Support the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse?

The Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse is committed to making information about civil rights lawsuits public, accessible, and free. If you use our--recently revamped--website and the posted documents and information, would you consider a donation? Our small but mighty team relies principally on grant funding and donations. Can you help?

Support the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse?

The Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse is committed to making information about civil rights lawsuits public, accessible, and free. If you use our--recently revamped--website and the posted documents and information, would you consider a donation? Our small but mighty team relies principally on grant funding and donations. Can you help?

Thank you!

DONATE

Case: Contreras v. Ridge

1:02-cv-00923 | U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Filed Date: May 10, 2002

Closed Date: 2007

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On May 10, 2002, eight Hispanic Special Agents filed a class action complaint against the United States Customs Service ("Customs Service"), in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and 42 U.S.C. § 1981. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel asked the court for equitable relief, compensatory damages, a declaratory judgment, and injunctive relief. The plaintiffs contended that there was a…

On May 10, 2002, eight Hispanic Special Agents filed a class action complaint against the United States Customs Service ("Customs Service"), in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and 42 U.S.C. § 1981. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel asked the court for equitable relief, compensatory damages, a declaratory judgment, and injunctive relief. The plaintiffs contended that there was a pattern and practice of discrimination on the basis of national origin by the Department of Treasury's United States Customs Service. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that the Customs Service's personnel policies, practices, and procedures discriminated against Hispanic Special Agents regarding selections for competitive positions and promotions, assignment to undercover work, discipline, awards and bonuses, foreign language proficiency awards, training, harassment and hostile work environment, systemic retaliation, and other terms and conditions of employment. The plaintiffs requested to act on behalf of a class consisting of all current or former Hispanic Special Agents (Criminal Investigators GS-1811) who had served with the Customs Service from January 1, 1974 or January 1, 1977 to the present.

On March 20, 2003, the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment. The defendant argued that the court should dismiss class claims due to failures by the plaintiffs to timely exhaust administrative class remedies, to assert adverse employment actions, and/or to establish a prima facie case of discrimination. The defendant also argued that the individual claims should be dismissed as well because the plaintiffs failed to exhaust administrative remedies and/or to allege actionable adverse employment actions. Subsequently, on February 26, 2004, the court (Judge James Robertson) granted in part and denied in part the motion for summary judgment. In this judgment, the court (Judge Robertson) held that the plaintiffs had failed to exhaust claims of hostile work environment and foreign language proficiency awards. Contreras v. Ridge, 305 F. Supp. 2d 126 (D.D.C. 2004).

On May 5, 2006, following a denial of the defendant's motion to dismiss the pattern or practice claims, the defendant renewed its motion. On March 20, 2007 the court (Judge Robertson) granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment, finding the plaintiffs' evidence insufficient, and thus terminating the case.

Summary Authors

Emily Kuznick (4/14/2008)

Related Cases

Stewart v. Rubin, District of Columbia (1990)

Moore v. Chertoff, District of Columbia (2000)

Moore v. Summers, District of Columbia (2000)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4706750/parties/contreras-v-ridge/


Judge(s)

Lamberth, Royce C. (District of Columbia)

Robertson, James (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Barer, Garvey Schubert (District of Columbia)

Hillman, Roger L. (Washington)

Lambiotte, Benjamin J. (District of Columbia)

Schmidt, Ronald A. (District of Columbia)

Shaffer, David J. (District of Columbia)

Tonkin, Ronald H. (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Chambers, Felicia L. (District of Columbia)

Clark, Kaija (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Lamberth, Royce C. (District of Columbia)

Robertson, James (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Barer, Garvey Schubert (District of Columbia)

Hillman, Roger L. (Washington)

Lambiotte, Benjamin J. (District of Columbia)

Schmidt, Ronald A. (District of Columbia)

Shaffer, David J. (District of Columbia)

Tonkin, Ronald H. (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Chambers, Felicia L. (District of Columbia)

Clark, Kaija (District of Columbia)

Cook, Shayna Susanne (District of Columbia)

Courey, M. Bennett (District of Columbia)

Howard, Roscoe (District of Columbia)

Keisler, Peter D. (District of Columbia)

Kirschner, Adam D. (District of Columbia)

Kraus, William R. (District of Columbia)

Lepley, Richard G (District of Columbia)

Licht, Stuart A. (District of Columbia)

McCallum, Robert D. Jr. (District of Columbia)

Richardson, Karen Kathleen (District of Columbia)

Riley, Matthew B. (Texas)

Schwartz, James J. (District of Columbia)

Tannenbaum, Andrew H. (District of Columbia)

Wainstein, Kenneth L. (District of Columbia)

Weinberger, Marc (Maryland)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

1:02-cv-00923

Docket

Sept. 7, 2007

Sept. 7, 2007

Docket
1

1:02-cv-00923

Complaint

Contreras v. O'Neill

May 10, 2002

May 10, 2002

Complaint

1:02-cv-00923

Memorandum Opinion and Order (Denying Plaintiffs' Joint Motions To Consolidate)

Stewart v. O'Neill; Moore v. O'Neill; Contreras v. O'Neill

Sept. 3, 2002

Sept. 3, 2002

Order/Opinion
22

1:02-cv-00923

Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment

March 20, 2003

March 20, 2003

Pleading / Motion / Brief
34

1:02-cv-00923

Plaintiffs' Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Opposition to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment

June 26, 2003

June 26, 2003

Pleading / Motion / Brief
70

1:02-cv-00923

Memorandum Order (Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment)

Feb. 26, 2004

Feb. 26, 2004

Order/Opinion
97

1:02-cv-00923

Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment On Plaintiffs' Pattern Or Practice Claims

Aug. 30, 2004

Aug. 30, 2004

Pleading / Motion / Brief
103

1:02-cv-00923

Plaintiffs' Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment on Plaintiffs' Pattern Or Practice Claims

April 5, 2005

April 5, 2005

Pleading / Motion / Brief
112

1:02-cv-00923

Memorandum Order (Denying Without Prejudice Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment On Plaintiffs' Pattern Or Practice Claims)

Sept. 21, 2005

Sept. 21, 2005

Order/Opinion
124

1:02-cv-00923

Defendant's Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment on Plaintiffs' Pattern or Practice Claims

Contreras v. Chertoff

May 5, 2006

May 5, 2006

Pleading / Motion / Brief

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4706750/contreras-v-ridge/

Last updated Sept. 6, 2022, 3:19 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
132

MEMORANDUM. Signed by Judge James Robertson on March 20, 2007. (MT)

March 20, 2007

March 20, 2007

RECAP

Case Details

State / Territory: District of Columbia

Case Type(s):

Equal Employment

Special Collection(s):

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: May 10, 2002

Closing Date: 2007

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Putative class of Hispanic Special Agents of the U.S. Customs Service in the GS-1811 series who have been employed as GS-1811’s at any time from either January 1, 1974 to the present or from January 1, 1977 to the present.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Denied

Defendants

U.S. Department of Treasury's United States Customs Service, Federal

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1981

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

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Non-settlement Outcome

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

General:

Pattern or Practice

Retaliation

Discrimination-area:

Discipline

Harassment / Hostile Work Environment

Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)

Pay / Benefits

Promotion

Training

Discrimination-basis:

National origin discrimination

National Origin/Ethnicity:

Hispanic