Case: Martinez v. City of St. Louis

4:01-cv-00580 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri

Filed Date: April 18, 2001

Closed Date: 2009

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On April 18, 2001, a white applicant to the St. Louis Fire Department filed a lawsuit against the City of St. Louis in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri alleging that the St. Louis Fire Department engaged in reverse discrimination against white applicants. He claimed he was qualified for appointment as probationary fire private but was not hired due to the Department's remedial hiring practices that were established in a consent decree resolving a case of race-based e…

On April 18, 2001, a white applicant to the St. Louis Fire Department filed a lawsuit against the City of St. Louis in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri alleging that the St. Louis Fire Department engaged in reverse discrimination against white applicants. He claimed he was qualified for appointment as probationary fire private but was not hired due to the Department's remedial hiring practices that were established in a consent decree resolving a case of race-based employment discrimination in 1976. After the 1976 case the Fire Department implemented remedial affirmative action hiring policies to remedy the under-representation of African Americans. On November 8, 2001, another white applicant challenged the 1976 consent decree and the suits were consolidated. The plaintiffs argued that racial parity had been achieved and thus the consent decree should be dissolved and they should be hired and awarded damages.

On November 5, 2003, the district court (Judge John F. Nangle) dissolved the partial consent decree but refused to retroactively dissolve it and declare it unconstitutional. The court also refused to grant one of the white applicant's motions for summary judgment as to the substantive liability of the City. The applicants then amended their complaint to add the Department of Justice and Firefighters Institute for Racial Equality ("FIRE") as a defendants and other applicants as plaintiffs. On January 30, 2004 the district court granted FIRE's motion for summary judgment as to its liability to plaintiffs.

On February 24, 2005 the district court denied the City's motion for summary judgment as to its substantive liability in part, holding that as a public employer, the City had an obligation to ensure that a consent decree aimed at racial parity did the least harm possible to others competing for employment. The court also granted plaintiff's motion for summary judgment in part, finding that the two applicants should have been granted employment.

A two-day jury trial took place from March 15-16, 2006 on the issue of the substantive liability of the City and the plaintiffs were awarded $162,875 in damages. After further pleadings, on September 5, 2007 the district court granted retroactive seniority to the claimants.

The parties filed cross appeals on October 5, 2007.

On August 26, 2008 the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (Judge Loken, Judge Gibson and Judge Melloy) affirmed the dissolution of the consent decree but reversed the award of equitable relief and damages based on the district court's ruling that the consent decree was not unconstitutional and was not to be retroactively dissolved. The case was closed on January 30, 2009 when the parties stipulated to dismiss the case with prejudice.

Summary Authors

Michael Perry (7/15/2010)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5502400/parties/martinez-v-st-louis-city-of/


Judge(s)

Gibson, John R. (Missouri)

Loken, James B. (Minnesota)

Melloy, Michael Joseph (Iowa)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Blustein, Benjamin Jay (District of Columbia)

Bobinette, Charles W (Missouri)

Craig, Clyde E (Florida)

Gadzichowski, John M. (District of Columbia)

Geller, Clare F (District of Columbia)

Johns, Althea P (Missouri)

Niles, Sara Lewenberg (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Gibson, John R. (Missouri)

Loken, James B. (Minnesota)

Melloy, Michael Joseph (Iowa)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Blustein, Benjamin Jay (District of Columbia)

Bobinette, Charles W (Missouri)

Craig, Clyde E (Florida)

Gadzichowski, John M. (District of Columbia)

Geller, Clare F (District of Columbia)

Johns, Althea P (Missouri)

Niles, Sara Lewenberg (District of Columbia)

Rocque, Amanda (District of Columbia)

Wedemeyer, Wesley D (Missouri)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Hageman, Patricia A. (Missouri)

Kistler, Nancy R (Missouri)

Lawson, Mark Edward (Missouri)

Ronzio, Judith Anne (Missouri)

Stone, Sharon (Missouri)

Tanner, Kathleen G (Missouri)

Other Attorney(s)

Diekemper, Jerome A (Missouri)

Perkins, Richard P (Missouri)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Nangle, John Francis (Missouri)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

4:01-cv-01770

Docket (PACER)

Deeken v. City of St. Louis

Feb. 13, 2007

Feb. 13, 2007

Docket

06-03554

Docket

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

May 28, 2008

May 28, 2008

Docket

4:01-cv-00580

Docket

Feb. 3, 2009

Feb. 3, 2009

Docket
118

4:01-cv-00580

4:01-cv-01770

Memorandum and Order (Granting plaintiffs' motion to dissolve the consent decree but denying plainitiffs' motions to retroactively do so and to grant summary judgment on substantive liability).

327 F.Supp.2d 1002, 2003 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 25730

Nov. 5, 2003

Nov. 5, 2003

Order/Opinion
125

4:01-cv-00580

4:01-cv-01770

Order (Granting defendant F.I.R.E.'s motion for summary judgment)

327 F.Supp.2d 1013, 2004 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 14604

Jan. 30, 2004

Jan. 30, 2004

Order/Opinion
178

4:01-cv-00580

4:01-cv-01770

Memorandum and Order (Denying in part defendant's motion for summary judgment and granting in part plaintiff's motion for summary judgment as to liability)

470 F.Supp.2d 1013, 2005 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 44102

Feb. 24, 2005

Feb. 24, 2005

Order/Opinion

4:01-cv-00580

Transcript

April 18, 2005

April 18, 2005

Transcript
314

4:01-cv-00580

Stipulation Regarding Equitable Relief

Feb. 7, 2007

Feb. 7, 2007

Pleading / Motion / Brief

06-03554

Brief of Appellant

Martinez v. St. Louis

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

Nov. 28, 2007

Nov. 28, 2007

Pleading / Motion / Brief

06-03554

BRIEF OF APPELLEE MICHAEL MARTINEZ

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

Dec. 28, 2007

Dec. 28, 2007

Pleading / Motion / Brief

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5502400/martinez-v-st-louis-city-of/

Last updated Sept. 1, 2022, 3:11 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
271

ORDER - The Court has reviewed the Judgment in this case of March 22, 2006 (Doc. 255), and the Motion of Plaintiff Martinez to Amend Judgment (Doc. 259). The Court's Judgment did not reflect the stipulation of the parties submitted at the time of trial: first, that Martinez would have earned $174,642.09 between March 13, 2000 and March 21, 2005 as a probationary fire private and fire private with the City of St. Louis. Second, that Martinez actually earned $134,581.00 during tha t same period in his position as a tree trimmer and then a forestry foreman with the City. The difference between the wages Martinez earned in the forestry division and the wages he would have earned with the fire department was $40,061.09. The Court has previously found that the City should have hired Plaintiff Martinez on March 13, 2000. Therefore, Martinez is entitled to an award of damages in the amount of his lost wages. The Court hereby AMENDS its judgment of March 22, 2006, in accordance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(a), and ORDERS that Plaintiff Martinez be awarded an additional sum of $40,061.09 for lost wages. Signed by Judge John F. Nangle on 5/26/06. (DLB, )

May 26, 2006

May 26, 2006

RECAP
272

ORDER - Before the Court are the Supplemental Applications for Attorney's Fees submitted by Plaintiffs Martinez and Deeken, respectively. (Docs. 256 and 260.) The Court has reviewed these motions and Defendant's responses, and issues the f ollowing findings of fact and conclusions of law: 1)The hourly rate for the lead attorneys in this case, Mr. Clyde Craig and Mr. Charles Bobinette, shall be $225. 2)The hourly rate for Mr. Potashnick and Ms. DeGeorge shall be $100. The hou rly rate for the unidentified Mr. Nickles shall also be $100 unless Plaintiff Martinez is able to demonstrate that a different result is appropriate to this Court's satisfaction. 3)The hourly rate for law student interns shall be $36.9 8. 4)The hourly rate for paralegal services shall be $70.50 Travel reimbursement due to Mr. Craig's voluntary relocation to Florida after the start of this lawsuit is inappropriate and will be disallowed by the Court.6)This Court will not a ward any costs to Martinez unless said party submits a verified bill of costs, as required. Furthermore, this Court is not going to get involved in the numerous petty issues raised by parties in this case, such as: conversations with reporters, appea ls work, time spent in connection with FIRE's motion, research on the 1998 applications, research on the doctrine of spoilation, detective consultant fees, postage, et cetera and ad infinitum. The Court ORDERS the parties in this case to get to gether and meet for so long as is necessary to reduce their differences as to any remaining issues concerning fees and expenses to an irreducible minimum. The Court also notes that the inadequacy and inconsistencies in the record keeping of counsel for Plaintiff Martinez are troubling. The Court ORDERS said counsel and the City of St. Louis to make an especially concerted effort to resolve these issues and come to agreement on the appropriate number of billable hours. The Court further ORDERS the respective parties to jointly draft proposed awards for attorney's fees, expenses and costs in light of such resolution of minutiae as was herein ordered, and taking into account the Court?s findings as listed above. The parties shall submit the joint proposed award of attorney's fees, expenses and costs for both Martinez and Deeken within twenty (20) days of the date of this order. Signed by Judge John F. Nangle on 5/30/06. (DLB, )

May 30, 2006

May 30, 2006

RECAP
289

ORDER - There will be a hearing in this matter at 10:00 a.m. at the Thomas F. Eagleton United States Courthouse, 111 South 10th Street in St. Louis, Missouri, on Thursday, September 28, 2006. This hearing will address all pending questions, including attorney's fees. Mr. Bobinette and the appropriate representative of the City of St. Louis shall be present at this hearing. Mr. Craig may be present but his presence is not required. Signed by Judge John F. Nangle on 9/6/06. (DLB, )

Sept. 6, 2006

Sept. 6, 2006

RECAP
300

ORDER - IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff Deeken's Motion Within to File His Notice of Appeal (Doc. 292 ) is DENIED as MOOT. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Parties' Motions for Attorney's Fees (Docs. 256 , 260 , 275 , 277 , 284 , & 293 ) are STAYED. Signed by Judge John F. Nangle on 10/13/06. (DLB, )

Oct. 13, 2006

Oct. 13, 2006

RECAP
313

ORDER - The Court recently received the Withdrawal of Appearance of Jerome Diekemper (Doc. 310), the Entry of Appearance of Sherrie A. Schroder (Doc. 311), and the Entry of Appearance of Greg A. Campbell (Doc. 312). These filings, which pertain to C ounsel for Intervenors Lawrence B. Arens, IV and Mark D. Rauss, called the Court's attention to the status of the Intervenors in this matter. The Court checked the docket report and confirmed its recollection that the Intervenors have not been active participants in this case in any fashion since 2004. They obviously have no interest herein. Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Intervenors Lawrence B. Arens, IV and Mark D. Rauss are DISMISSED as parties in this case. Lawrence B. Arens, IV and Mark D. Rauss terminated. Signed by Judge John F. Nangle on 1/29/07. (DLB, )

Jan. 29, 2007

Jan. 29, 2007

RECAP

Case Details

State / Territory: Missouri

Case Type(s):

Equal Employment

Key Dates

Filing Date: April 18, 2001

Closing Date: 2009

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

White applicants to fire department.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

City of St. Louis (St. Louis), City

Defendant Type(s):

Fire

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

42 U.S.C. § 1981

Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e

Constitutional Clause(s):

Equal Protection

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Monetary Relief

Non-settlement Outcome

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Mixed

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Form of Settlement:

Voluntary Dismissal

Order Duration: 2003 - 0

Content of Injunction:

Utilize objective hiring/promotion criteria

Issues

General:

Disparate Treatment

Pattern or Practice

Discrimination-area:

Hiring

Discrimination-basis:

Race discrimination

Race:

White

Affected Gender:

Female

Male