Williams v. Alabama Department of Industrial Relations et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION Signed by Chief Judge Karon O Bowdre on 3/15/16. (SAC)
2016 Mar-15 AM 09:38
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
ORLANDO V. WILLIAMS,
ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS, ET AL.,
This matter comes before the court on "Plaintiff Orlando V. Williams’ Motion for
Summary Judgment and Supporting Brief," (doc. 84), and "Defendants' Motion for Summary
Judgment," (doc. 86). Plaintiff Orlando Williams sued the Alabama Department of Industrial
Relations,1 Thomas Surtees, and Stephen McCormick alleging violations of 29 U.S.C. § 794, and
42 U.S.C. § 1983. The court held a hearing on the parties’ motions for summary judgment on
March 9, 2015.
For the reasons stated on the record during the hearing and as summarized below, the
court finds the Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment (doc. 84) is due to be DENIED;
Defendants’ motion for summary judgment (doc. 86) is due to be GRANTED; and Plaintiff’s
The court notes that the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations (ADIR) has been
renamed the Alabama Department of Labor (ADOL), and the Defendants refer to the ADIR as
the ADOL. Plaintiff has never amended the complaint to use the new name. For purposes of this
Memorandum Opinion, the court will refer the state entity defendant as the Alabama Department
claim against Defendant Surtees is MOOT.
Specifically, the court FINDS that Williams has failed to establish his prima facie case as
to the claims in Count II asserting that Defendant ADOL retaliated against Williams in violation
of the Rehabilitation Act. Williams contends that ADOL retaliated against him when it issued to
him a notice disallowing his appeal to the Board without findings after he filed a complaint with
the Civil Rights Center of the U.S. Department of Labor alleging that ADOL discriminated
against him on the basis of disability and political affiliation.
To establish a prima facie case of retaliation claim under the Rehabilitation Act, a
Plaintiff must show that (1) he participated in a statutorily protected activity or expression; (2)
that he suffered an adverse action; and (3) the adverse action was related to the protected activity.
Albra v. City of Fort Lauderdale, 232 Fed. App’x 885, 891 (11th Cir. 2007). Although the
parties do not dispute that Williams engaged in statutorily protected activity by filing the CRC
complaint, Williams failed to establish that he suffered an adverse action. Similarly, even if
disallowing his appeal without express findings were an adverse action, Williams failed to
establish that issuing the notice disallowing his appeal without findings was related in any way to
his CRC complaint. Therefore, as more fully explained on the record, the court Denies
Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment and Grants Defendant ADOL’s motion for summary
judgment as to Count II.
In Count III, the Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Surtees and McCormick violated his
First Amendment right to redress grievances in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff requests a
“prospective, permanent injunction enjoining Surtees and McCormick, their agents, successors,
employees, attorneys, and those acting in concert with Surtees and McCormick or at Surtees and
McCormick request from violating § 1983.” (Doc. 50 at 12-15). First, Defendant Surtees no
longer works for ADOL. Therefore, Plaintiff’s claims against Defendant Surtees is MOOT.
Further, the court lacks jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s § 1983 claim seeking an injunction
against Defendant McCormick (and Surtees) because Plaintiff lacks standing. “Those who seek
to invoke the jurisdiction of the federal courts must satisfy the threshhold requirement imposed
by Article III of the Constitution by alleging an actual case or controversy.” City of Los Angeles
v. Lyons, 461 U.S. 95, 101 (1983). Therefore, “[t]he plaintiff must show that he ‘has sustained or
is immediately in danger of sustaining some direct injury’ as the result of the challenged official
conduct and the injury or threat of injury must be both ‘real and immediate,’ not ‘conjectural’ or
‘hypothetical.’” Id. at 101-102. As stated on the record, the court finds that Plaintiff has not
established that he will face any real and immediate injury in the future, and Plaintiff, therfore,
fails to allege an actual case or controversy. Although the court lacks jurisdiction, the court notes
that Plaintiff’s claims in Count III would also fail for the same reasons as Count II because
Plaintiff did not suffer an adverse action and Plaintiff failed to establish that the ADOL’s
decision to disallow his appeal without written findings was related to his filing of the CRC
The court specifically finds that no issues of material fact exist and that the Defendants
are entitled to judgement as a matter of law.
DONE and ORDERED this 15th day of March, 2016.
KARON OWEN BOWDRE
CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?