Shirley J. Ugbo v. The Alliance Legal Group, PLLC
UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 2:15-cv-00151-MSD-RJK Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. . Mailed to: Shirley J. Ugbo. [17-1086]
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UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
SHIRLEY J. UGBO,
Plaintiff - Appellant,
THE ALLIANCE LEGAL GROUP, P.L.L.C.; THE LAW OFFICES OF STEVE
C. TAYLOR, P.C.,
Defendants - Appellees.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, at
Norfolk. Mark S. Davis, District Judge. (2:15-cv-00151-MSD-RJK)
Submitted: May 30, 2017
Decided: June 22, 2017
Before WILKINSON, FLOYD, and THACKER, Circuit Judges.
Dismissed and remanded by unpublished per curiam opinion.
Shirley J. Ugbo, Appellant Pro Se. Steve Clayton Taylor, LAW OFFICES OF STEVE C.
TAYLOR, PC, Chesapeake, Virginia, for Appellees.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
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Shirley J. Ugbo appeals the district court’s order granting summary judgment to
Defendants on her claims of race discrimination and retaliation, in violation of Title VII
of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e to 2000e–17 (2012).
Although “[t]he parties . . . have not questioned our jurisdiction . . . , we have an
independent obligation to verify the existence of appellate jurisdiction” and may exercise
jurisdiction only over final orders and certain interlocutory and collateral orders.
Porter v. Zook, 803 F.3d 694, 696 (4th Cir. 2015) (internal quotation marks omitted); see
28 U.S.C. §§ 1291, 1292 (2012). “Ordinarily, a district court order is not final until it has
resolved all claims as to all parties.” Porter, 803 F.3d at 696 (internal quotation marks
omitted). “Regardless of the label given a district court decision, if it appears from the
record that the district court has not adjudicated all of the issues in a case, then there is no
final order.” Id.
Applying the liberal construction due to this pro se pleading, Ugbo’s complaint
alleged a claim for retaliatory discharge. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007).
Indeed, the district court recognized in two separate orders that Ugbo’s complaint alleged
However, the district court’s memorandum order granting
Defendants’ summary judgment motion failed to address this claim. The district court
seemed to conclude that Ugbo had abandoned the claim based on her deposition
testimony. However, we find that Ugbo’s deposition testimony does not definitively
establish that she abandoned the claim. To the extent Ugbo’s deposition testimony was
ambiguous on the issue, her response to Defendants’ summary judgment motion clarified
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any uncertainty and reiterated the retaliatory termination claim alleged in the complaint.
Because the district court failed to resolve this claim, we lack jurisdiction over this
appeal. See Porter, 803 F.3d at 695, 699.
Accordingly, we dismiss the appeal and remand to the district court for
consideration of Ugbo’s retaliatory discharge claim. We express no opinion regarding
the claim or any other of Ugbo’s claims decided by the district court. We dispense with
oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the
materials before this court and argument would not aid the decisional process.
DISMISSED AND REMANDED
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