United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
A. ROSS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendants Heartland Automotive
Services, Inc., d/b/a Jiffy Lube, and Raphael Doriety's
Amended Motion for Summary Judgment as to Count I. (Doc. 37.)
Plaintiff Jenna Mauller has filed a Response in Opposition
(Doc. 39), and Defendants have filed a Reply (Doc. 40).
alleges the following facts in her complaint: She was hired
in August 2015 to work at the Jiffy Lube on North New
Florissant Road in Florissant, Missouri, where Doriety was
employed as a supervisor. (Doc. 1 at 2.) On August 25, 2015,
"[a]fter making several sexually suggest[ive] comments
to [Plaintiff], Doriety grabbed [Plaintiffs] breasts."
(Id.) "Soon thereafter," Doriety asked
Mauller to join him in the office at the Jiffy Lube.
(Id.) When Plaintiff entered, Doriety closed and
locked the door and positioned himself between Plaintiff and
the exit. (Id.) Doriety intimated that he would help
Plaintiff with payroll issues and schedule her for additional
hours in exchange for sexual favors. (Id. at 3.) He
"then moved toward [Plaintiff] and unzipped the fly of
his pants and said: 'I need some assistance.'"
(Id.) Plaintiff asked Doriety to unlock the door,
left work, and reported the incident to police.
(Id.) She did not return.
Count I of her complaint, Plaintiff accuses Defendants of sex
discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. (Doc.
1.) She also advances claims of assault, battery, and false
imprisonment under Missouri law. (Id.) Shortly after
Plaintiff filed suit, Defendants moved to dismiss the case,
arguing among other things that Plaintiff had failed to file
her lawsuit within ninety days of receiving a Notice of Right
to Sue from the Employment Opportunity Commission
("EEOC"). (Doc. 5.) The Court granted that motion
on the separate ground that Plaintiff had not given
Defendants their statutorily required opportunity to address
the harassment and dismissed the case without prejudice,
granting Plaintiff leave to file an amended complaint. (Doc.
9.) The Court noted that timeliness was a factual inquiry not
suitable for determination at the motion to dismiss stage.
(Id.) Plaintiff filed an amended complaint. (Doc.
then moved for summary judgment on the amended complaint,
reiterating their argument that the claim is untimely. (Doc.
21.) The Court ordered limited discovery on the issue of
timeliness (Doc. 31), and Defendants have now filed an
amended motion for summary judgment (Doc. 37).
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a), a court may grant a
motion for summary judgment only if "there is no genuine
issue as to any material fact and the moving party is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Celotex
Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). The burden
is on the moving party. City of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa v.
Associated Elec. Coop. Inc., 838 F.2d 268, 273 (8th Cir.
1988). In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, all
reasonable inferences must be drawn in a light most favorable
to the non-moving party. Woods v. DaimlerChrysler
Corp, 409 F.3d 984, 990 (8th Cir. 2005). The evidence is
not weighed and no credibility determinations are made.
Jenkins v. Winter, 540 F.3d 742, 750 (8th Cir.
the moving party demonstrates that there is no genuine issue
of material fact, the nonmovant must do more than show there
is some doubt as to the facts. Matsushita Elec. Indus.
Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986).
Instead, the nonmoving party bears the burden of setting
forth affirmative evidence and specific facts by affidavit
and other evidence showing a genuine factual dispute that
must be resolved at trial. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986); Celotex, 477
U.S. at 324. "A dispute about a material fact is
'genuine' only 'if the evidence is such that a
reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving
party.'" Herring v. Canada Life Assur. Co.,
207 F.3d 1026, 1030 (8th Cir. 2000) (quoting
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248). Judgment as a matter of
law is appropriate only when "the court finds that a
reasonable jury would not have a legally sufficient
evidentiary basis to find for the party." Fed.R.Civ.P.
42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(1), Title VII plaintiffs must
file suit within ninety days of receipt of their Notice of
Right to Sue. See also, Hill v. John Chezik Imports,
869 F.2d 1122, 1124 (8th Cir. 1989). The Supreme Court and
Eighth Circuit employ a rebuttable presumption "that a
claimant receives correspondence from an agency three days
after it was mailed." Euell v. Potter, No.
4:06-CV-1154 CAS, 2007 WL 1704934, at *3 n.2 (E.D. Mo. June
12, 2007). "[T]he presumption of receipt can be rebutted
with 'testimony or other admissible evidence from which
it could be reasonably inferred either that the notice was
mailed later than its typewritten date or that it took longer
than three days' to reach the intended recipient."
Dewberry v. Alphapointe Ass'n for the Blind, No.
05-0187CVWODS, 2005 WL 3479507, at *1 (W.D. Mo. Dec. 20,
2005) (quoting Sherlock v. Monteflore Med. Ctr., 84
F.3d 522, 526 (2d Cir. 1996)).
VII's time limitations are subject to equitable tolling.
Irwin v. Dep't of Veterans Affairs,498 U.S. 89,
95 (1990). "As a general rule, equitable tolling is a
remedy reserved for circumstances that are 'truly beyond
the control of the plaintiff.'" Shempert v.
Harwich Chem. Corp.,151 F.3d 793, 797-98 (8th Cir.
1998) (quoting Hill v. John Chezik Imports, 869 F.2d
1122, 1124 (8th Cir. 1989)); see also Lown v.
Brimeyer,956 F.2d 780, 782 (8th Cir. 1992) (quoting
Heideman v. PFL, Inc.,904 F.2d 1262, 1266 (8th Cir.