Horton v. Shinseki et al
ORDER granting 9 Motion to Dismiss defendants Michael Winn and Deniese Evans. Signed by Judge Kristine G. Baker on 05/09/2014. (rhm)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
ANDREW L. HORTON
Case No. 4:13-cv-00147 KGB
ERIK K. SHINSEKI,
Secretary of Veterans Affairs,
MICHAEL R. WINN,
Before the Court is separate defendants Michael Winn and Deniese Evans’s (“separate
defendants”) motion to dismiss (Dkt. No. 9). Separate defendants argue that defendant Eric
Shinseki, Secretary of Veteran Affairs, is the sole proper defendant in this lawsuit. Plaintiff
Andrew L. Horton has not responded, and the time for doing so has passed. The Court grants
separate defendants’ motion to dismiss.
Mr. Horton is employed as the Housekeeping Foreman at the Central Arkansas Veterans
Healthcare System in Little Rock, Arkansas. He filed this employment discrimination action—
alleging discrimination based on race, color, sex, and reprisal—when he was not considered or
selected for a promotion. Ms. Evans, as the Chief of Environmental Services, was the selecting
official for the position for which Mr. Horton applied, though his name was not on the certificate
of applicants she received. Mr. Winn is Mr. Horton’s second-line supervisor. Mr. Horton brings
his claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq (“Title
Title VII is a federal employee’s exclusive judicial remedy for employment
discrimination claims. Brown v. Gen. Servs. Admin., 425 U.S. 820, 835 (1976); Harrell v.
Donahue, 638 F.3d 975, 983-84 (8th Cir. 2011). In a Title VII action, the head of the appropriate
department, agency, or unit is the only proper defendant. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-16(c); Warren v.
Dep’t of Army, 867 F.2d 1156, 1158 (8th Cir. 1989); Morgan v. U.S. Postal Serv., 798 F.2d
1162, 1165 n.3 (8th Cir. 1986); McGuinness v. U.S. Postal Serv., 744 F.2d 1318, 1322 (7th Cir.
1984); Hicks v. Brown, 929 F. Supp. 1184, 1189 (E.D. Ark. 1996); Barhorst v. Marsh, 765 F.
Supp. 995, 999 (E.D. Mo. 1991). A supervisor or employee may not be held individually liable
under Title VII. See Bonomolo-Hagen v. Clay Central-Everly Cmty. Sch. Dist., 121 F.3d 446,
447 (8th Cir. 1997) (per curiam) (supervisor); Smith v. St. Bernards Reg’l Med. Ctr., 19 F.3d
1254, 1255 (8th Cir. 1994) (employee).
Thus, Mr. Winn and Ms. Evans are not proper
defendants, and the Court dismisses Mr. Horton’s claims against them.
SO ORDERED this 9th day of May, 2014.
KRISTINE G. BAKER
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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