342 F.3d 1281 (11th Cir. 2003), 02-15596, Maynard v. Board of Regents of Div. of Universities of Florida Dept. of Educ. ex rel. University of South Florida

Docket Nº:02-15596
Citation:342 F.3d 1281
Party Name:Maynard v. Board of Regents of Div. of Universities of Florida Dept. of Educ. ex rel. University of South Florida
Case Date:August 22, 2003
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
 
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342 F.3d 1281 (11th Cir. 2003)

Donald MAYNARD, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

BOARD OF REGENTS OF THE DIVISION OF UNIVERSITIES OF THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, acting by and through the UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA, Defendant-Appellee.

No. 02-15596.

United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

August 22, 2003

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Wendolyn S. Busch, Trenam, Simmons, Kemker, Scharf, Barkin, Frye 7 O'Neill, P.A., Janette Meredith Wester, Ruden, McClosky, Smith, Schuster & Russell, Lutz, FL, for Maynard.

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John Daniel Goldsmith, Brigid Anne Smith, Trenam, Kemker, Scharf, Barkin, Frye, O'Neill & Mullis, P.A., Olga J. Joanow, Office of the Gen. Counsel-USF, Jane Haughney, Tampa, FL, for Board of Regents.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

Before MARCUS and WILSON, Circuit Judges, and RESTANI, [*] Judge.

RESTANI, Judge:

This is an appeal of a final judgment of the United States District Court forn th Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, entered on Defendant-Appellee University of South Florida's ("USF") Motion for Summary Judgment. Plaintiff-Appellant Donald Maynard asserted certain violations of the United States and Florida Constitutions, as well as various statutory claims and a breach of contract claim, all arising out of his dismissal from a USF medical residency program. As did the district court, we find USF immune from suit on all but the federal Title VII employment claim and direct the district court to dismiss the non-Title VII claims for lack of jurisdiction. We affirm judgment for USF on the Title VII claim.

FACTS

Appellant Maynard is a graduate of Meharry Medical College in Tennessee. After completing medical school, Maynard joined USF's surgical residency program, which typically lasts five years. Through this program, USF supplies residents to local hospitals for varying rotation periods and, in return, the hospitals pay USF a fee. To receive some compensation for their services, residents enter into annual agreements with USF known as "House Officer Contracts," through which the residents receive a stipend. These contracts are limited to one year and are typically renewed so long as the resident receives acceptable reviews. 1

On April 9, 1999, Dr. Richard Karl, Chairman of the Department of Surgery at USF, told Maynard that he would have to repeat his fourth year of residency because he received low scores on his ABSITE exam, a specialty in-service examination that residents across the country take each year. 2 Less than two weeks later, Dr. Karl gave Maynard written notice that he would be required to repeat his fourth year of residency. According to Maynard, at no time did Dr. Karl provide Maynard with any additional reasons for the decision.

Shortly thereafter, Maynard met with Dr. Peter Fabri, Associate Dean and Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, to discuss appealing Dr. Karl's decision to have him repeat his fourth year. Maynard alleges that Dr. Fabri explained that his problems were related to how others perceived Maynard's culture, his accent, and the way that he walked. 3 On June 21, 1999, Maynard informed Dr. Karl that he was going to file an appeal and again requested that Dr. Karl give him an explanation as to why he was required to repeat his fourth year of residency.

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Maynard claims he did not receive a satisfactory response. On June 23, 1999, Maynard formally appealed the decision by filing a letter of dispute with the chairman of the residency program and requested that USF designate a three-person Professional Dispute Resolution Committee ("PDRC") to review his appeal, pursuant to the Resident House Officer Policies and Procedures Manual ("Manual"). 4 In addition, Maynard contacted Ted Williams, USF's race relations manager, to explain that he believed USF's actions were motivated by Maynard's race.

Although the details are somewhat unclear, it appears that the two parties ultimately reached a compromise under which Maynard would contract as a fourth-year surgical resident while performing fifth-year work. Under this agreement, Maynard's work would be reviewed after six months and, if his performance was acceptable, USF would promote him to fifth year status, effective January 2000, so that he could complete the program in June 2000 as originally scheduled. Maynard signed the amended fourth-year contract and dropped his appeal. Despite this agreement, however, Maynard continued to request written reasons as to why he was required to repeat his fourth year.

On November 10, 1999, Maynard received a letter identifying specific problem areas: failure to attend conferences, changing schedules without permission, untimely evaluations, and low ABSITE scores. 5 On December 20, 1999, Dr. Karl informed Maynard that he was not eligible to be promoted to the fifth year or to graduate in June 2000. Maynard immediately filed a second letter of dispute and, on January 3, 2000, Dr. Fabri informed Maynard that a PDRC would be formed to consider his appeal. On March 27, 2000, the PDRC upheld Dr. Karl's decision not to promote Maynard. 6 During the deliberations, the committee members independently mentioned their perceptions as to Maynard's unreliability, irresponsibility, poor judgment, failure to improve, and lack of knowledge. Dr. Karl formally notified Maynard that he was terminated from the program on April 17, 2000.

On July 31, 2000, Maynard filed a nine-count complaint in the district court against USF, asserting various claims for violations of the Florida Constitution and the United States Constitution, for violations of the Florida Civil Rights Act and Title VII of the United States Code, and for breach of contract. On October 12, 2000, the district court entered a Case Management and Scheduling Order establishing a discovery cut-off date of December 31, 2001, and setting the dispositive motion deadline for January 31, 2002. On September 7, 2001, the district court entered

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an order extending the discovery cut-off to January 31, 2002.

On January 4, 2002, Maynard filed a motion for leave to exceed ten depositions and to re-open nine depositions, which was opposed by USF. The district court entered an order allowing four additional depositions and refused to re-open depositions. Maynard moved for leave to amend his complaint on the last day of the extended discovery period--January 31, 2002. Maynard's motion was denied.

On February 28, 2002, almost one month after the discovery cut-off, Maynard filed his Amended Motion to Compel discovery. The district court denied Maynard's amended motion both because it was untimely and because Maynard's counsel represented to the district court that the issues contained within the amended motion and initial motion had been resolved by the parties. USF filed its Motion for Summary Judgment on March 18, 2002. Maynard filed his opposition to summary judgment on April 4, 2002. Maynard served a notice of taking a Rule 30(b)(6) Deposition Duces Tecum on September 6, 2002. On September 10, 2002, the district court granted USF's Motion for Summary Judgment. Appellant timely appealed the final judgment of the district court and we have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291.

DISCUSSION

I. Preliminary Matters

Maynard initially argues that the district court erred in its discovery rulings and with regard to scheduling. We review the district court's rulings on discovery issues for abuse of discretion. Washington v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., 959 F.2d 1566, 1570 (11th Cir. 1992). The discovery orders at issue were all entered by Magistrate Judge Thomas Wilson. Under Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a), Maynard had ten (10) days to file any objections with the district court judge assigned to the case. He did not object at all. Because he failed to timely challenge the magistrate's non-dispositive orders before the district court, Maynard waived his right to appeal those matters here. See, e.g., Farrow v. West, 320 F.3d 1235, 1249 n. 21 (11th Cir. 2003) ("A party failing to appeal a magistrate judge's order in a nondispositive matter to the district court may not raise an objection to it on appeal to a circuit court.") (citing Stemler v. City of Florence, 126 F.3d 856, 866 n. 9 (6th Cir. 1997) (failure to challenge magistrate judge's discovery order to district court constitutes waiver of claim on appeal)). Accordingly, we do not reach these issues.

Maynard next argues that the district court erred by ruling upon USF's summary judgment motion before Maynard had completed discovery. As explained, at the time of the requests at issue (September 6, 2002), the extended discovery deadline (January 31, 2002) had long since passed, USF's summary judgment motion had been pending for some time, and Maynard had already responded five months before the request. We note that Maynard did not ask the court to stay its summary judgment decision or alert the court to any additional discovery requests that might be forthcoming, because he was dissatisfied with a matter that previously was represented to the Magistrate Judge as resolved. As such, we find that the district court properly proceeded to decide the summary judgment motion before it.

Maynard also appeals the denial of his motion to amend the complaint to (1) assert a retaliation claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2; and (2) add Dr. Karl as a defendant. We review the district court's refusal to allow the proposed amendments for abuse of discretion. Sosa v. Airprint Sys., Inc., 133 F.3d 1417, 1418 (11th Cir. 1998).

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"Although '[l]eave to amend shall be freely given when justice so requires,' a motion to amend may be denied on 'numerous...

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