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Macieyovski v. City and County of Devner

United States District Court, D. Colorado

March 6, 2017

VINCENT MACIEYOVSKI, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY AND COUNTY OF DENVER, DEPARTMENT OF GENERAL SERVICES, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          Marcia S. Krieger Chief United States District Judge.

         THIS MATTER comes before the Court pursuant to Mr. Macieyovski's Motion for Summary Judgment (# 52), and the Defendant's (“Denver”) Response (# 59); and Denver's Motion for Summary Judgment (# 53), Mr. Macieyovski's response (# 60), and Denver's reply (# 61).

         FACTS

         The Court briefly summarizes the pertinent facts here and elaborates as necessary in its analysis, considering the evidence in the light most favorable to Mr. Macieyovski.

         Mr. Macieyovski, who is of Polish heritage, was employed for many years by Denver as a Master Trades Worker, responsible for maintaining and repairing HVAC systems in buildings owned by the City and County of Denver. During February 2014, Denver conducted an audit of the Mr. Macieyovski's work orders. Denver randomly selected 10 work orders on jobs Mr. Macieyovski had recently completed, and upon examining the orders and the work performed, concluded that Mr. Macieyovski had failed to complete the tasks listed in six of the work orders, and had taken excessive amounts of time to complete the work on others. Denver began termination proceedings against Mr. Macieyovski that month and formally terminated his employment on April 22, 2014.

         Mr. Macieyovski's pro se[[1]]Complaint (# 1), alleges two claims: (i) that his termination constitutes discrimination on the basis of his national origin, in violation of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.; and (ii) that his termination constituted retaliation for his past protected activity - namely, at least 5 prior EEOC charges and three employment-related lawsuits against Denver --- again in violation of Title VII.

         Both parties have now moved for summary judgment.

         ANALYSIS

         A. Standard of review

         Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure facilitates the entry of a judgment only if no trial is necessary. See White v. York Intern. Corp., 45 F.3d 357, 360 (10th Cir. 1995). Summary adjudication is authorized when there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and a party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). Substantive law governs what facts are material and what issues must be determined. It also specifies the elements that must be proved for a given claim or defense, sets the standard of proof and identifies the party with the burden of proof. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986); Kaiser-Francis Oil Co. v. Producer=s Gas Co., 870 F.2d 563, 565 (10th Cir. 1989). A factual dispute is "genuine" and summary judgment is precluded if the evidence presented in support of and opposition to the motion is so contradictory that, if presented at trial, a judgment could enter for either party. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. When considering a summary judgment motion, a court views all evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, thereby favoring the right to a trial. See Garrett v. Hewlett Packard Co., 305 F.3d 1210, 1213 (10th Cir. 2002).

         If the movant has the burden of proof on a claim or defense, the movant must establish every element of its claim or defense by sufficient, competent evidence. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(1)(A). Once the moving party has met its burden, to avoid summary judgment the responding party must present sufficient, competent, contradictory evidence to establish a genuine factual dispute. See Bacchus Indus., Inc. v. Arvin Indus., Inc., 939 F.2d 887, 891 (10th Cir. 1991); Perry v. Woodward, 199 F.3d 1126, 1131 (10th Cir. 1999). If there is a genuine dispute as to a material fact, a trial is required. If there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact, no trial is required. The court then applies the law to the undisputed facts and enters judgment.

         If the moving party does not have the burden of proof at trial, it must point to an absence of sufficient evidence to establish the claim or defense that the non-movant is obligated to prove. If the respondent comes forward with sufficient competent evidence to establish a prima facie claim or defense, a trial is required. If the respondent fails to produce sufficient competent evidence to establish its claim or defense, then the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986).

         This case involves cross-motions for summary judgment. "Because the determination of whether there is a genuine dispute as to a material factual issue turns upon who has the burden of proof, the standard of proof and whether adequate evidence has been submitted to support a prima facie case or to establish a genuine dispute as to material fact, cross motions must be evaluated independently." In re Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Securities Litig., 209 F.Supp.2d 1106, 1112 (D. Colo. 2002); see also Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Farm Credit Bank of Wichita, 226 F.3d 1138, 1148 (10th Cir. 2000); Buell Cabinet Co. v. Sudduth, 608 F.2d 431, 433 (10th Cir. 1979) ("Cross-motions for summary judgment are to be treated separately; the denial of one does not require the grant of another.").

         B. Denver's Motion

         The Court begins with Denver's motion.

         1. Discrimination on the ...


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