United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
JANE MAGNUS-STINSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT, CHIEF
2018, John Garrett Hollars brought suit against his former
employer - Roadhouse Host LLC, a franchise of Texas Roadhouse
Development Corporation (hereinafter, “Texas
Roadhouse”)- for terminating his employment after
he alleged that a coworker raped him. Although a number of
motions are currently pending in this case, the Court now
considers a pending Motion for Summary Judgment that, if
granted, would be dispositive in this matter. [Filing No.
58.] In addition, the Court considers a Motion for
Sanctions pursuant to Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. [Filing No. 69.]
Motion For Summary Judgment
motion for summary judgment asks the Court to find that a
trial is unnecessary because there is no genuine dispute as
to any material fact and, instead, the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
56(a). As the current version of Rule 56 makes clear, whether
a party asserts that a fact is undisputed or genuinely
disputed, the party must support the asserted fact by citing
to particular parts of the record, including depositions,
documents, or affidavits. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(A). A party
can also support a fact by showing that the materials cited
do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute
or that the adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence
to support the fact. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(B). Affidavits or
declarations must be made on personal knowledge, set out
facts that would be admissible in evidence, and show that the
affiant is competent to testify on matters stated.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(4). Failure to properly support a fact in
opposition to a movant's factual assertion can result in
the movant's fact being considered undisputed, and
potentially in the grant of summary judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P.
deciding a motion for summary judgment, the Court need only
consider disputed facts that are material to the decision. A
disputed fact is material if it might affect the outcome of
the suit under the governing law. Williams v.
Brooks, 809 F.3d 936, 941-42 (7th Cir. 2016). In other
words, while there may be facts that are in dispute, summary
judgment is appropriate if those facts are not
outcome-determinative. Montgomery v. American Airlines
Inc., 626 F.3d 382, 389 (7th Cir. 2010). Fact disputes
that are irrelevant to the legal question will not be
considered. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 248 (1986).
summary judgment, a party must show the Court what evidence
it has that would convince a trier of fact to accept its
version of the events. Gekas v. Vasilades, 814 F.3d
890, 896 (7th Cir. 2016). The moving party is entitled to
summary judgment if no reasonable fact-finder could return a
verdict for the non-moving party. Nelson v. Miller,
570 F.3d 868, 875 (7th Cir. 2009). The Court views the record
in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and draws
all reasonable inferences in that party's favor.
Skiba v. Illinois Cent. R.R. Co., 884 F.3d 708, 717
(7th Cir. 2018). It cannot weigh evidence or make credibility
determinations on summary judgment because those tasks are
left to the fact-finder. Miller v. Gonzalez, 761
F.3d 822, 827 (7th Cir. 2014). The Court need only consider
the cited materials, Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(3), and the Seventh
Circuit Court of Appeals has repeatedly assured the district
courts that they are not required to “scour every inch
of the record” for evidence that is potentially
relevant to the summary judgment motion before them.
Grant v. Trustees of Indiana University, 870 F.3d
562, 573-74 (7th Cir. 2017). Any doubt as to the existence of
a genuine issue for trial is resolved against the moving
party. Ponsetti v. GE Pension Plan, 614 F.3d 684,
691 (7th Cir. 2010).
April 14, 2016, Mr. Hollars filed a Charge of Discrimination
with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(“EEOC”) “alleging Texas Roadhouse
discriminated against him based upon race, color, and sex in
violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by
failing to respond to his complaints of being sexually
harassed by a co-worker, John Bryant.” [Filing No.
60 at 4.]
November 2, 2017, the EEOC issued Mr. Hollars notice of his
right to sue, [Filing No. 60 at 15], which he
received six days later on November 8, 2017, [Filing No.
50 at 2]. On November 14, 2017, Mr. Hollars faxed a copy
of the notice of his right to sue to his then-counsel Cody
Cogswell. [Filing No. 50 at 2.]
February 12, 2018, Mr. Hollars filed suit in Madison Circuit
Court, [Filing No. 1-1 at 1], alleging, among other
things, discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964, [Filing No. 1-1 at 4]. On April
13, 2018, Texas Roadhouse removed Mr. Hollars' suit to
this Court on the basis of federal question jurisdiction,
with supplemental jurisdiction over Mr. Hollars' state
law claims. [Filing No. 1.]
the Court dismissed several of Mr. Hollars' claims,
[Filing No. 31], and his counsel withdrew from the
case, [Filing No. 34; Filing No. 44], Mr.
Hollars, now proceeding pro se, filed a Motion for
Summary Judgement. [Filing No. 56.] The next day,
Texas Roadhouse filed its own Motion for Summary Judgment, in
which it argued that Mr. Hollars' claims are time-barred.
[Filing No. 58.] On November 30, 2018, the Court
stayed the deadline for Texas Roadhouse to file its response
to Mr. Hollars' Motion for Summary Judgment, pending the
outcome of Texas Roadhouse's Motion for Summary Judgment.
[Filing No. 66 at 1.]
Roadhouse's Motion for Summary Judgment is now fully
briefed and is ripe for the Court's review. [Filing
support of its Motion for Summary Judgment, Texas Roadhouse
argues that Mr. Hollars' claim is “clearly
time-barred.” [Filing No. 59 at 3.]
Specifically, Texas Roadhouse argues that Mr. Hollars filed
his claim 96 days after he received notice of his right to
sue, putting him outside of the 90-day window established by
statute. [Filing No. 59 at 3.] Texas Roadhouse