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Bolden v. Kellogg'S

United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division

June 12, 2017

TAVIUS BOLDEN, Plaintiff,
v.
KELLOGG'S, Defendant.

          ORDER

          SAMUEL H. MAYS, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court is the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation, dated May 25, 2017 (the “Report”). (ECF No. 33.) The Report recommends that the Court grant the Motion for Summary Judgment (the “Motion”) filed by Defendant Kellogg Company (“Kellogg's”) on February 7, 2017 (ECF No. 30). On June 8, 2017, Plaintiff Tavius Bolden filed his “Objections to Magistrate Report and Recommendation” (the “Objections”). (ECF No. 34.) Kellogg's responded to Bolden's Objections on June 9, 2017. (ECF No. 35.)

         For the following reasons, the Report is ADOPTED and Kellogg's Motion is GRANTED.

         I. Background

         On September 11, 2015, Bolden filed his pro se Complaint against Kellogg's, asserting sex discrimination and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e, et seq.

         On February 7, 2017, Kellogg's filed the pending Motion seeking dismissal of the action. Bolden did not respond to or otherwise oppose the Motion.

         On May 25, 2017, the Magistrate Judge entered the Report. Because Bolden had failed to respond to Kellogg's Motion, including Kellogg's Statement of Undisputed Material Facts in support of that motion (“Kellogg's Statement of Facts”), pursuant to Local Rule 56.1(d), the Magistrate Judge considered Kellogg's Statement of Facts undisputed for purposes of the Motion. (ECF No. 33 at 5.)

         Addressing Bolden's claim for hostile-work-environment sexual harassment, the Magistrate Judge found that Bolden had failed to establish a genuine issue of material fact as to three elements: (a) that he was subjected to unwelcome sexual harassment, (b) that the harassment created a hostile work environment, and (c) that the employer failed to take reasonable care to prevent or correct any sexually harassing behavior. (Id. at 5-8.)

         Addressing Bolden's claim for quid pro quo sexual harassment, the Magistrate Judge found that Bolden had failed to establish a genuine issue of material fact as to two elements: (a) that he was subjected to unwelcomed sexual harassment in the form of sexual advances or requests for sexual favors, and (b) that he refused to submit to sexual demands resulting in a tangible employment action against him or that his submission to unwelcomed advances was an express or implied condition of receiving job benefits. (Id. at 8-9.)

         Addressing Bolden's claim for retaliation, the Magistrate Judge found that Bolden had failed to establish a prima facie case of retaliation in that he had failed to show a causal connection between any protected activity in which he had engaged and a materially adverse action to which he had been subjected on account of engaging in that activity. (Id. at 9-10.) The Magistrate Judge found that, even if Bolden had established a prima facie case, Bolden had failed to establish a genuine issue of material fact that Kellogg's decision to terminate Bolden was a pretext for discrimination. (Id. at 10.) The Magistrate Judge also found that Bolden had failed to exhaust his administrative remedies for his retaliation claim. (Id. at 10-11.)

         II. Legal Standards

         Congress enacted 28 U.S.C. § 636 to relieve the burden on the federal judiciary by permitting the assignment of district-court duties to magistrate judges. See United States v. Curtis, 237 F.3d 598, 602 (6th Cir. 2001) (citing Gomez v. United States, 490 U.S. 858, 869-70 (1989)); see also Baker v. Peterson, 67 F. App'x 308, 310 (6th Cir. 2003). For dispositive motions, “[t]he district judge must determine de novo any part of the magistrate judge's disposition that has been properly objected to.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3); 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). After reviewing the evidence, the court is free to accept, reject, or modify the magistrate judge's proposed findings or recommendations. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). The district court is not required to review -- under a de novo or any other standard -- those aspects of the report and recommendation to which no objection is made. Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 150 (1985). The district court should adopt the magistrate judge's findings and rulings to which no specific objection is filed. Id. at 151. Arguments made in an objection to a magistrate judge's report and recommendation that were not first presented to the magistrate for consideration are deemed waived. See, e.g., Becker v. Clermont Cty. Prosecutor, 450 F. App'x 438, 439 (6th Cir. 2011); The Glidden Co. v. Kinsella, 386 F. App'x 535, 544 (6th Cir. 2010); Murr v. United States, 200 F.3d 895, 902 n.1 (6th Cir. 2000).[1]

         III. Analysis

         Bolden never responded to Kellogg's Motion. He does not deny that he was served with Kellogg's Motion or that he had adequate time to respond before the Magistrate Judge entered the Report. Bolden had more than three and a half months to respond or to ask for an extension of time in which to respond. Bolden offers no reason for his failure to respond. Bolden waited to express opposition to Kellogg's Motion until after the Magistrate Judge had entered the Report recommending dismissal. Bolden argues that Kellogg's Motion should not be granted by default (ECF No. 34 at 9), but the Report does not recommend that Kellogg's Motion be granted by default. The Magistrate Judge addressed Bolden's claims on the merits based on the uncontested record evidence. Because any arguments Bolden raises ...


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