United States District Court, D. Kansas
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
MURGUIA United States District Judge.
matter comes before the court upon defendant Kansas City
Kansas School District's Motion for Summary Judgment
(Doc. 38). Plaintiff Jack Allen Mitchell, II, appearing pro
se, opposes the motion.
March 7, 2016, plaintiff filed this case using the
court's form employment discrimination complaint (Doc.
1). On December 6, 2016, the court entered a pretrial order
that is now the operative pleading in this case (Doc. 34).
Plaintiff alleges that defendant violated Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e-e17,
by terminating plaintiff's employment based on race
discrimination or retaliation. Plaintiff seeks reinstatement,
back pay dating back to October 30, 2015, reinstatement of
retirement credit, repaid benefits, reinstatement of
benefits, actual damages, and attorney fees, should plaintiff
Parties proceeding pro se
court interprets pro se filings liberally, but parties
proceeding pro se are still required to comply with the rules
of procedure, both federal and local. Keehner v.
Dunn, 409 F.Supp.2d 1266, 1270 (D. Kan. 2005). The court
may not act as an advocate for a pro se party, but will
overlook “a failure to cite proper legal authority,
confusion of legal theories, and poor syntax or sentence
Summary judgment standard
judgment is appropriate if the moving party demonstrates that
there is “no genuine issue as to any material
fact” and that it is “entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). In applying this
standard, the court views the evidence and all reasonable
inferences therefrom in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party. Adler v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 144
F.3d 664, 670 (10th Cir. 1998) (citing Matsushita Elec.
Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587
party moving for summary judgment has the burden to show
“the lack of a genuine issue of material fact.”
Ascend Media Prof'l Servs., LLC v. Eaton Hall
Corp., 531 F.Supp.2d 1288, 1295 (D. Kan. 2008) (citing
Spaulding v. United Transp. Union, 279 F.3d 901, 904
(10th Cir. 2002) (citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 327 (1986))). Once the moving party meets this
initial burden, the burden then shifts to the nonmovant to
“set forth specific facts showing that there is a
genuine issue for trial.” Id. (citing
Spaulding, 279 F.3d at 904 (citing Matsushita
Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574,
nonmovant may not rest on his pleadings or “rely on
ignorance of the facts, on speculation, or on suspicion and
may not escape summary judgment in the mere hope that
something will turn up at trial.” Id. (citing
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 259
(1986)); Conaway v. Smith, 853 F.2d 789, 794 (10th
Cir. 1988). Instead, the nonmovant is required to set forth
specific facts, by referencing affidavits, deposition
transcripts, or exhibits, from which a rational trier of fact
could find for him. Fed R. Civ. P. 56(c)(1); see also
Ascend Media, 531 F.Supp.2d at 1295 (citing Adams v.
Am. Guar. & Liab. Ins. Co., 233 F.3d 1242, 1246
(10th Cir. 2000)). Summary judgment is not a
“disfavored procedural shortcut” -it 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.” Celotex Corp.,
477 U.S. at 327 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 1).
facts are generally undisputed. As required by the local
rules, defendant set forth a statement of uncontroverted
facts, separately numbered and referring with particularity
to those portions of the record upon which it relies. D. Kan.
Rule 56.1(a). The rules provide that all facts set forth in
such a statement are deemed admitted for the purposes of
summary judgment unless specifically controverted by the
statement of the opposing party. The responding party must
“refer with particularity to those portions of the
record upon which the opposing party relies.” D. Kan.
Rule 56.1(b)(1). The Rules further provide that if the
nonmoving party “relies on any facts not contained in
the movant's memorandum, that party must set forth each
additional fact in a separately numbered paragraph, supported
by references to the record.” Rule 56.1(b)(2).
“All facts on which a motion or opposition is based
must be presented by affidavit, declaration under penalty of
perjury, and/or relevant portions of pleadings, depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and responses to requests for
admissions.” Rule 56.1(d). Plaintiff, as a pro se
party, was provided a full copy of these rules as required by
generally does not sufficiently controvert defendant's
statements. He does not provide the court with a statement of
uncontroverted facts. Plaintiff's response contains only
the same numbered paragraphs from defendant's motion,
admitting or denying most of defendant's statements,
sometimes citing to one of plaintiff's attached exhibits.
Many of plaintiff's responses are conclusory denials.
These are insufficient on a motion for summary judgment.
plaintiff cites any record evidence or exhibit in support of
a factual assertion, he generally refers to the exhibit as a
whole. It would be inappropriate for the court to search
through plaintiff's exhibits for evidence to support his
case. Especially where, as here, plaintiff included hours of
video and audio recording, and other exhibits that do not
have apparent relevance. The court would consider such action
impermissible advocacy on the behalf of a pro se party.
“[I]t is the responding party's burden to ensure
that the factual dispute is portrayed with particularity,
without . . . depending on the ...