Wilson v. University of Virginia, Civ. A. No. 86-0041-C.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District of Virginia)
Writing for the CourtRoger S. Martin, Associate Legal Advisor, Sp. Asst. Atty. Gen., Charlottesville, Va., for defendants
Citation663 F. Supp. 1089
PartiesHope WILSON, Plaintiff, v. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, John A. Blackburn, and Ernest Ern, Defendants.
Decision Date09 July 1987
Docket NumberCiv. A. No. 86-0041-C.

663 F. Supp. 1089

Hope WILSON, Plaintiff,
v.
UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, John A. Blackburn, and Ernest Ern, Defendants.

Civ. A. No. 86-0041-C.

United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Charlottesville Division.

July 9, 1987.


663 F. Supp. 1090

Beverly A. Burton, Richmond, Va., for plaintiff.

Roger S. Martin, Associate Legal Advisor, Sp. Asst. Atty. Gen., Charlottesville, Va., for defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

MICHAEL, District Judge

This matter comes before the court upon defendants' motion to dismiss Count II of the complaint, which states a cause of action under 42 U.S.C. § 1981. Defendants contend that plaintiff Wilson's assertion of an employment discrimination claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., precludes her from asserting a § 1981 claim on the same facts. They also contend that Wilson's § 1981 claim is barred by the eleventh amendment. For the reasons stated below, the court will grant the motion in part and deny it in part.

Hope Wilson, a black woman, was hired as an assistant dean of admissions by the University of Virginia office of admissions in October, 1979. In the spring and summer of 1985, Wilson applied for two associate dean positions in the office of admissions. When she was not selected for either position, Wilson filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which issued a notice of right to sue on July 30, 1986. Wilson then filed this action against the University of Virginia, John A. Blackburn, dean of admissions, and Ernest Ern, vice president for student affairs. Wilson alleges that she was not promoted solely because of her race, and that the defendants' failure to promote her is part of a pattern and practice of discrimination against blacks in the office of admissions.

Count I of the complaint alleges a cause of action under Title VII, under which Wilson seeks injunctive relief, back pay, and front pay. Count II alleges a cause of action under § 1981, under which Wilson seeks injunctive relief, as well as compensatory and punitive damages. Defendants have moved to dismiss Count II on the grounds that the § 1981 claim is both precluded by the Title VII claim and barred by the eleventh amendment.

Title VII Preclusion

To support their argument that the plaintiff cannot maintain a lawsuit under both Title VII and § 1981, the defendants offer a tortured reading of Johnson v. Railway Express Agency, Inc., 421 U.S. 454, 95 S.Ct. 1716, 44 L.Ed.2d 295 (1975), which this court cannot accept. Defendants contend that under Johnson, only the administrative remedies provided by Title VII are independent of § 1981 remedies, and that a plaintiff may not pursue lawsuits under both laws simultaneously. The language of Johnson does not support this interpretation. To the contrary, the opinion clearly rules out any preclusion of § 1981 remedies by Title VII remedies:

Despite Title VII's range and its design as a comprehensive solution for the problem of invidious discrimination in employment, the aggrieved individual clearly is not deprived of other remedies he possesses and is not limited to Title VII in his search for relief. "The legislative
663 F. Supp. 1091
history of Title VII manifests a congressional intent to allow an individual to pursue independently his rights under both Title VII and other applicable state and federal statutes." Alexander v. Gardner-Denver Co., 415 U.S. 36 at 48 94 S.Ct. 1011, 1019, 39 L.Ed.2d 147 (1974). In particular, Congress noted "that the remedies available to the individual under Title VII are co-extensive with the individual's right to sue under the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, 42 U.S.C. § 1981, and that the two procedures augment each other and are not mutually exclusive." H.R.Rep. No. 92-238, p. 19 (1971). See also S.Rep. No. 92-415, p. 24 (1971). Later, in considering the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972, the Senate rejected an amendment that would have deprived a claimant of any right to sue under § 1981. 118 Cong.Rec. 3371-3373 (1972).

421 U.S. 454 at...

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8 practice notes
  • Cobb v. Rector, Visitors, University of Virginia, No. CIV.A. 99-0007-C.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District of Virginia)
    • July 7, 1999
    ...Amendment. Collin v. Rector & Bd. of Visitors of Univ. of Va., 873 F.Supp. 1008, 1013 (W.D.Va.1995); Wilson v. Page 824 Univ. of Va., 663 F.Supp. 1089, 1092 (W.D.Va.1987). However, the Court will assume for the purpose of this motion that the 11th Amendment does not bar the Court from award......
  • Smith v. Rector & Visitors of Univ. Of Virginia, Civil Action No. 3:99CV00064.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District of Virginia)
    • December 22, 1999
    ...also Collin v. Rector and Bd. of Visitors of Univ. of Virginia, 873 F.Supp. 1008, 1013 (W.D.Va.1995); Wilson v. University of Virginia, 663 F.Supp. 1089, 1092 (W.D.Va.1987); Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Florida, 517 U.S. 44, 116 S.Ct. 1114, 134 L.Ed.2d 252 (1996); Pennhurst State Sch. & Hos......
  • Tigrett v. Rector and Visitors University of Va., Civil Action No. 3:99CV00094.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District of Virginia)
    • May 12, 2000
    ...see also Collin v. Rector and Bd. of Visitors of Univ. of Va., 873 F.Supp. 1008, 1013 (W.D.Va.1995); Wilson v. University of Va., 663 F.Supp. 1089, 1092 (W.D.Va.1987); Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Florida, 517 U.S. 44, 116 S.Ct. 1114, 134 L.Ed.2d 252 (1996); Pennhurst State Sch. & Hosp. v. ......
  • Collin v. Rector & Bd. of Visitors of Univ. of Va., Civ. A. No. 93-0074-C.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District of Virginia)
    • January 3, 1995
    ...court. This court has previously determined that UVA is a state agency entitled to absolute immunity. Wilson v. University of Virginia, 663 F.Supp. 1089, 1092 (W.D.Va.1987). Clearly the Department is an arm of the University and thus enjoys the same Eleventh Amendment immunity from suit as ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
8 cases
  • Cobb v. Rector, Visitors, University of Virginia, No. CIV.A. 99-0007-C.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District of Virginia)
    • July 7, 1999
    ...Collin v. Rector & Bd. of Visitors of Univ. of Va., 873 F.Supp. 1008, 1013 (W.D.Va.1995); Wilson v. Page 824 Univ. of Va., 663 F.Supp. 1089, 1092 (W.D.Va.1987). However, the Court will assume for the purpose of this motion that the 11th Amendment does not bar the Court from awarding the......
  • Smith v. Rector & Visitors of Univ. Of Virginia, Civil Action No. 3:99CV00064.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District of Virginia)
    • December 22, 1999
    ...also Collin v. Rector and Bd. of Visitors of Univ. of Virginia, 873 F.Supp. 1008, 1013 (W.D.Va.1995); Wilson v. University of Virginia, 663 F.Supp. 1089, 1092 (W.D.Va.1987); Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Florida, 517 U.S. 44, 116 S.Ct. 1114, 134 L.Ed.2d 252 (1996); Pennhurst State Sch. &......
  • Tigrett v. Rector and Visitors University of Va., Civil Action No. 3:99CV00094.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District of Virginia)
    • May 12, 2000
    ...see also Collin v. Rector and Bd. of Visitors of Univ. of Va., 873 F.Supp. 1008, 1013 (W.D.Va.1995); Wilson v. University of Va., 663 F.Supp. 1089, 1092 (W.D.Va.1987); Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Florida, 517 U.S. 44, 116 S.Ct. 1114, 134 L.Ed.2d 252 (1996); Pennhurst State Sch. & Hosp.......
  • Collin v. Rector & Bd. of Visitors of Univ. of Va., Civ. A. No. 93-0074-C.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District of Virginia)
    • January 3, 1995
    ...court. This court has previously determined that UVA is a state agency entitled to absolute immunity. Wilson v. University of Virginia, 663 F.Supp. 1089, 1092 (W.D.Va.1987). Clearly the Department is an arm of the University and thus enjoys the same Eleventh Amendment immunity from suit as ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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