United States District Court, D. Hawaii
CLINTON C. ST. CLASSIS BROWN, II, Plaintiff,
DCK WORLDWIDE LLC, ET AL., Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT TO DISMISS ALL OF PLAINTIFF'S CLAIMS
E. Kobayashi United States District Judge.
August 10, 2016, Defendants dck Worldwide LLC, dck Guam LLC,
and DCK Pacific Guam, LLC (collectively
“Defendants”) filed a Motion for Summary Judgment
to Dismiss All of Plaintiff's Claims
(“Motion”). [Dkt. no. 139.] On August 29, 2016,
pro se Plaintiff Clinton C. St. Classis Brown, II
(“Plaintiff”) filed a memorandum in opposition,
and on October 17, 2016, Defendants filed a reply. [Dkt. nos.
147, 151.] The Court finds this matter suitable for
disposition without a hearing pursuant to Rule 7.2(d) of the
Local Rules of Practice of the United States District Court
for the District of Hawai`i (“Local Rules”).
After careful consideration of the Motion, supporting and
opposing memoranda, and the relevant legal authority,
Defendants' Motion is GRANTED for the reasons set forth
background of this matter is well known the parties, and the
Court only repeats those facts that are relevant to the
instant Motion. Plaintiff was employed by Defendants from
February 2013 to April 2013 as a Construction Quality Control
Manager on a hospital project in Dededo, Guam
(“Project”). [First Amended Complaint, filed
5/6/15 (dkt. no. 37), at ¶¶ 4, 23.] He states that,
a few weeks into his job, a representative of the hospital
asked Plaintiff to show him around the Project. During the
tour, Plaintiff, at the representative's request, pointed
out problems with the Project. [Id. at ¶ 7.]
Plaintiff alleges that, after the tour, Defendants began to
treat him differently. This treatment included, inter
alia: a reprimand for calling in sick; verbal abuse for
calling in sick; and being forced to work longer hours than
other employees. [Id. at ¶¶ 9-12.]
Plaintiff further alleges that he was subjected to racial
slurs and other unfair treatment based on his race.
[Id. at ¶¶ 15-21, 31-37.] On April 14,
2013, Plaintiff was terminated from his employment with
Defendants, and he states that Defendants went out of their
way to ensure that he did not find another job in the
construction industry in either Guam or Hawai`i.
[Id. at ¶¶ 23, 25.]
First Amended Complaint states claims for: race
discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964, as amended (“Title VII”), 42 U.S.C.
§ 2000e, et seq. (“Count I”);
[id. at ¶ 39;] retaliation in violation of
Title VII (“Count II”); [id. at
¶¶ 40-42;] violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1985
(“Count III”); [id. at ¶¶
43-44;] race discrimination and retaliation in violation of
Haw. Rev. Stat. Chapter 378 (“Count IV”);
[id. at ¶¶ 45-46;] and intentional
infliction of emotional distress (“IIED”) and/or
negligent infliction of emotional distress (“NIED,
” and collectively “Count V”) [id.
at ¶¶ 47-50].
February 3, 2016, Defendants filed a Motion for an Order
Prohibiting Plaintiff Clinton St. Classis Brown II's
Direct Contact and Harassment of Witnesses, Employees, and
Agents of Defendants (“Contact Motion”). [Dkt.
no. 95.] On February 12, 2016, Defendants filed a Motion for
Protective Order Concerning Plaintiffs Requests for
Production/Discovery of Financial Information of Defendants,
Its Officers, Employees and/or Agents (“Motion for
Protective Order”). [Dkt. no. 100.] On February 18, 2016,
Defendants filed a Motion for Sanctions for Plaintiff's
Failure to Provide Discovery (“Motion for
Sanctions”). [Dkt. no. 104.] All three motions were
heard by the magistrate judge on April 13, 2016. At the
hearing, the magistrate judge orally: granted the Contact
Motion, without attorneys' fees and costs; granted the
Motion for Protective Order, without attorneys' fees and
costs; and granted in part and denied in part the Motion for
Sanctions, granting all but one of the sanctions requested by
Defendants. [Minutes, filed 4/13/16 (dkt. no. 116), at 1-2.]
On April 26, 2016, the magistrate judge filed written orders
in accordance with his oral rulings. See dkt. nos.
121-23. On April 19, 2016, Plaintiff appealed the magistrate
judge's rulings on the motions to this Court, [dkt. no.
118, ] and on June 20, 2016, this Court issued an amended
order affirming the magistrate judge's rulings
(“6/20/16 Order”) [dkt. no. 132].
is proceeding pro se, and the Court must construe his filings
liberally. See, e.g., Pregana v. CitiMortgage,
Inc., Civil No. 14-00226 DKW-KSC, 2015 WL 1966671, at *2
(D. Hawai`i Apr. 30, 2015) (“The Court liberally
construes the [plaintiffs'] filings because they are
proceeding pro se.” (citing Eldridge v. Block,
832 F.2d 1132, 1137 (9th Cir. 1987)). The Court notes,
however, that Plaintiff must still comply with relevant
rules. See Local Rule LR83.13 (“Pro
se litigants shall abide by all local, federal, and
other applicable rules and/or statutes.”).
Rules Governing Summary Judgment Motions
Rule 56.1 states, in relevant part:
(a) Motion Requirements. A motion for summary judgment shall
be accompanied by a supporting memorandum and a separate
concise statement detailing each material fact as to which
the moving party contends that there are no genuine issues to
be tried that are essential for the court's determination
of the summary judgment motion (not the entire case). The
motion shall be heard on the schedule set forth in LR7.2, as
permitted by Fed.R.Civ.P. 56.
(b) Opposition Requirements. Any party who opposes the motion
shall file and serve with his or her opposing papers a
separate document containing a single concise statement that
admits or disputes the facts set forth in the moving
party's concise statement, as well as sets forth all
material facts as to which it is contended there exists a
genuine issue necessary to be litigated.
(g) Admission of Material Facts. For purposes of a motion for
summary judgment, material facts set forth in the moving
party's concise statement will be deemed admitted unless
controverted by a separate concise statement of the opposing
filed their Concise Statement of Facts
(“Defendants' CSOF”) on August 10, 2016.
[Dkt. no. 140.] On August 17, 2016, Plaintiff filed a
document titled “Addendum to Ex-Parte Motion”
(“8/17/16 Addendum”). [Dkt. no. 144.] In an
Entering Order filed the same day (“8/17/16 EO”),
[dkt. no. 146, ] the Court stated that the 8/17/16 Addendum
appeared to be a response to the Motion, but that it complied
with neither Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 nor Local Rule 56.1. [8/17/16 EO
at 2.] Because the 8/17/16 Addendum was submitted before the
deadline for Plaintiff's opposition, the Court informed
Plaintiff that he could resubmit his opposition and reminded
him that it had to comply with all relevant Federal and Local
Rules. [Id.] In spite of this, Plaintiff did not
submit a concise statement. The Court therefore DEEMS the
Defendants' material facts set forth in Defendants'
Violation of 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq. - Count
alleges that Defendants treated him “in an oppressively
discriminatory manner, creating a ‘hostile work
environment.'” [First Amended Complaint at ¶
39.] This district court has stated:
A plaintiff may establish disparate treatment in violation of
. . . Title VII through direct evidence or, alternatively,
through the familiar McDonnell Douglas burden
shifting framework. See Surrell v. California
Water Serv. Co., 518 F.3d 1097, 1105 (9th Cir. 2008)
(discussing standard with respect to Title VII and [42
U.S.C.] § 1981 claims). . . .
The framework set forth in McDonnell Douglas Corp. v.
Green, 411 U.S. 792, 802 (1973), begins by requiring a
plaintiff to establish a prima facie case of discrimination.
The degree of proof required to establish a prima facie case
for summary judgment is minimal. See Coghlan v. Am.
Seafoods Co., 413 F.3d 1090, 1094 (9th Cir. 2005). A
prima facie case of disparate treatment requires a plaintiff
to establish that: (1) the plaintiff is a member of a
protected class; (2) the plaintiff was qualified for the
position in issue; (3) the plaintiff suffered an adverse
employment decision; and (4) one or more employees outside
the protected class with comparable qualifications and work
records did not suffer similar adverse employment decisions.
See, e.g., White v. Pac. Media Grp., Inc.,
322 F.Supp.2d 1101, 1110 (D. Haw. 2004).
A plaintiff must demonstrate that his or her situation is
similar in all material respects to that of employees who
received more favorable treatment. See Moran v.
Selig, 447 F.3d 748, 755 (9th Cir. 2006). However,
“a plaintiff is not obligated to show disparate
treatment of an identically situated employee.”
McGuinness v. Lincoln Hall, 263 F.3d 49, 54 (2d Cir.
2001) (cited approvingly in Selig). Instead,
“individuals are similarly situated when they have
similar jobs and display similar conduct.” Hawn v.
Exec. Jet Mgmt. Inc., 615 F.3d 1151, 1160 (9th Cir.
2010) (citing Vasquez v. Cnty. of Los Angeles, 349
F.3d 634, 641 (9th Cir. 2003) (finding employee not similarly
situated if he “did not engage in problematic conduct
of comparable seriousness” to plaintiff's
Under the McDonnell Douglas framework, once a
plaintiff succeeds in presenting a prima facie case, the
burden then shifts to the defendant to articulate a
“legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason” for its
employment decision. Noyes v. Kelly Servs., 488 F.3d
1163, 1168 (9th Cir. 2007).
“Should the defendant carry its burden, the burden then
shifts back to the plaintiff to raise a triable issue of fact
that the defendant's proffered reason was a pretext ...