Thursday, January 17, 2013

Velez v. Awning Windows, Inc. case brief

Velez v. Awning Windows, Inc.
375 F.3d 35, 2004 U.S. App. 14182

Case Synopsis:
The Plaintiff, Minerva Velez, was awarded summary judgement for her claim of sexual harassment against the Defendants, Awning Windows. 
-Here, the Defendants are appealing the judgment.

-Plaintiff = employee of Awning Windows.
-Defendant = Awning Windows (owned by Ismael Nieves-Valle).
-P and D had a romantic relationship (affair) until the P ended the relationship.
-Afterwards, Ismael harassed her.  Later he fired her in March 2000.
-P filed Title VII claim against D, as well as other Puerto Rican discrimination claims.
-D missed many court imposed deadlines and extensions for filing.  This resulted in lower court's granting of partial summary judgment to the P. 
-Jury awarded P $750,000. 
-D appealed, arguing that the court should have considered their late filed opposition to the motion for summary judgment.

Was the trial court's granting of Plaintiff's movement for summary judgement premature?

No, the court allowed the lower court's summary judgment because the Defendants did not timely respond to the P's motion.  Nor did the D file an appropriate extension of time under Rule 56(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, explaining why they needed more time. 

The repeated disregard for deadlines that are imposed by the court will result in an adverse holding, despite the party's later filing to oppose that holding.

-A party should not take court-imposed deadlines lightly. 
-Here the court was not forgiving to the habitual late filings and the lack of cooperation by the Defendants. 

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