Griffin v. Super Valu

Decision Date14 February 2000
Docket NumberNo. 99-2330,99-2330
Citation218 F.3d 869
Parties(8th Cir. 2000) KEITH E. GRIFFIN, APPELLANT, v. SUPER VALU, APPELLEE. Submitted:
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Eighth Circuit

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.

Before Wollman, Chief Judge, Bowman, and Morris Sheppard Arnold, Circuit Judges.

Morris Sheppard Arnold, Circuit Judge.

Keith Griffin appeals the district court's1 order granting summary judgment to his employer, Super Valu, in this employment discrimination action under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, see 42 U.S.C. 2000e through 2000e-17. Mr. Griffin, who is black, alleges that he was denied two promotions because of his race. On appeal, Mr. Griffin contends that he should have been allowed to file an untimely response to Super Valu's summary judgment motion, and that the motion was improperly granted.

I.

We first address the question of whether Mr. Griffin should have been permitted to file an untimely response to Super Valu's summary judgment motion because the resolution of that issue affects the scope of the record on appeal. Before the district court denied Mr. Griffin leave to file a late response, he and his counsel (who is not representing him on appeal) were sanctioned for other dilatory behavior. After waiting for more than four months for a response to discovery requests, Super Valu's attorney wrote to Mr. Griffin's counsel asking for the requested information. When Mr. Griffin's attorney did not respond, Super Valu moved to compel discovery, a motion that Mr. Griffin also failed to answer. The district court granted the motion to compel and imposed sanctions against Mr. Griffin for the unexplained delay. After Mr. Griffin's counsel later violated a court order by failing to provide Super Valu with pertinent tape recordings until more than four months after their due date, the court imposed additional sanctions against Mr. Griffin and his attorney.

On the date that Mr. Griffin's counsel acknowledged that the summary judgment response was due, she moved for additional time. In support, she referred generally to her heavy workload and trial schedule and to her difficulty contacting Mr. Griffin because of his work schedule. The district court denied the motion for more time. In the order granting summary judgment, the court explained that the motion was denied based on Mr. Griffin's attorney's failure to alert the court earlier to work-related problems, as well as her prior "dilatory behavior during this litigation" and her failure to comply with local court rules by certifying that she had tried to reach an agreement with Super Valu regarding the motion. Mr. Griffin moved to reconsider or amend the judgment, see Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e), arguing, inter alia, that based on the local rules, the court should consider a belated summary judgment response that Mr. Griffin's attorney had previously mailed to opposing counsel, but had not filed with the court. The court denied the post-judgment motion.

Absent an abuse of discretion, we will not interfere with the district court's management of its docket, see Penn v. Iowa State Board of Regents, 999 F.2d 305, 307 (8th Cir. 1993), or reverse its denial of post-judgment relief, see Roark v City of Hazen, 189 F.3d 758, 761 (8th Cir. 1999). Having carefully considered all of the circumstances and the relevant rules, we conclude that the district court acted within its discretion both when it refused to grant additional time for Mr. Griffin to file his summary judgment response and when it denied his post-judgment motion.

II.

Mr. Griffin also contends that the district court erred in granting summary judgment on his failure-to-promote claims. Mr. Griffin's reliance on cases in which a plaintiff's lawsuit was dismissed as a sanction for various improper conduct is misplaced. In our case, the court carefully reviewed Super Valu's motion and granted summary judgment based on the merits. Cf. Barge v. Anheuser-Busch, Inc., 87 F.3d 256, 260 (8th Cir. 1996). Therefore, as with any appeal from an order granting summary judgment, we review the record de novo in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and affirm only if no material question of fact exists, see id. at 258. We do not consider as part of the record, however, documents upon which Mr. Griffin attempts to rely that were not before the district court. See Canada v. Union Electric Co., 135 F.3d 1211, 1213 (8th Cir. 1997).

Under its collective bargaining agreement with Mr. Griffin's union, Super Valu was permitted to hire casual employees "as needed" to work in its warehouse, and it hired Mr. Griffin in this capacity. The agreement also provided that casual employees would be placed in Group A or Group B, and that promotions to permanent positions would be made from Group A in order of seniority; casual employees who were hired after December, 1993, as Mr. Griffin was, would be placed in Group B and would advance to Group A at Super Valu's discretion. Super Valu offered evidence that it had a policy of advancing an employee to Group A only if the employee had at least six months' seniority and had no...

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10 cases
  • Davidson v. Tyco/Healthcare, Mallinckrodt, Inc.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Missouri
    • May 25, 2005
    ...treatment based on race, or even more importantly, create a genuine issue of fact on the question of pretext. See, Griffin v. Super Valu, 218 F.3d 869, 872 (8th Cir.2000) (citations omitted). Plaintiff seeks this Court's review (and ultimately, a jury's review) of this case based on fairnes......
  • Leiting v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., No. 4:99CV3092.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Nebraska
    • October 25, 2000
    ...without any mitigating or distinguishing circumstances." Clark, 218 F.3d at 918 (citations omitted). See also Griffin v. Super Valu, 218 F.3d 869, 871-72 (8th Cir.2000). One obvious distinguishing circumstance is that Brown had a witness to the September 20, 1997 name-calling incident, wher......
  • Missouri Prot. & Advo. v. Missouri Dept. Mental
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Eighth Circuit
    • May 10, 2006
    ...the distinct claims, both of which were included in MOPAS's complaint, in separate summary judgment orders. See Griffin v. Super Valu, 218 F.3d 869, 870 (8th Cir.2000) ("Absent an abuse of discretion, we will not interfere with the district court's management of its docket." (citation 3. Fo......
  • Kendrick v. Pope
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Eighth Circuit
    • April 12, 2012
    ...establish error in the district court's exhaustion ruling. Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d 912, 914–15 (8th Cir.2004); Griffin v. Super Valu, 218 F.3d 869, 871 (8th Cir.2000) (“We do not consider as part of the record ... documents upon which [appellant] attempt to rely that were not before the di......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
2 books & journal articles
  • Survey of Eighth Circuit Employment Decisions
    • United States
    • University of Nebraska - Lincoln Nebraska Law Review No. 34, 2022
    • Invalid date
    ...McCullough v. Real Foods, Inc., 140 F.3d 1123, 1129 (8th Cir. 1998)). 301. Id. at 908 (Bataillon, J., dissenting) (citation omitted). 302. 218 F.3d 869 (8th Cir. 2000). 303. Griffin v. Super Valu, 218 F.3d 869, 870 (8th Cir. 2000). 304. Griffin, 218 F.3d at 871. Super Valu's policy was only......
  • Survey of Eighth Circuit Employment Decisions
    • United States
    • Creighton University Creighton Law Review No. 34, 2000
    • Invalid date
    ...McCullough v. Real Foods, Inc., 140 F.3d 1123, 1129 (8th Cir. 1998)). 301. Id. at 908 (Bataillon, J., dissenting) (citation omitted). 302. 218 F.3d 869 (8th Cir. 2000). 303. Griffin v. Super Valu, 218 F.3d 869, 870 (8th Cir. 2000). 304. Griffin, 218 F.3d at 871. Super Valu's policy was only......

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