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Streeter v. Premier Services, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Western Division

April 1, 2014

BRIAN J. STREETER, Plaintiff,
v.
PREMIER SERVICES, INC., Defendant

Brian J Streeter, Plaintiff, Pro se, South Sioux City, NE.

For Premier Services Inc, Defendant: Frances M Haas, Genevieve Reinkoester, Stephanie Glenn Techau, Nyemaster Goode, PC, Cedar Rapids, IA.

OPINION

Page 973

LEONARD T. STRAND, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. INTRODUCTION

II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

III. UNDISPUTED FACTS

IV. SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARDS

V. ANALYSIS

A. Disability Discrimination

B. Race Discrimination

C. Family and Medical Leave Act

VI. CONCLUSION

Page 974

I. INTRODUCTION

Defendant Premier Services, Inc. (Premier), filed a motion (Doc. No. 43) for summary judgment on February 11, 2014. Plaintiff Brian J. Streeter, proceeding pro se in this case, did not file a timely response. On March 11, 2014, I entered an order (Doc. No. 47) reminding Streeter of the need to file a response and establishing a final deadline of March 21, 2014, for him to do so. He filed a two-sentence response (Doc. No. 48) on March 19, 2014, stating, in relevant part, that he has " no objection to a summary judgment by the court as a conclusion to this case and restitution is awarded regarding this matter of Medical Leave." Premier then filed a short reply (Doc. No. 49) in which it pointed out the contradictory nature of Streeter's response and contended that summary judgment is appropriate because Streeter failed to present any evidence establishing a genuine issue of material fact.

No party has requested oral argument and, in any event, I find it to be unnecessary. The motion is fully submitted.

II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On October 30, 2012, Streeter filed a pro se application (Doc. No. 1) for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. The motion consisted of an incomplete application, a cover letter to the court and various attachments. Streeter did not file a complaint, as required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 3. On November 1, 2012, I filed an order (Doc. No. 2) pointing out the deficiencies in Streeter's application to proceed in forma pauperis. I also addressed Streeter's failure to file a complaint and referred him to the rules of procedure that describe this requirement. I ordered Streeter to cure these deficiencies no later than November 16, 2012, by filing (a) an amended and substituted in forma pauperis application and (b) a " complaint that fully pleads a claim for relief."

On November 6, 2012, Streeter filed a " Complaint" that stated: " Denied Medical Leave resulting in job termination and seek restitution in this matter fro Prememier [sic] Staffing Services and Tur-Pak Foods, Inc." Doc. No. 3-1. He also filed an amended application to proceed in forma pauperis. Doc. No. 3-2. On November 21, 2012, I filed an order (Doc. No. 4) addressing these filings. I granted Streeter's application to proceed in forma pauperis and directed him to pay monthly installment payments until the full filing fee is paid. However, I found Streeter's one-sentence complaint to be deficient and ordered him to file an amended complaint by December 10, 2012. Doc. No. 4 at 5.

On December 3, 2012, Streeter filed an amended complaint (Doc. No. 6). The amended complaint was worse than the original. The body of the document contained seven words: " I was denied Medical Leave and terminated." Id. On December 4, 2012, I issued an order (Doc. No. 7) giving Streeter once last chance to file a suitable complaint. He filed a second amended complaint (Doc. No. 8) on December 12, 2012, that states:

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has given me a Dismissal and Notice of Rights dated September 28 2012 following an 18 month investigation I wish to exercise my Notice of Suit Rights within 90 days I did contact 3 attorneys and was declined representation they apparently represent these companies I made the arrangements to leave and miss work with each office prior to going to my medical appointment at the Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic in Sioux City Iowa having a 30 percent Service Connected disability being a Disabled American

Page 975

Veteran and have been awarded the Kosovo Campaign Medal in 2000 which entitles me to Veteran Preference Law and other entitlements as noted on DD214 working on the 1st shift at Tur Pak Foods Incorporated on the day of my appointment after my appointment at the clinic I returned to Premier Staffing Agency and they sent me to 2nd shift at Tur Pak Foods Incorporated the 2nd shift Supervisor said I wasn't approved to work on 2nd shift and I was terminated in addition the Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions Investigator stated I had checked NO on my job application regarding Mental Disability when I have 30 percent Service Connected disability submitted is this Certificate establishing Civil Service Preference dated November 16 2007 establishing these benefits submitted are two letters from the Iowa Civil Rights Commission concerning this complaint furthermore on January 21 2011 I was awarded Social Security Disability and Medicare benefits Fully Favorable by the Administrative Law Judge submitted is all documentation in reference of these statements and decisions after 6 years of hardships corruption immorality religion falsehood deceit back stabbing corporations scheming no understanding survival bad living eviction harassment unemployment and confusion I want relief from these damages of $ 25 million dollars that these companies have caused similarly while working at Lowe's in Sioux City Iowa they checked NO on the request form when I requested Medical Leave for an appointment at the Department of Veterans Affairs I mailed a copy of the request form to attorney Karen Dales in Council Bluffs Iowa gave her a $ 2500 retainer fee she wanted everything she didn't take the case and I lost the retainer fee again I wasn't awarded anything for these damages.

Id. While this second amended complaint still fell short of basic pleading requirements, in light of Streeter's pro se status I directed that it be served on the named defendants so they could raise any issues they deemed appropriate. Doc. No. 9.

On May 22, 2013, Premier Staffing Services filed an answer and affirmative defenses (Doc. No. 13) in which it admitted that Streeter had been an employee of Premier Staffing Services but denied wrongdoing and liability. Premier Staffing Services later filed an amended answer (Doc. No. 18). On July 11, 2013, Streeter filed a proposed amended complaint (Doc. No. 22) that sought to replace Premier Staffing Services with Premier. Premier Staffing Services filed a response (Doc. No. 24) indicating that it did not object to this change, as Premier is the correct defendant. As such, I granted the motion to amend by order (Doc. No. 26) filed July 23, 2013. Premier then filed an answer and affirmative defenses (Doc. No. 30) with regard to the third amended complaint. Premier admitted that it had an employment relationship with Streeter but denied wrongdoing and liability.

Meanwhile, Tur-Pak Foods, Inc. (Tur-Pak), filed a pre-answer motion to dismiss (Doc. No. 14) on May 28, 2013. Because the motion referenced materials outside the pleadings, it was converted to a motion for summary judgment on May 29, 2013, and Tur-Pak was directed (Doc. No. 17) to file additional supporting materials as required by the rules of procedure. Tur-Pak filed those materials (Doc. No. 19) on June 4, 2013. Streeter's deadline for resisting Tur-Pak's motion for summary judgment was June 28, 2013. See Local Rule 56(b). On July 29, 2013, with no resistance having been filed, Streeter was cautioned (Doc. No. 31) that the motion

Page 976

could be granted as unresisted if he did not submit his resistance by August 9, 2013. Streeter did not file a resistance.

On August 30, 2013, the parties submitted a proposed scheduling order and discovery plan that, among other things, included their unanimous consent to trial, disposition and judgment by a United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c)(3). Accordingly, an order of reference to me (Doc. No. 36) was filed September 3, 2013. On September 6, 2013, I entered an order (Doc. No. 38) granting Tur-Pak's unresisted motion for summary judgment and dismissing it from this case. This leaves Premier as the only remaining defendant. Trial is scheduled to begin March 9, 2015.

III. UNDISPUTED FACTS

Premier has filed a statement of undisputed material facts (Doc. No. 43-2) supported by relevant evidentiary materials (Doc. No. 43-3). Because Streeter has not filed a response, all of those facts are deemed admitted for purposes of Premier's motion for summary judgment. See Local Rule 56(b). Thus, the undisputed facts are as follows:

1. Streeter is a former employee of Premier.

2. Premier is a staffing agency that hires employees and contracts these employees to work for a third-party business with which Premier has ...


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