Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Spencer v. Virginia State University

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division

November 23, 2016

ZOE SPENCER, Plaintiff,
v.
VIRGINIA STATE UNIVERSITY, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION (DENYING PLAINTIFFS MOTION TO STRIKE)

          Henry E. Hudson United States District Judge.

         THIS MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff Zoe Spencer's ("Plaintiff) Motion to Strike (ECF No. 38) and her Memorandum in Support thereof (ECF No. 39), both filed on November 11, 2016.

         Plaintiff asks the Court to strike the Defendants' Reply in Support of their Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 36) in its entirety. Plaintiff makes three arguments in support of her Motion: (1) that the Reply Brief was filed beyond the applicable deadline; (2) that the Reply Brief impermissibly cited and relied upon a non-integral document; and (3) that the Reply Brief impermissibly raised new arguments. (See generally Mem. in Supp. of Mot. to Strike.)

         Likely recognizing that her first argument was based on a misunderstanding of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 6(d), [1] Plaintiff withdrew it on November 16, 2016. (ECF No. 41.) However, Plaintiff continues to maintain that the Court should strike the Defendants' Reply Brief in its entirety based on either her second or third argument.

         Both parties have filed memoranda supporting their respective positions. The Court will dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials before the Court, and oral argument would not aid in the decisional process. E.D. Va. Local Civ. R. 7(J).

         For the reasons stated herein, the Court finds Plaintiffs second and third arguments as devoid of merit as her first. Therefore, the Court will deny Plaintiffs Motion to Strike.

         I. BRIEF BACKGROUND

         In her Second Amended Complaint ("S.A.C."), Plaintiff alleges "that she was subjected to, and continues to be subjected to, willful and knowing gender discrimination and retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq. ("Title VII"), and the Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. § 206(d), et seq. ("EPA"). Plaintiffs claims themselves are not relevant to the present Motion. Rather, the Court will focus its attention on the extent to which Plaintiff referenced and relied upon the Virginia State University Faculty Handbook ("VSU Faculty Handbook") in her S.A.C. and in her Response to the Defendants' Motion to Dismiss.

         Plaintiff begins her factual allegations in her S.A.C. by stating that "[a]ccording to the VSU Faculty Handbook ... faculty salaries are set by the VSU Board of Visitors." (S.A.C. ¶ 31.) Plaintiff contends that "[Virginia State University] is a teaching university and has a standard employee work profile ("EWP") for all employees classified as Collegiate/Instructional faculty. This EWP does not differ depending on department or discipline, but is consistent for all faculty of the same category." (Id. ¶ 35.)

         Plaintiff continues by citing the VSU Faculty Handbook to support her assertion that "employees are divided into Classified Personnel and General Faculty. Any type of faculty (Assistant Professor, Associate Professor or Professor) is considered General Faculty.... After faculty have been categorized, their salary is based on their rank and experience as opposed to their department." (Id. ¶ 36.) Plaintiff then quotes the VSU Faculty Handbook to support her characterization that there is no distinction in faculty responsibilities or job descriptions between departments or disciplines at Virginia State University: "Faculty salaries shall be reviewed annually and shall be based upon rank and experience." (Id. ¶ 37.) Significantly, Plaintiff did not include a copy of the VSU Faculty Handbook as an exhibit with her S.A.C.

         In their Motion to Dismiss, the Defendants argued that Plaintiff failed to allege sufficient facts to show that she performed the same job functions as the six male faculty members from other departments that she named in her S.A.C. In her Response, Plaintiff again cited to the VSU Faculty Handbook and the EWP to support her claim that "there is no difference or distinction in faculty responsibilities or job descriptions between departments or disciplines." (Resp. in Opp. to Mot. to Dismiss 2, 4, 13-14, 16-17.) Once more, Plaintiff failed to include a copy of the VSU Faculty Handbook as an exhibit to her brief.

         As a result, the Defendants included a copy of the document, in its entirety, with their Reply Brief. (Reply Br. 36-1.) Plaintiff now objects to the Defendants' filing of the document and their arguments regarding it. Consequently, Plaintiff asks this Court to take the extraordinary step of striking the entire Reply Brief from the record.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Under Rule 12(f), a district court may "strike from a pleading an insufficient defense or any redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(f). A court's decision on such a motion is discretionary. Renaissance Greeting Cards, Inc. v. Dollar Tree Stores, Inc., 227 F.App'x 239, 246 (4th Cir. 2007). However, "Rule 12(f) motions are generally viewed with disfavor 'because striking a portion of a pleading is a drastic remedy and because it is often sought by the movant simply as a dilatory tactic.'" Waste Mgmt. Holdings v. Gilmore,252 F.3d 316, 347 (4th Cir. 2001) (quoting 5 A A. Charles Alan Wright et al, Federal Practice & Procedure ยง 1380, 647 (2d ed. 1990)). Stated ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.