Martin v. Craig et al
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS re 50 Report and Recommendations; granting 40 Motion to Dismiss. This case is dismissed without prejudice. Signed by Honorable Susan O. Hickey on March 26, 2014. (mll)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
EL DORADO DIVISION
Civil No. 1:12-cv-1057
KENNY CRAIG, et al
Before the Court is the Report and Recommendation filed February 6, 2014, by the
Honorable Barry A. Bryant, United States Magistrate Judge for the Western District of Arkansas.
(ECF No. 50). Judge Bryant recommends that Defendants Double C Construction, Michael
Courson, and Kenny Craig’s Second Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 50) be granted. 1 On March
25, 2014, Plaintiff Curtis Martin (“Martin”) filed objections to Judge Bryant’s Report and
Recommendation. (ECF No. 50). After reviewing the record de novo, the Court adopts Judge
Bryant’s Report and Recommendation as its own.
Martin makes four objections to the Report and Recommendation. First, Martin objects
to the Report and Recommendation because “the Court [k]nows that there [are] other claims to
pursue but yet and still did not appoint [him] an attorney.” (ECF No. 53).
There is no
constitutional or statutory right to appointed counsel in civil cases. Phillips v. Jasper Cty. Jail,
437 F.3d 791, 794 (8th Cir. 2006). Rather, when an indigent prisoner has pleaded a nonfrivolous
cause of action, a court “may” appoint counsel. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) (emphasis added). The
Judge Bryant filed his Report and Recommendation following the November 21, 2013 hearing on Defendants’
Second Motion to Dismiss.
relevant criteria for determining whether counsel should be appointed include the factual
complexity of the issues, the ability of the indigent person to investigate the facts, the existence
of conflicting testimony, the ability of the indigent person to present the claims, and the
complexity of the legal arguments. Phillips, 437 F.3d at 794.
Upon consideration of these factors, the Court concludes that an appointment of counsel
is not necessary in this case. As Judge Bryant stated in his Order denying Martin’s Motion to
Appoint Counsel (ECF No. 7), throughout the proceedings, Martin has clearly articulated his
claims and made adequate legal arguments. Further, the issues in this case are not complex and
are considered by federal courts on a regular basis. (ECF No. 7). Accordingly, Martin’s
objection that the Court erred when it denied him counsel is without merit.
Second, Martin objects to Report and Recommendation because he claims it ignores facts
that establish a racial discrimination claim against Defendants. Specifically, Martin alleges the
Report and Recommendation ignores his allegation that white employees on the maintenance
crew were given easier duties and were never reprimanded.
Martin already made this argument before the Court, and Judge Bryant fully addressed it
in his Report and Recommendation. As Judge Bryant stated, to establish a prima facie case for
racial discrimination, a Title VII plaintiff must show: (1) that he is a member of a protected class;
(2) that he was meeting the employer’s legitimate job expectations; (3) that he suffered an
adverse employment action; and (4) that similarly situated employees outside the protected class
were treated differently. Tolen v. Ashcroft, 377 F.3d 878, 882 (8th Cir. 2004). “To be similarly
situated, the comparable employees must have dealt with the same supervisor, have been subject
to the same standards, and engaged in the same conduct without any mitigating or distinguishing
circumstances.” Id. (quotations omitted). In this case, Martin worked on the labor crew, not the
maintenance crew. Thus, Martin was not similarly situated to the men on the maintenance crew.
Accordingly, as Judge Bryant concluded, Martin’s allegations regarding the white employees on
the maintenance crew do not establish a racial discrimination claim under Title VII.
Third, Martin objects because he claims the Report and Recommendation misconstrues
his statement regarding Defendant Craig he made at the hearing on Defendants’ Motion to
Dismiss. 2 In the Report and Recommendation, Judge Bryant concluded that Martin’s claim for
termination based on racial discrimination failed because Martin admitted at the hearing that he
“struck his supervisor . . . just prior to his termination.” (ECF No. 50). Thus, Judge Bryant
concluded, the battery was the reason for termination, not race. In his objections, Martin claims
that he hit his supervisor after he was terminated.
The Court concludes that the time at which Martin struck his supervisor is immaterial. In
his Addendum, Martin admits that Defendant Craig “told [him] to remove his lock and go home”
because Martin completed work for the “supervisor from G.P.” rather than completing a task
Defendant Craig previously asked him to do. (ECF No. 39). After Defendant Craig asked
Martin to go home, Martin admits he then struck Defendant Craig. Martin’s allegations establish
that Martin was terminated for disobeying instructions, not race. Accordingly, Martin’s assertion
that Judge Bryant incorrectly reported the timing of the battery is immaterial to Martin’s Title
Finally, Martin objects because Judge Bryant declined to consider his affidavits.
However, as Jude Bryant stated, “[w]hen ruling on a motion dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a
district court generally may not consider materials outside the pleadings. Noble Sys. Corp. v.
Judge Bryant held two hearings for Martin’s case on March 27, 2013, and on November 21, 2013. Martin does not
specify at which hearing he made this statement concerning the incident with Defendant Craig.
Alorica Cent., LLC, 543 F.3d 978, 982 (8th Cir. 2008). Accordingly, Judge Bryant properly
declined to consider the affidavits.
For the reasons set forth above, the Court overrules Martin’s objections and adopts Judge
Bryant’s Report and Recommendation.
(ECF No. 50).
Accordingly, Defendants’ Second
Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 40) is GRANTED, and this case is DISMISSED WITHOUT
IT IS SO ORDERED, this 26th day of March, 2014.
/s/ Susan O. Hickey
Susan O. Hickey
United States District Judge
Martin’s claims against separate Defendant Rodney Phillips were dismissed on May 3, 2013. (ECF No. 35).
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?