-Synthelabo, S.A., 338 F.3d 773, 782-84
(7th Cir. 2003) (discussing the requirements for
exercising personal jurisdiction over a non-resident
defendant); Cent. States, Se. & Sw. Areas Pension
Fund v. Reimer Express World Corp., 230 F.3d 934, 943
(7th Cir. 2000) (stating that “stock
ownership in or affiliation with a corporation, without more,
is not sufficient minimum contact”).
uncontroverted that Title VII defines “employer”
to mean companies with fifteen or more employees, 42 U.S.C.
§ 2000e(b); and that the ADEA defines
“employer” to mean companies with twenty or more
employees, 29 U.S.C. § 630(b). Renk has provided
evidence in the form of payroll records that, at all relevant
times, it had less than fifteen employees. See Dkt.
No. 14-1. Therefore, there is no material question of fact
that Renk is not an employer for purposes of suit under
either Title VII or the ADEA.
these reasons, Defendant Renk Systems Corporation's
Motion to Dismiss, which the Court converted to one for
summary judgment, Dkt. No. 12, is GRANT ...