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Wallace v. Magnolia Family Services, LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

December 10, 2014

ANDERSON WALLACE, JR
v.
MAGNOLIA FAMILY SERVICES, L.L.C., DIVISION

ORDER

DANIEL E. KNOWLES, III, Magistrate Judge.

Before the Court are four motions: the Motion to Compel Defendant to Produce Documents for Discovery [Doc. #78], the Motion for Request of Cost [sic] to Take Depositions, Witness Fees, and Appellate Review [Doc. #79], the Motion for Reconsideration to Issue Subpoenas on Andrew J. Hebert and Request for the Magistrate Judge to Be Recused [Doc. #80], and the Motion for an Extension of Time to Take Depositions and All Discovery and for an Oral Hearing on the Discovery from the Administrative Law Judge Hearing [Doc. #82]. Each motion is opposed, and plaintiff filed a reply to each opposition. Having reviewed the motions, the oppositions, the replies, and the case law, the Court rules as follows.

I. Background

Pro se plaintiff, Anderson Wallace, Jr., filed this complaint against his employer Magnolia Services, L.L.C. ("Magnolia"), in which Terrebonne Parish School Board is an alleged stakeholder. Wallace works as a counselor for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Wallace is a recovering user of narcotics who has been drug-free for many years. Wallace alleges that Magnolia has an employment practice or policy that operates to exclude African-Americans with criminal backgrounds from continued employment with it. Wallace maintains that Magnolia wrongfully discharged him after he was charged in a domestic-violence incident that was subsequently refused by the Thirty-Second Judicial District Attorney's Office.

Wallace now sues defendant for race discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e et seq. (a disparate-impact claim). Wallace also sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") because Magnolia allegedly factored his past drug use into his discharge. He also sued under Louisiana Civil Code article 2315. Magistrate Judge Wilkinson dismissed these last two claims for failure to exhaust and failure to amend, respectively.[1]

II. The Motions

1. The Motion to Compel Defendant to Produce Documents for Discovery

In Request for Production No. 10, Wallace asked Magnolia to produce the criminal background check on Andrew Hebert, a Caucasian male, when Magnolia hired him in 2005 or 2006 and the criminal background check on Wallace. Magnolia produced the criminal background check on Wallace but refused to produce the criminal background check on Hebert, citing confidentiality. Wallace asks the Court to order Magnolia to produce the check because he alleges that Magnolia knew that Hebert had been charged with indecent behavior with juveniles and for a DWI when it hired him.

Disparate impact claims involve facially neutral employment policies that create such statistical disparities disadvantaging members of a protected class that make the policies "functionally equivalent to intentional discrimination.'" Munoz v. Orr, 200 F.3d 291, 299 (5th Cir. 2000) (quoting Watson v. Fort Worth Bank & Trust, 487 U.S. 977, 987 (1988)). To establish a prima facie case of disparate impact, a plaintiff must (1) identify the challenged employment policy, (2) demonstrate a disparate impact that policy has on a protected class, and (3) demonstrate a causal relationship between the identified practice and the disparate impact. Mayberry v. Mundy Contract Maint. Inc., 197 Fed.Appx. 314, 316 (5th Cir. 2006) (citing Gonzales v. City of New Braunfels, 176 F.3d 834, 839 n.26 (5th Cir. 1999). Thus, because Wallace asserts only a disparate-impact claim, and not a disparate treatment claim, whether Magnolia may have treated him differently than a white employee is not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. The motion is denied.

II. The Motion for Request of Cost [sic] to Take Depositions, Witness Fees, and Appellate Review

Wallace asks the Court to pay the costs to purchase a transcript of his deposition, to take the depositions of Donnie Olivier, Jamilah Olivier, Jaret Hubbell, and Hebert, to pay the witness fees, and to pay the appeal fee for his appeal of this Court's denial of his motion to reinstate his claim under Louisiana Civil Code Article 2315.

This Court has already found that Wallace is not a pauper. [Doc. #68 at pp. 4-5]. The attached financial affidavit reveals that Wallace earns $2, 400.00/month, and his wife earns $2, 600.00/month. Because Wallace is not a pauper and because the Court is unaware of any case law to support the argument that the Court will cover the costs of a non-pauper plaintiff, the motion is denied in part as to the depositions and the witness fees.

The motion is moot in part with regard to the appeal fee. PACER reveals that Wallace already paid the appeal fee of $505.00 on October 30, 2014.

III. The Motion for Reconsideration to Issue Subpoenas on Andrew J. Hebert and Request for the Magistrate ...


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