The opinion of the court was delivered by: JAMES F. MCCLURE, JR.
Plaintiff Tejhban S. Saini, a professor at Bloomsburg University (BU), filed this Title VII action
alleging the violation of his civil rights in connection with an election of officers for the Bloomsburg University Faculty Association (BUFA or the union) held in April, 1991.
Union officers receive no salary or other remuneration.
Plaintiff's discrimination claims are based on alleged improprieties in the way in which the election was conducted and when it was held. Plaintiff is an Asian Indian, and alleges that he was discriminated against on the basis of his race and national origin.
Defendants have moved for summary judgment (Record Document No. 10) on all claims alleged. No opposing brief or other responsive documents have been filed by plaintiff. Local Rule 401.6 requires a party opposing any motion to file a responsive brief, together with other opposition papers within fifteen days after service of the movant's brief. Any party who fails to comply with this rule is deemed not to oppose the motion. We, therefore, deem defendants' summary judgment motion unopposed and issue our ruling accordingly.
We have considered defendants' motion on its merits, and find the arguments made to be well taken. For the reasons discussed below, summary judgment will be entered in defendants' favor on all claims.
There is also before the court a motion by plaintiff for leave to file an amended complaint (Record Document No. 17). Plaintiff seeks to amend his complaint to allege an additional claim for violation of the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA), 29 U.S.C. § 401, et. seq. Plaintiff's motion will be denied as untimely and unduly prejudicial to the defendants.
Motion for summary judgment standard
Summary judgment is appropriate if the "pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c) (Emphasis supplied).
. . . The plain language of Rule 56(c) mandates the entry of summary judgment, after adequate time for discovery and upon motion, against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, an on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial. In such a situation, there can be 'no genuine issue as to any material fact,' since a complete failure of proof concerning an essential element of the nonmoving party's case necessarily renders all other facts immaterial. The moving party is 'entitled to judgment as a matter of law' because the nonmoving party has failed to make a sufficient showing on an essential element of her case with respect to which she has the burden of proof.
Celotex v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265, 106 S. Ct. 2548 (1986).
The moving party bears the initial responsibility of stating the basis for its motions and identifying those portions of the record which demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. He or she can discharge that burden by "showing . . . that there is an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case." Celotex, supra at 323 and 325.
Issues of fact are "genuine only if a reasonable jury, considering the evidence presented, could find for the non-moving party. Childers v. Joseph, 842 F.2d 689, 694 (3d Cir. 1988), citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202, 106 S. Ct. 2505 (1986). Material facts are those which will affect the outcome of the trial under governing law. Anderson, supra, 477 U.S. at 248. In determining whether an issue of material fact exists, the court must consider all evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. White v. Westinghouse Electric Company, 862 F.2d 56, 59 (3d Cir. 1988).
Local Rule 401.4 requires that a statement of undisputed material facts accompany all motions for summary judgment. It further requires that the party opposing the motion file "a separate, short and concise statement of the material facts, responding to the numbered paragraphs set forth in the statement required [from the moving party] . . ., as to which it is contended that there exists a genuine issue to be tried." Local Rule 401.4 concludes by cautioning parties that: "All material facts set forth in the statement required to be served by the moving party will be deemed to be admitted unless controverted by the statement required to be served by the opposing party."
Defendants filed a statement of material facts in support of their motion for summary judgment. (Record Document No. 10) Although attached certificates of service indicate that plaintiff was served with defendant's motion, brief, statement of undisputed facts, and supporting documents (Record Document No. 11), plaintiff did not file an opposition brief or a response to defendants' statement of material facts. Based on that omission, all facts in defendant's statement are deemed admitted pursuant to Local Rule 401. See: Wienco, Inc. v. Katahn Associates, Inc., 965 F.2d 565, 567-68 (7th Cir. 1992) (Seventh Circuit upheld enforcement of a similar rule adopted by Northern District ...